A STEP AWAY
The life of a professional dancer is already a challenging career.
Now imagine doing it as part of Jennifer Lopez’s first-ever world tour.
The new reality series “A Step Away,” airing Thursday at 10 p.m. on NUVOtv, delivers an intimate look at the journeys of J.Lo’s dance crew, who travel across five continents and 66 cities with the Latina diva.
“You can expect a behind the scenes, never-before-seen look at the life of a touring dancer,” says performer George Jones Jr., a Bronx native who was handpicked by Lopez herself.
Along with supervising choreographer Beau (Casper) Smart — whom Lopez has been dating since her split from Marc Anthony — the tour travels with eight male and two female dancers from across the U.S., plus Mexico and Puerto Rico.
It’s a mostly experienced crew — combined, they’ve performed for such stars as Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Pitbull.
But as they sashay, pop, lock and salsa their way across the stage with the 44-year-old icon, the viewer gets a feel of what a dancer’s life beyond the stage is really like…and its certainly not all glitz and glamour.
Jennifer Lopez newest reality show on NUVOtv, ‘A Step Away,’ follows the life of her dance crew.
(KEN GOLDFIELD/FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)
“We’re trying to pay our bills and our rent,” Jones says. “Some of us are married and have kids while others don’t. But we’re all family oriented and it’s hard because we’re gone a lot."
The distance and time spent away from family and friends is one thing; another issue is the impact dancing day-in and day-out can have on the body.
“As a dancer you (put in) more hours than a brain surgeon by the time you get to a world tour,” dancer Shannon Holtzapffel, from Australia, says on the season premiere.
In the season’s second episode, Miami-raised, Santiago, Chile-born Cat Rendic pulls a neck muscle during Lopez’s Las Vegas show. But as the old saying goes, the show must go on, and Rendic knows that if she pulls out it could cost her a spot for the remainder of the tour.
“As a dancer your body is everything, it’s your vessel,” Rendic says. “So most of the time when I get injured I say I’m okay. But I felt like I had to keep pushing through and finish the show.”