Jaylene Rodriguez started dancing at the age of six. First, she studied Acrobatics and Contortion in Binghamton, NY. Additionally, she learned fencing, ice skating and piano. At the age of 14, Jaylene became focused on her dance techniques. Next, she attended a bucking camp in Buffalo, NY, taught by the coach of the Dancing Dolls, Dianna “Coach D” Williams. Later on, Coach D asked Jaylene to be a feature in her Circus theme creative dance on an episode of hit TV series “Bring It“. Soon after, she joined the team and became a cast member on the show. Jaylene is now in her senior year in high school and has been accepted into the Joffrey Ballet 4 year Trainee Program. Jaylene has yet to determine which college she wants to attend. Check out her interview:
PBD: What age did you became a contortionist and dancer?
Jaylene: I started studying contortion/dance at 6 years old. My mother enrolled me in a studio that happen to teach contortion. As a result, teachers saw that I was flexible and asked to have me take classes.
PBD: How did you became interested in dance?
Jaylene: I’m not really sure how I became interested in dance. It just happened. My mom enrolled me in classes and it has stuck with me since. Movies like “Step up” made me want to continue it.
PBD: What is the biggest challenge of being a contortionist?
Jaylene: The biggest challenge of being a contortionist is continuing to stretch without hurting yourself. I’ve had back injuries because I was not consistent with stretching. As a result, my body would sometimes kink on me. You have to take it nice and slow.
PBD: Tell us about your past history in dancing before starting
Jaylene: I would watch dance videos and movies. I didn’t know the terminology behind the dance moves. I am visual learner.
PBD: What made you become interested in joining the Dancing Dolls in Jackson, MS?
Jaylene: I was became in joining the Dancing Dolls because of inspiration. It was great to see beautiful brown girls dance. Also, the style of majorette was different and interesting to me.
PBD: What was the transition like when you moved from New York City to the South?
Jaylene: The transition from New York to the south was a little bit shocking. The culture was different and I did miss home a lot. However, I am grateful that I was able to live in a different state.
PBD: How do you handle the pressures of being a young TV star and living like the average teenager?
Jaylene: I try to remain calm and not let pressure get to me. I get stressed out but I remind myself that time will fly. Before I know it, things will get better. I learned how to take time for myself and take care of my personal and public life.
PBD: What dancers do you look up to?
Jaylene: I look up to dancers such as Misty Copeland, Jade Chynoweth, Aliya Janell and Ciara. They all have different dance styles. However, they have the same passion for dance and take it everywhere.
PBD: How do you maintain your academics, TV career, and social life?
Jaylene: My mom helps me make a plan and with time management. I don’t have much of a social life because I’m always dancing. I just try to stay focused and check things off as I go.
PBD: What do you envision for your future?
Jaylene: For my future I hope to go to LA and teach dance classes. Additionally, I want to study in the ballet world for awhile because I do think technique is important. However I want to try all styles of dancing.
PBD: What advice would you give young girls starting in dance?
Jaylene: My advice for young girls would be to not give up on yourself, even if other doubt you. Try to take chances and risks that can benefit your career. Also, Don’t be scared to put yourself out there. We are all unique and have something to offer. Furthermore, don’t give up because you think it’s hard. The uphill climb becomes more difficult as you reach the top.
We would like to thank Jaylene Rodriguez and her mom for working with us on the Interview. Also, you can follow them at their Instagram Pages.