Jennifer Lopez is a true triple threat — actor, singer and dancer. Her skills know no bounds as she now develops projects that promote the J.Lo brand with her longtime manager, Benny Medina.
The premiere of World of Dance last May was the perfect show to blend the past with the present for J.Lo. She kicked off her career in Hollywood as a Fly Girl on In Living Color in 1991, and she’s now an executive producer and judge on a show that awards $1 million to the winner.
NBC has so much confidence in the dance competition show that the network has already picked it up for Season 3 ahead of its Season 2 premiere on Tuesday. The third season will premiere after the NFL season is over, so look for it sometime in February 2019.
Let’s take a look back at the videos and performances that defined who J.Lo truly is at heart — a dancer.
The Fly Girls on In Living Color were the show’s resident dance troupe. Rosie Perez was the choreographer, and other famous dancers in the troupe included future Dancing With the Stars judge Carrie Ann Inaba and Laurieann Gibson. No one seems to remember that J.Lo only joined the show in Season 3 and left after Season 4. It’s almost like she was the only dancer in the troupe — a true superstar.
The clip from J.Lo’s first episode in 1991 shows her looking a little hesitant on her last move. It’s kind of hard to believe that she might have second-guessed herself, given how strong she is now. It makes us feel good to know that J.Lo is human, too.
“Love Don’t Cost a Thing”
J.Lo has always had a thing for her backup dancers. Cris Judd, the first guy to catch her eye, was featured in the video for “Love Don’t Cost a Thing.” The video was shot in 2000, and J.Lo married Judd in 2001.
The dance break is a classic Lopez look — hoop earrings, baggy jeans and dance moves that sit deep in the pocket. The video was nominated for a 2001 MTV Video Music Award for Best Dance Video.
Dance Battle with Jimmy Fallon
In a 2017 appearance, J.Lo had to battle Jimmy Fallon on the dance floor by drawing types of dances out of “Velvety Dance Bag.” These dances were anything but normal. J.Lo nailed it with her “washing machine on spin cycle” dance — girl had hairography and all while she swiveled her hips. Jimmy had a comeback with “walking on a moving bus,” but there was no beating J.Lo once she danced the “hot cowboy.”
“Ain’t It Funny”
This 2001 video, which features a dance break with flamenco-inspired movement, pretty much confirms that J.Lo can do any style of dance. We totally believe that she had years of flamenco training, when in reality, she probably picked it up in the rehearsal studio a week before the shoot.
American Music Awards with Maks Chmerkovskiy
In 2013, the American Music Awards decided to feature a tribute to legendary salsa singer Celia Cruz. There was no better person for the job than J.Lo, who did a full-blown four-and-a-half-minute performance complete with costume changes and an extraordinary over-the-head lift with Dancing With the Stars pro Maks Chmerkovskiy. It’s ah-mazing.
Toddlerography with James Corden
Things aren’t always so serious when it comes to dance with J.Lo; she’s participated in silly sketches like the infamous “Toddlerography” segment with James Corden. J.Lo and Corden had to follow the movement created by the tiny tykes to her own music.
The kids had her running, spinning on her stomach and even diving into a straddle split from a dancing position. These kids are tough!
The video for “I’m Glad” gives us a stripped-down version of J.Lo, who ditched her backup dancers to dance solo. The 2003 video gives the audience a recreation of the beloved 1983 film Flashdance, from the ripped sweatshirt to J.Lo’s curly hair and leg warmers. You see the sexy nightclub dance along with the iconic audition scene at the ballet school.
Paramount Pictures didn’t enjoy this tribute as much, however. It sued J.Lo and Sony Music for copyright infringement, as did dancer Maureen Marder, whose life was the inspiration for the film. Paramount settled with Sony and J.Lo, but Marder’s suit was dismissed.
Live @ Fashion Rocks
J.Lo performed the song “Booty” at Live @ Fashion Rocks in 2014. She took her usual hot hip-hop style and flipped the script by doing an homage to Bob Fosse. The Sweet Charity-inspired number, “The Frug,” had musical theatre geeks squealing across the country. It proved that J.Lo’s respect for dance runs deeps.
Don’t miss Jennifer Lopez judging the next generation of dancers on Season 2 of World of Dance. The show premieres Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET/ 7 p.m. CT on NBC.