Cast as Bettina ‘Boo’ Jordan on the ABC Family original series, “Bunheads“, Kaitlyn Jenkins talks to All Things Girl about how life as an accomplished classical ballet dancer landed her in a television role from creator, Amy Sherman of the Gilmore Girls series.
For some of our readers, it will be their first introduction to you. Tell us three things you’d like us to know about you.
I am truly passionate about my acting career and Bunheads is my first big break. I have been dancing since I was three years old. I am a true animal lover and have a cat and two dogs.
When did you first fall in love with dance and when did you realize you wanted to shift gears and pursue a career in acting?
I guess I first fell in love with it when I went to see The Joffrey Ballet do The Nutcracker at the age of four. My mom says after that I was always wanting to dress up and make believe I was the the “Sugar Plum Fairy”! I continued to study dance all throughout my school years and when I was thirteen, I enrolled in an acting class and found out I had a passion for that as well. I attended a performing arts high school in the music and theater conservatory while auditioning and filming small projects. The final decision to pursue my acting career ahead of my dance career came when I was eighteen, after attending the summer program at Boston Ballet. I had wanted to stay and train with them year round but I sustained an injury, so I returned home and continued to go
out on auditions as well as dance. Then Bunheads came along and here I am!
What artists have influenced you? What is it that intrigues you most about their work?
In the area of ballet, Diana Vishneva and Gillian Murphy were my ballet idols. The beauty and artistry they both have on stage, not to mention their incredible technique, were a real inspiration to me. My favorite television actress is Mariska Hargitay and I would watch her in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit week after week, trying to absorb how she was able to bring such depth and reality to her character.
How do you think your character, Bettina ‘Boo’ Jordan, on Bunheads speaks to young women aspiring to pursue their passions?
Boo is a dreamer and has real passion for her art form as well as determination to succeed despite her short comings. I hope that Boo will inspire other young women that might have the same kind of doubts about their dreams to push past the road blocks and keep going.
What do you like the most about dancing?
The freedom that it gives me. When I dance something takes over inside of me that is hard to explain. It’s kind of like I become someone else, expressing my emotions through my movement. Some of the best time I have dancing, other than actually performing onstage, is when I go to the studio, put on some great music and do self choreography!
Being a ballet dancer means having a confident attitude. How has being a classical artist helped your confidence level as an actress?
The things I learned as a classical ballet dancer like needing to have great stamina, a strong work ethic, determination, and passion are the tools that I carried with me when I started to pursue acting. Those things I learned as a dancer are the same things that I use today to help me have confidence each day when I step onto the set.
How is ballet rehearsal similar to performing in front of the camera? How is different?
Well, both take a long time! For the most part, I think ballet rehearsal is very different than performing in front of a camera. In ballet rehearsal, we will spend hours working on each section and focusing on particular steps or combinations within the choreography. When we are in front of the camera, we only spend a short time rehearsing it and then we shoot it. Of course there are always plenty of takes so we can get it just right!
What projects are on the horizon for you?
Right now I am so busy filming the show that there is little time to do much else. When time permits I am looking into projects that I can do in addition to Bunheads. Things are really exciting right now and as far as I’m concerned, the sky’s the limit.
Tell readers how they can learn more about you and where they can connect with you via social media.
Catch Bunheads on ABC Family, Monday nights at 9/8c !
*Photography by Viktorija Pashuta