Our interview with talented dancer and choreographer Janelle Ginestra, best known as the lead female dancer in Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” video and star/head choreographer for the next installment of the $700 million, “Step Up” film franchise, and the release of her new fashion + dance video titled “I Like That.”
The video, executive produced by Ginestra and features the song “I Like That” by Richard Vission and Static Revenge staring Luciana, is an elegant blending of Electronic, Pop and Fashion all surrounded by Ginestra’s intense dance technique that’s caught the attention of artists such as P!NK, J Lo, Nicki Minaj, Chris Brown and more.
Hi Janelle, please tell us a little about you?
To sum it up quickly, I’m from the Bay to LA my whole life. I’ve been dancing since I was two-years-old and have been involved in the arts since day one, even as a child actress. I also never played sports, which some people are surprised to hear…outside of dance of course, which is more of an art/culture.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Animated, expressive and unique!
Do you have a role model?
Yes, my Mom.
How’s a typical day in your life?
The first thing I do when I wake up is work out, it really gets me energized for the day. Then my day is usually filled with business meetings to expand our immaBeast brand, then I have rehearsal and usually end the day teaching class…now at our new immaSpace Dance Studio that just opened in North Hollywood.
Why and how did you get started in dancing and choreography?
It was completely my calling. There is nothing else that fulfills me the way creating and dancing does.
What was your first job as choreographer?
Jezzzz, I can’t even remember (yikes- my mind is going by the day lol). My first big one though, was choreographing for FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance alongside my partner Willdabeast.
Do you have or had dancing classes?
Omg, sooooo freaking many!
Tell us about your experience in movies?
I love working on movies. I love a consistent job that allows you to have an agenda. Not all movie projects are the best, but any experience is a learning experience and allows me to grow as an artist.
Tell us about working as a lead female dancer in Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” video?
Hahahahaha scandalous. I’m a very in-between dancer. Meaning, I like to dance like a girl and a boy so, having my ass out and shaking it on camera – wasn’t the most comfortable thing for me. But hey— if I’m gonna do it, I’m gonna do it well and sell it. It was fun!
Now tell us about “Step Up”?
Step Up was an experience! Being in China for more than two (2) months was hard, but meeting the amazing cast, training and working with them was beautiful. We had to choreograph approximately 15 numbers so, it was a lot of work. But me, WilldaBeast and our immaBeast team love working hard!
JANELLE GINESTRA PRESENTS "I LIKE THAT"
And now about the new fashion + dance video “I Like That”?
This came to life, because I wanted to start doing performance videos rather than just all dance. I have “looks” in my head and creative direction art that I want to share, and with The Beast Network (our company’s streaming, media platform for all things ‘dance culture’), I finally have a platform to share this content on. I want to do develop as an artist and be able to do more for myself and people, than just make up dance moves. I want to start showing the world that there’s more to my creative than just dance!
What have you learned from your other artists and choreographers?
Omg, so much! I have so many people that I’m inspired by daily. One of the most important things I’ve learned though, is to have a voice and identity. Essentially, be your own product and not a product of someone else.
What other projects you been part of?
Glee, Bring It On: Fight To The Finish, Alvin and The Chipmunks 2, Radio Disney Music Awards and VH-1 Hip-Hop Honors, to name a few.
Who is your favorite actor/actress?
VIOLA ‘FREAKING’ DAVIS. I am in love with Viola, she is my biggest inspiration, along with Denzel Washington and Robin Williams.
Where do you see yourself in a few years?
I see myself married; making triple what I make now; having our empire run without Willdabeast and I physically being there; being in demand of our creative direction; having a stardom force in the industry, and not just as choreographers, but as public figures. Oh…and hoping to get pregnant soon (*wink).
What do you think of Social Media in the Entertainment business?
I think it’s a blessing and a curse. A blessing, in that it has blossomed people to become their own stars. A Curse, because it’s annoying as hell and a very “promote yourself” kind of era. It’s hard for me, but I’ve sold my soul to it. Lol Not quite, but almost.
Best advice ever given?
To be the best version of you. You do you the best.
What’s your favorite music?
Rap, and weird Emo sh*t.
What would be the dream holiday, and who would you go with?
I would go with my man to Bora Bora.
What is your favorite song to belt out in the car/for karaoke?
“Love Gets Me Every Time” by Shania Twain
3 things you can’t leave home without?
Phone, chapstick and wallet.
Do you support any charity?
Yes, since I was 14, I’ve supported a young lady through Children International every month. I want to start doing more of this in the local community though.
What would be a deal breaker on a first date?
SOOOO MANY THINGS! One being, him not paying the bill. Another is him judging what I ordered. Also, him voting for trump.
Idea of a perfect Sunday?
Netflix, pizza and wine.
Any future plans you want to share with us?
To see more of the world before I have babies!
Where we can follow you?
Favorite Quote: “Life is a gift so, don’t be a selfish b*tch.” -Janelle Ginestra
Favorite Book: Ehhhhhhh, probably hunger games. I don’t read too much.
Favorite movie: Meet the Parents
Favorite Travel Destination: Australia! Specifically, Bondi Beach.
Favorite Food: Stuffed crust pizza!
Favorite Holiday: Christmas!
Favorite Sports Team: Golden State Warriors
Favorite TV Show: Parenthood or Real Housewives…all of them!