Jenna Dewan Tatum Says NBC's 'World of Dance' Is 'a Show for Dancers by Dancers'

Lori Acken
Nino Munoz/NBC

World of Dance host and mentor Jenna Dewan Tatum

In promos for her new NBC dance competition World of Dance, executive producer and judge Jennifer Lopez calls the million-dollar contest “the Olympics of dance” and “the biggest dance competition in the world.”

But, says the show’s host and mentor Jenna Dewan Tatum, WOD isn’t just about who has the flashiest moves — it’s about how moved people are while watching each performance.

“I believe it’s important to remind the world how incredibly important and healing the arts are,” Tatum says. “It lifts you up. We all need a bit of lightness in our life at the moment, and dance is incredible because it does bring people together. You don’t have to be a dancer yourself to feel moved by these performances.”

Culling its contestants (there is no age limit) and judging criteria from the international, traveling urban dance competition also called World of Dance, the show will feature performances from across all dance genres — from hip-hop and break dancing to ballet and ballroom. The competition consists of five rounds: Qualifiers, Duels, The Cut, Divisional Finals and the Grand Final. In the first four rounds, dancers compete within their division, with the winner from each division dancing it out for the million bucks in the Grand Final.

Tatum proudly notes that she and each of the judges — Dancing With the Stars’ Derek Hough and actor/dancer/singer Ne-Yo round out the panel — were once struggling performers themselves and know the importance of hard work and a lucky break.

World of Dance judges

(L-R): World of Dance judges Ne-Yo, Jennifer Lopez, Jenna Dewan Tatum, Derek Hough

“It was so important to be a part of a show for dancers by dancers,” says the former Janet Jackson backup dancer who met her husband, the hunky actor Channing Tatum, on the set of the 2006 dance film Step Up and will produce another NBC dance series with him. “Dance will always be my first true love, my roots, who I am. To be a part of a show that is celebrating and elevating dance is a dream come true. I am so excited to give dancers this incredible platform and opportunity — and the chance to be paid what they deserve!”

NBC Sets Summer Schedule: JLo's 'World of Dance,' the Returns of 'AGT' and 'Carmichael Show,' and More

NBC Sets Summer Schedule: JLo's 'World of Dance,' the Returns of 'AGT' and 'Carmichael Show,' and More

Returning hits 'American Ninja Warrior' and 'The Wall,' along with new series 'Midnight, Texas' and 'Marlon,' are also part of NBC's busy summer schedule.

And to give viewers the chance to revel in the healing, inspiring, uniting power of the performing arts — and maybe cut a rug on the living-room carpet, too.

"You will laugh, you will cry," Tatum says, "and you will definitely get up and dance!"

World of Dance, Series Premiere, Tuesday, May 30, 10/9c, NBC

AlertMe