Why Jenna Johnson ‘Hated’ A DWTS Partner


“Dancing With the Stars” professional dancer Jenna Johnson has opened up about hating one of her partners on the show. Read on to find out why she and Nev Schulman didn’t always get along and how she “hated” him but it also forced her to improve as a professional dancer.

Jenna Said Nev ‘Challenged’ Her & She ‘Hated It

During an episode of Olivia Jade’s podcast, “Conversations With Olivia Jade,” the season 30 contestant, who was paired with Jenna’s husband Val Chmerkovskiy, asked Jenna which partners from “Dancing With the Stars” touched her heart and which partners changed her practice.

Jenna had two answers for which partners changed her practice and they were both really interesting.

One of them was her season 29 partner Nev Schulman, with whom she finished in 2nd place and which a lot of fans thought should have won that season. She said that Nev would push back at her choreography all the time and she “hated it” at first.

“He challenged me and at first I hated it,” said Jenna. “I was like, ‘This guy!’ He would, like, not question me, but he would be like, ‘Are you sure? Or maybe we could try this.'”

She went on to say that after she got over her initial bristling at being challenged, she said it made her a better pro.

“It also pushed me and made me have options ready, made me be quick on my feet and I would say I really appreciated that. And before, I never would have taken that. I would’ve been like, ‘Hmm mmm, sorry buddy, no,'” said the pro dancer.

Jenna Also Said Adam Rippon Has a Profound Effect On Her Practice

In season 26, Jenna was paired with Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon. They ended up winning and Jenna told Olivia Jade that she has never seen someone work as hard as Adam did that season and it changed how she views her own work ethic.

“While [Adam] was doing the show, he was traveling — this was just after the Olympics had happened and they went on this tour … so we would legit wake up at 6 a.m., practice in any hotel lobby, hotel convention center, the jankiest little studios all over America and then he would go and do these four-hour shows where he was skating full-out, doing meet-and-greets, then we would travel that night or the next morning, rehearse at 6 a.m. [and on and on],” said Jenna.

She said Adam showed her “such committment” and he “never complained one time, not one time.”

“I knew he was exhausted beyond belief, but he would give me everything when we would step into the rehearsal and from then on, I committed myself to every time I’m going to step into a dance studio, I’m going to give my all,” said Jenna.

She added, “That changed my practice, meaning the way I hold my rehearsals, the way I show up, the way I commit myself. He really really touched me then.”

Jenna Said JoJo is the Partner Who Touched Her Heart

As for which partner touched her heart, Jenna didn’t even hesitate to say her season 30 partner JoJo because dancing with a woman — JoJo in particular — changed her view of the world.

“JoJo definitely changed my heart just in how I saw the world, how I saw people, how I saw myself, how I was more accepting. She definitely changed my heart in so many ways,” said Jenna.

Jenna and JoJo came in second place behind Iman Shumpert and Daniella Karagach, but they both had nothing but good things to say about the season.

“I had so many doubts in my head before the season started. I didn’t know if I was capable of doing this, living up to everybody’s expectations, being confident while doing it, and now looking back, this has been one of the most fulfilling, scary and life-changing moments I’ve ever had on the show. I’m so grateful I said yes to dancing with a female, and I’m so grateful it was JoJo. She has made this experience absolutely magical,” Jenna told “Good Morning America” in an interview.

“Dancing With the Stars” has not yet been renewed for season 31. If it is renewed, it will return in September 2022.

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