While “Bunheads” seemed like it was going to be a “Gilmore Girls”-esque meditation on small-town life with a dance studio at the center of the action, things got a little heavy when a main character died in the pilot. Now that we’ve reached Episode 4, the dancing is back front and center as the girls at Fanny’s school audition for the Joffrey Ballet.
Except there’s not actually much dancing in “Money for Nothing,” star Kaitlyn Jenkins tells Zap2it in a recent on-set interview. The 20-year-old actress who plays young dancer Boo Jordan promises that it’ll be okay, because there’s plenty of character development.
“You really get to see Boo and Sasha mature in this episode. You get to
see Boo’s passion and how dedicated she becomes to this — kind of
obsessed a little bit,” Jenkins explains. “I think lots of girls will be able to relate to
Boo especially in this episode because she’s talking about, ‘Oh, I have
to eat healthy. The Joffrey auditions are a week away!’ All the stuff
that dancers go through mentally, crash diets and stuff that’s not
necessarily important. You find out in the end that you don’t have to be
stick skinny to be a beautiful dancer.”
There’s also more clashing between Sasha and Boo, despite the fact that they’re best friends. “Boo’s giving her the silent
treatment,” she says. “Boo doesn’t really fight. You see them come back
together and how they do it in a mature way. It’s a really good lesson
for girls in general to help deal with jealousy issues. Boo loves Sasha
as her best friend, but she’s a little jealous. Sasha’s beautiful and
talented. Boo wants to be just like her. She has to work hard for it,
and sometimes Sasha doesn’t.”
Despite the fact that Sutton Foster‘s Michelle has started to take the four girls under her wing, Boo has a closer connection with dance studio matriarch Fanny (Kelly Bishop). “I think in a way Fanny relates to Boo more,” Jenkins says. “I think that’s part of why she’s so stand-offish to Boo, because she sees how much Boo wants it, but she know she doesn’t have the classically right body for it — not that she’s a bad dancer, just that most people overlook her. You kinda see that in Episode 4 when Fanny says something sweet about Boo in the show.”
It’s strange to look at Jenkins speak about her atypical body, since she’s lean and graceful and athletic, but the ballet world is different. “Bunheads” strikes down some of ballet’s accepted stereotypes, she says, because although the dancers have different body types, they’re dancing because they love it and that’s all that matters.
“You can be beautiful and fantastic and passionate about your dancing [without looking a certain way]. That’s all that really matters in the end, because in the end who wants to watch someone who’s just dancing? Maybe for a while you can watch them put their leg up — wow — but if they have no feeling, passion or artistry, then you’re watching nothing. You’re just watching technique. It’s not what dancing is about.”
She continues: “Dance is about artistry, beauty, and telling a story or emoting a feeling. That’s where dance is really important. People, I feel, would much rather watch that than someone who can bend their leg up. I mean, that’s still cool, don’t get me wrong — but you don’t have to do that to be a beautiful dancer.”
“Bunheads” airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on ABC Family.