Show & Tell: Jen Mateo of 'X Burlesque'


Q: "X Burlesque" is your first show?

A: Yes. I started a couple of months ago. I mean, I did recitals growing up, but, a full production show, it's my first one.

Q: How long have you been dancing?

A: Since I was 3. My mom put me in ballet, and I hated ballet for a while. Then I got into all the other kinds of styles of dancing. When I was, maybe, 13, I got into hula and Tahitian dancing, and I did that for a few years.

Q: There's one you don't usually find on a dancer's resume.

A: It was in our family. Everybody - my mom, my grandma, everybody in my family - started to do that.

Q: You also were an NFL cheerleader?

A: When I was 19 I tried out for the Oakland Raiders and I made the dance team. I was the youngest on the squad. So I cheered for them for a year and went to cosmetology school, and I had to stop dancing. It wasn't working, with just the time.

Q: You got your license?

A: Yes. I moved to L.A. right after I got my license in cosmetology. So I did that for maybe a year and a half, but I was never completely satisfied doing hair because I knew my No. 1 passion was dancing. Then I got into an accident and fractured my pelvis.

Q: What happened?

A: Somebody ran a red light while I was making a left turn and T-boned my driver's door. Actually, they said I was pretty lucky just to come out with a fractured bone.

Q: A fractured pelvis can't be good for a dancer.

A: It definitely triggered in my mind, "I'll never be able to dance like I used to, or ever again." When I went through my therapy sessions and meetings with doctors after the accident, that was always my question: Will I be able to dance again?

Q: And?

A: I definitely noticed the difference from how I used to dance. How I dance now, I'm not as agile in my left side. ... So I'm still trying to build up that strength, but it's going well.

Q: "X Burlesque" is a pretty sexy show. Was that an adjustment for you?

A: Yeah, it's way different. But it's like I found my inner sexiness, and I enjoy that a lot, actually (laughs).

Q: You should talk to the producers about adding a hula number.

A: (Laughs) We have a belly dancing routine. It's kind of the same thing.

 

Rules for posting comments

Comments posted below are from readers. In no way do they represent the view of Stephens Media LLC or this newspaper. This is a public forum. Read our guidelines for posting. If you believe that a commenter has not followed these guidelines, please click the FLAG icon next to the comment.