Immediately after winning the fifth season of So You Think You Can Dance, Jeanine was met with press and photographers. “I felt like I had just been bust out of my normal life and thrown onto some Hollywood red carpet.” This dancer from Pinecrest, Florida isn’t jaded by all of the attention. “I am so happy to be here, I am so blessed to be here, and loving every second of it. I’m trying to take it all in.”
Even when it came down to just Jeanine and Brandon, Jeanine never expected that she was going to win. The Top 2 were excited because no matter the result, it was a win for Miami, Florida. Every week she prepared herself for the bottom three. Her goal was to make it to the Top 10 so she could go on the tour, and everything after that was icing on the cake. “It’s the greatest feeling ever to hear that people actually picked up the phone and voted for you.”
Jeanine was accepted to UCLA and will be a student there after the tour. Surprising to some people, she won’t be majoring in Dance. Instead, Jeanine is pursuing her degree in Communication Studies. “I’m definitely going to pursue a career in dancing and in acting. So I plan on taking probably three classes a semester so I have more time for auditions and hopefully jobs.” If the dance and acting career doesn’t work out for her, Jeanine hopes to use her future degree to open up doors in the field of broadcast journalism. Performing in movie musicals would be a dream for Jeanine since they incorporate both dancing and acting.
When Jeanine first started dancing, she wasn’t very into it because she was “horrible.” With help from two patient dance teachers and a mom who had a gut feeling that Jeanine was destined to become a dancer, she continued to stick with it and blossomed into an amazing dancer. All of the help and convincing paid off – “I’m so grateful for her,” Jeanine said about her mother. From all of this, Jeanine has learned “never to give up. I need to stop doubting myself, and it took this for me to realize that, but I will never doubt myself again and I just hope people realize that it’s so worth taking a chance.”
Jeanine considers her solo that she performed during the performance finale show to be the turning point for her. “I just wanted to go out there and put on a performance that was something that would be memorable and that would touch someone and hopefully inspire just one person…So that solo was the best moment for me and finishing that turn, and having everyone standing and the judges standing – I honestly was jolted as soon as I finished it.”
During the last week of the competition, on top of general soreness, Jeanine was nursing a gash on her leg that occured during the previous week’s group number. All four dancers were battling injuries and aches, and the Top 4 dancers turned to each other for comfort.
For the new group of dancers who are getting ready to take the stage for Season 6, Jeanine offers the following advice, “Pack extra band-aids if they’re as clumsy as I am.” She also restated her mentality that got her to where she is today, “Never give up. Even in that moment when they think they’re so out of their comfort zone…they can do it and that it is so worth it in the end. Just go out there and give it your best shot.”
The next thing on Jeanine’s list is to enjoy the tour with her fellow So You Think You Can Dance Season 5 finalists. “We really have no idea what’s coming, so we’re so ready for that tour just to meet all the fans and to just see how much love we have, it’s going to be amazing.”
Congratulations, Jeanine Mason and everyone from Season 5 for a wonderful season!