If you want to know what it was like to sit and talk with Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, ask Jaymz Tuaileva, because he’s done it. Want to know what it’s like to be in the Top 14 of “So You Think You Can Dance?,” ask Tuaileva, because he’s done that too. Ever wish you could perform on “Dancing with the Stars”? Ask Tuaileva yet again, because he just did that last week. Can you believe this guy? All experiences aside, the very fact that he made the cut for Michael Jackson’s final tour, “This Is It”, says enough about this talented, ambitious, and focused performer. Jaymz Tuaileva knows what he can do and has never ceased to live up to his dancing potential. TheWhatItDo found out what it took for Tuaileva to become one of the best and he didn’t hold back one bit.
Jaymz Tuaileva is proudly half Tongan and half Caucasian and one of eight children (number five to be exact) of Cindy and Joel Tuaileva. Of all the possible things that got Tuaileva to start dancing, it was a girl. Wait, wait… let me tell the story. While going with his mom to pick up his sister, Loni, from dance practice, Tuaileva noticed a cute girl.
He then told Loni to get him into her dance class so he can be closer to the cute girl, but Tuaileva says, “I ended up falling in love with dance instead of the girl.” And he hasn’t regretted it once. Tuaileva’s entire dance training was done at Center Stage in Orem under the direction of Rick Robinson (now co-director of Vibe Studios in Lindon, UT), whom Tuaileva says was instrumental in his success and a great mentor. Robinson’s influence and impact on Tuaileva and countless other dancers on and off stage is tremendous and cannot go without mention.
When he was just fifteen years old, Tuaileva booked his first motion picture, “Legally Blonde 2,” and later played a role on “High School Musical 2” as an actor and principal dancer. He is represented by Bloc Agency and has performed on many of the top dance shows on television. From a contestant on “So You Think You Can Dance?” (Season 2) to dancing with Wayne Brady for a James Brown tribute special on “Dancing with the Stars” to booking Michael Jackson’s tour and dancing for Cher and Donny and Marie Osmond, Tuaileva has built quite the resume but hasn’t lost his sense of humility and gratitude. He honestly still can’t believe how far he’s come and is grateful for every experience he’s had thus far. Tuaileva holds fast to the ideal of treating and loving everyone the same regardless of their “resume.” Such compassion may very well be the result of an upbringing, thanks to his parents, that centered on church, family, love, and respect.
At the time Tuaileva auditioned and made the cut for Michael Jackson’s “This Is It” Tour, he was dancing for Cher and was torn with the decision he faced – whom should he dance for? No-brainer, right? Not exactly. Tuaileva says that after his audition, he sat and talked with Jackson, who was strong, vibrant, and wasn’t weak at all. It comes as no surprise that Jackson was just as taken by Tuaileva’s talent as we are. Tuaileva chose to finish dancing for Cher, but Jackson still wanted Tuaileva after he was done performing with her. That’s the power in creating value in one’s abililties; Tuaileva, through focus and perseverance, has made himself valuable, wanted, and sought after – Michael Jackson was willing to WAIT to work with him. Isn’t that amazing? For Tuaileva to have had the opportunity to talk to his idol and all-time reason for dancing was THE EXPERIENCE, which alone is a testament to the outcome of passion and hard work that Tuaileva lives to the fullest. His non-stop enthusiasm and energy feeds his love for dance and keeps him on choreographers’ and celebrities’ radars… and ours, too.
Tuaileva urges those who desire a career in dance to never think it’s impossible because it is possible, never let anyone bring you down, always strive to be your best, work hard, and have balance in your life. “Everyone has a dance in their heart,” says Tuaileva and “it’s all about striving for it.” No doubt he’s refined and perfected the dance in his heart and is striving to be his best and always do more, and that’s definitely WhatItDo.
Article written by: Juliet Uata
*Photos Courtesy of Cindy Tuaileva, Center Stage Performing Arts Studios, bloggingsytycd.blogspot.com
*YouTube Videos Courtesy of Codebear4, beautifultomorrow111, IHeartZanessa13, and ino0829