Booboo Stewart in Descendants 3 (David Bukach, courtesy Disney Enterprises, Inc.)

Booboo Stewart on the Dance-Filled "Descendants 3"

The Disney Channel's Descendants movies have been fan favorites since the original's premiere back in 2015, thanks to their huge musical numbers and powerful storylines. Following the lives of the children of four notorious Disney villains, the films are chock-full of talented dancers. (Those dancers include Cameron Boyce, whose untimely death last month devastated fans around the world.)

Ahead of the Descendants 3 premiere tonight, we talked to Booboo Stewart, who plays Jay—aka the son of Aladdin's Jafar—about growing up dancing with Boyce, what it's been like to get back to his dance roots, and his love for director/choreographer Kenny Ortega.


You studied dance pretty intensively, right?

Yes. When I first got the part in Descendants, I hadn't danced in a few years. But dancing was really my main thing for a while. I actually took classes with Cameron Boyce when we were really young, and competed at JUMP and did music videos. I recently started taking classes at Millennium Dance Complex again. Kenny Ortega is dance-world (not to mention Disney Channel) royalty.

What was it like to work with Ortega on "Descendants 3"?

Working with Kenny is probably my favorite thing about the Descendants films. He's such a magical person, and he has such a creative mind. He'll walk into the room and change one little thing, and you'll be like, "Oh, yep. That is so much better."

What's your favorite number from the movie, and which one was most challenging for you?

My favorite and most challenging are one and the same: "Good to Be Bad." That song is awesome! It was definitely the hardest dance piece to learn, and also probably took the longest to film because there are so many different sections of the song. But Jamal Sims, who choreographed the number with Kenny, is a groove master—he came up with the grooviest moves that made it all work.

Click here to donate to the Cameron Boyce Foundation, established in Boyce's memory to provide resources for young creatives.

Latest Posts


Viktorina Kapitonova in "Swan Lake Bath Ballet" (photo by Ryan Capstick, courtesy Corey Baker Dance)

Please Enjoy the Quarantine Genius of “Swan Lake Bath Ballet”

That old saying about limitations breeding creativity—hat tip to Orson Welles—has never felt more relevant than in these lockdown days. Here's the latest brilliant dance project born (hatched?) of quarantine restrictions: "Swan Lake Bath Ballet," a contemporary take on the classic featuring 27 A-list ballet dancers performing from their own bathtubs.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Project 21 dancers (from left) Selena Hamilton, Gracyn French, and Dyllan Blackburn (Photo by Quinn Wharton; hair and makeup throughout by Angela Huff for Mark Edward Inc.)

How Project 21 Is Shaping the Next Generation of Competition-Dance Standouts

"I wish I had a better story about the name," says Molly Long, founder of the Orange County, CA–based dance studio Project 21. In truth, it's a play on the fact that she was born on the twenty-first of August, and 21 is her favorite number. "I was away on a teaching tour, the audition announcement was going live on Instagram the next day, and I desperately needed a name. Project 21 was just the least cheesy of the options I thought of!"

The fact that fans might expect the name to have some profound meaning speaks to the near-mythic status Project 21 has achieved on the competition and convention scene since its founding in 2014. Long's dancers are all wholly individual, yet jell seamlessly as a group, and are consistently snagging top prizes everywhere on the circuit. Each season brings a slew of new accolades, high-caliber faculty, and legions of devoted followers.

The industry has taken notice of the studio's unique ethos. "Molly gets through to her dancers in a special way, and they have this incomparable level of commitment to their craft as a result," says dancer and choreographer Billy Bell, who's worked closely with Long and her dancers. "That's what sets them apart—it's like a little dose of magic."

Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks

contest
Enter the Cover Model Search