Commercial Standout Justine Lutz on Her Most Embarrassing Dance Moments and Her Dance Idols

Photo by Dave Brewer, courtesy Lutz

Commercial dancer Justine Lutz's raw, emotional contemporary performances have helped her take the L.A. scene by storm. Lutz started dancing at the age of 3 in her hometown of Plymouth, MN. Later, she attended Loyola Marymount University and worked as an assistant for The PULSE On Tour before moving to L.A. in 2013. Since then, she's performed on TV shows, including "Glee," "Liv & Maddie," and "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," and has worked with loads of music industry greats, including Taylor Swift, Kesha, Ariana Grande, Kelly Clarkson, and P!nk. Read on for The Dirt!

If you were a superhero, what would your special power be?

Teleportation! Go wherever, whenever!

If you could work with any choreographer, who would it be?

Rich + Tone. They are so raw and are masterminds.

Do you have any bad dance habits?

I forget a lot of times to roll out after a show. I skip to icing my knees.

What are your pet peeves?

Smacking when eating, moving to other lanes without blinking, and people on their phones while out to eat.

What performer would you drop everything to go see?

Banks. She's so rad as an artist.

What did you want to be when you were a kid?

I wanted to travel the world and buy/sell paintings.

What would you be if you weren't a dancer?

I would work in visual communications and design.

Do you have any hidden talents?

Jewelry making. I create rings and bracelets.

What's your favorite book?

The Four Agreements, by Miguel Ruiz

Who's your dance crush?

Wade Robson. Even when he's marking, it's magical!

Do you have any guilty pleasures?

When in new cities, I go to at least 2 to 3 coffee shops a day.

What dance item can you not live without?

Kneepads—a must!

What's the last thing you do before you go to bed?

Soak in a tub with lavender Epsom salt and candles.

What's your best advice for young dancers?

Trust yourself! Develop that inner strength and perseverance. Continue to learn, implement, and expand. Open ears, open heart, and open mind.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Bora Bora, in a villa above the water.

Who can always make you laugh?

My grandpa (Rampa). Every day it's something new.

What's one food you can't live without?

Avocado toast.

Do you have any nicknames?

My family calls me Bean, my friends call me J, and people that don't know me call me Justin, ha!

Who would play you in a movie?

Jennifer Lawrence. She's unconventional. She stands in her truth and goofiness off-camera.

Have you had any embarrassing moments onstage?

I wear clip-in extensions for performances, and this one time it completely came out! It caught on one of my fingers and it ripped the whole track out.

Who's your dance role model?

Brian Friedman <3 He does it all! He continues to stay open and evolves throughout the years. He sees every single detail and is efficient as a creator. 100 percent respect.

What's the most-played song on your playlist?

"Got It Good," by Kaytranada (ft. Craig David).

What's your most-watched TV show?

It's a tie. "How to Get Away with Murder" and "Black Mirror."

What's your favorite dance movie?


Where do you feel the happiest?

Cabin/lake—Minnesota life.

What's your go-to stress reliever?


What's your biggest fear?

Not living out my fullest potential as a human being.

What are you most nervous about?

Dance injuries—ice is my friend.

A version of this story appeared in the September 2018 issue of
Dance Spirit with the title "The Dirt with Justine Lutz."

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Congratulations to Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers on their profile pages, and then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.

We also want you to get social! We'll be factoring social media likes and shares into our final tallies. Be sure to show your favorite finalist some love on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, sharing their profile pages and using the hashtag #DanceSpiritCMS.

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