ennie Pegouskie works a day job as the marketing manager for Foster Realty, but when she’s away from the office, she tours with mega superstars Macklemore and Ryan Lewis as an official Macklorette dancer. Pegouskie opens up about what touring with the Grammy-winning duo is like, how she got the gig and how she maintains the energy for it all.
Reflections magazine: What is in the job description of a Macklorette?
Jennie Pegouskie: The Macklorettes bring a fun and exciting energy to the stage. Every show, the ladies and I make it our goal to connect with the audience. Each city and audience is different, but they have at least one thing in common, they came to see a show. It’s our mission night in and night out to make their experience memorable.
RM: How long have you been a Macklorette, and how did you land such a fun gig?
JP: I started working with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis in the spring of 2013. I was invited to audition for their headlining show at Sasquatch last May. It’s been a fun year!
RM: Can you give us an idea of what’s it’s like to work with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis?
JP:Incredible. With each tour and show, I have had the opportunity to learn more about them as people. Together, they’re pretty hilarious—always joking around and making light of every situation, never taking themselves too seriously. The touring group as a whole rounds up to be about 22 people. It’s been amazing getting to know all of them.
RM: Do you have a favorite memory or two from touring with the group?
JP: There are so many great memories. I would have to say my favorite was night three at the Key Arena. For months my parents insisted on not coming to the concert. After a while, I no longer asked them. It got to the point where I was nearly begging them to come. With night one and two done, night three was pretty emotional for everyone. We were back in our hometown, about to perform the last show of The Heist World Tour. As I finished getting ready for the show, my best friends called me and asked me to meet them at will call. As I approached the windows, my friend jumped out of line to give me a huge hug. I hadn’t seen her in months. I looked past her shoulder and there in line stood my mom and dad, grinning from ear to ear. I had to hold back tears.
RM: When did you start dancing? How old were you?
JP: I have always loved to dance. I remember being a little girl, no older than five years old, wanting to be the entertainment everywhere we went. My parents enrolled me in a few gymnastics classes and my elementary school had an after-school extracurricular program that incorporated both gymnastics and dance. We would perform locally and I loved it. When I got to high school, I decided to try out for the dance team. Luckily, I made the team and went on to choreograph and become captain. Going into college, I began to train in Seattle at Westlake Dance Center.
RM: Have you worked with any other big artists or artists you found particularly interesting or inspiring?
JP: I have had the honor to work with Daniel Cruz and Kolanie Marks. Both Cruz and Marks are respectable and accomplished choreographers. As a mentor, Cruz is known to work with and help develop young dancers into incredible and successful industry dancers. His pupils have gone on to dance for Rhianna, Justin Bieber, Pharrell and many others. Marks has had incredible success with training children into hard working, disciplined and dedicated dancers as well.
RM: When did you get involved in Twisted Elegance?
JP: I joined Twisted in the winter of 2008.
RM: Can you explain more about that group and what it’s like to work with Jaret Hughes?
JP: This group is unlike any other. It really is on its own frequency. Each movement is fast paced and perfectly matched with the words and rhythm of the music. The members are all hardworking and catch on to choreography quickly. Jaret is an incredible choreographer, always coming up with new concepts and ideas. He strives for excellence in all his pieces and is always well prepared for rehearsals. I look up to Jaret and respect him and his teaching methods.
RM: You also have a day job as a marketing manager. How do you find all the time and energy?
JP: You know, I’m not sure. I just do. Both of these aspects of my life are things I work hard at and truly enjoy. Rarely do they feel like jobs.
RM: What are your future goals in terms of dancing and performance art?
JP: I hope to mentor someone one day. I can remember every instructor, teacher and mentor I have ever had, no matter how big or small their role was along my journey. Their impact on me did not go unnoticed.
RM: How would you describe the dancing community here in Seattle?
JP: The dance community in Seattle is a tight-knit and supportive group of people. Many of them have trained together since they were children. Those same people can meet someone new in a studio as adults and welcome them with open arms. They will gladly answer questions and give their time to help someone new to the community reach their next goal. It’s quite amazing, actually—and I’ve seen this happen numerous times. I am a result of the community opening its arms to me.
RM: Where are you currently teaching aside from the Bellevue Club?
JP: Between my job and being a touring dancer, I have only recently found the time to hold my own class. I hope to hold more classes and private lessons in the future.
RM: Are there any other interesting facts about you and your career that you’d like to share with our readers?
JP: When I am not at work as a marketing manager, I am spending quality time with my close ones, training and rehearsing with the Macklorettes or traveling and performing shows.
➸ Follow Jennie on Instagram: @missjpeg
Classes for Youth
Kids ages 12 to 15 years old can sign up to learn new dance moves from Pegouskie. She is teaching classes at the Bellevue Club on June 26, July 17 & 31. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.