Disney’s new show, Shake it Up, starring Bella Thorne and Zendaya, is about two best friends (CeCe and Rocky) who land roles as background dancers on a teen dance show “Shake it Up, Chicago.” It’s got a lot of buzz, and premieres on the Disney Channel Sunday, November 7th at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT.
We sat down with the two new stars to get you the inside scoop! First we spoke to Bella Thorne, who plays Cece:
Q: Tell me about CeCe.
Bella: Well CeCe is very outgoing. She has a heart for dance. She will stop at nothing to reach any of her goals. She also has dyslexia. I’m exactly like her, except my mom is not a cop. Her mom is a cop.
Q: You have dyslexia in real life. You have great grades, so you obviously learned how to overcome this. How do you do it?
Bella: I read a lot of books every single night. Even when I didn’t have a book in my hand, I was reading either the cereal box, or driving by in a car, I was reading the posters – all of the stuff on the walls and everything you passed by. It really helps to be able to read every second. I wanted to be an actress so bad, so I started reading scripts. That’s what really helped me push myself to learn. As an actress, you have to be able to read because sometimes we have cold reads and they just give you a script on the spot.
Q: What’s the best part of being in Shake It Up?
Bella: Being able to dance with great friends and being able to be so close to everyone on the set.
Q: Did you know any of your co-stars before you got the show?
Bella: Yes, I knew Kenton Duty. He plays Gunther. He plays my arch-rival, and we’re just so close. We’re such good friends.
Ratha: Good to know! So when they look like they can’t stand each other, they’re really just utilizing their acting skills.
Q: What’s your dressing room like? Did you decorate it yourself?
Bella: Yes, I did. I was the first one to decorate my room. And it’s pink and black – the walls are pink and black. I’ve got a bean bag that says Bella on it, which is so cool! And a lot of pictures of my family and friends. I have a frog in my room.
Q: A real frog?
Bella: Yes, a real frog. Her name is Señorita. And she had a Señor, but he didn’t make it.
Ratha: I guess he couldn’t handle the fame.
Q: What book would you recommend to a friend?
Bella: The Ghost Girl series (for ages 12 and up). Oh, and The 39 Clues!
Ratha: Awesome picks!
Q: When you were younger did you want to be anything other than an actress?
Bella: I wanted to be a news telecaster. Other than acting, it was the news for me. I don’t know why.
Q: What’s your favorite thing to do when you have time off, when you’re not working or in school? Bella: Reading. Still reading, I’m telling you. Reading and dance!
Ratha: Great combo!
Then we spoke to Zendaya, the TV newcomer who plays Rocky:
Q: Did you take dance classes when you were young?
Zendaya: When I was eight, I was in a hip hop dance troupe called Future Shock Oakland (California). It really helped me understand choreography and how to move my body. Then I also did Hula, which is kind of the opposite of hip hop, but it was really fun, and it helped me with my body’s fluidity.
Ratha: That will come in handy if you take a vacation to Hawaii!
Q: Is there any style of dance that you prefer?
Zendaya: A mixture of hip hop pop – which is actually kind of what we do on the show. It’s really fun and upbeat. Like if you’re in the living room watching it on TV, you’re gonna want to get up and start dancing with us.
Q: What’s the schedule like for the show’s dance choreography?
Zendaya: Well, some episodes we don’t have any dancing and some episodes we have a lot of dancing. It varies on the episode. But when we do have a lot of dancing we have dance rehearsals with our choreographer, Rosero McCoy, who’s actually from Camp Rock the Final Jam, which is really cool.
Ratha: Not a bad job to have!
Zendaya: Sometimes we don’t have very much time to learn the choreography but when we have little time we just keep going over and over and over again and just work it into our bodies, kind of like muscle memory!
Q: You have a huge background in theatre. Was it hard to adapt to television?
Zendaya: It wasn’t too bad but it’s definitely a complete difference from theatre and television! With our show, we have live tapings, and it kind of resembles being onstage at a theatre.
Q: Describe Rocky.
Zendaya: She’s shy, but I just love how warm and kind and generous she is. Her goals in life are to help people, and to dance. She’s a really wonderful girl. I would love to be friends with her.
Q: Do you have an all time favorite book that you would recommend?
Zendaya: Actually there is a book that I read in fifth grade called So B. It. It’s such a good book. I’m not gonna give it away too much but it’s just about this girl and she has a pretty tough life. Her mom has a mental disability and so it’s kind of about her growing up and trying to find out who she is. It’s a really great book and I love it so much.
Q: If you could play a character in a novel, who would it be?
Zendaya: That’s a tough choice. I think the character of the girl in So B. It because it has these funny moments and she’s a really funny quirky girl, but sometimes it has drama moments. So it kind of has comedy and drama at the same time – my two favorite aspects of acting.
And there you have it! Will you be watching the show? Let us know in the Comments!
—Ratha, Stacks Writer