Careful viewers of TODAY may have learned something new about Jill Martin this week: She used to be a dancer for MTV.
That's right — our go-to shopping expert wasn't always focused on steals and deals.
The topic came up after Duran Duran's performance on TODAY Friday, when Sheinelle Jones joked to the TODAY lifestyle and commerce contributor that she wanted to see her doing her "MTV dances." Jill confirmed that she used to be a dancer for "Club MTV," a dance show that ran from the late '80s to the early '90s, and then went on to be what she cheekily calls a "motivational dancer."
"Basically I was a hype girl," she told TODAY. "I would go to weddings and bar mitzvahs and special events, and I would just get the party going. I would wear costumes and hand out props. We would do the chicken dance, we would do the superman, we would roll it up and roll it down, four to the right and four to the left — I loved it. It kept me in shape and I was making a lot of money."
Jill also shared her not-so-secret past in a Twitter post in 2018.
She auditioned for MTV the night of her 16th birthday, standing in line overnight to get a shot.
Once she got in, she would skip high school classes to film the shows, which were taped, not live: "I was always taught it was important to work," she said.
Later she joined an entertainment group as a dancer and eventually started her own in Michigan, where she went to college.
But the gig wasn't all fun and chicken dances — Jill said the dance jobs taught her the value of hard work and earning money. They also helped her become the entertainer she is today.
"It taught me a lot about life, even now," she said. "I have a lot of faults, but I am the director of fun."
"It seems silly, but I'm so grateful," she added. "This taught me how to bring happiness and fun to people's lives. And it's good exercise!"
And yes, she still dances. "All my parties, whether it's two people or 10 people, include dancing," she said.
One thing's for sure: Whether she's hosting a party or hosting TODAY, it's sure to be a fun ride.
For more of Jill, check out her new streaming show, "Shop TODAY with Jill Martin," on TODAY All Day. Her second episode is out next week.