How Jennifer Lopez's Pole Dancing Coach Got Her in Super Bowl Shape

By Paige Strout Jun 14, 2022 6:43 PMTags
Watch: Jennifer Lopez's Pole Instructor Dishes on Super Bowl Preparations

Pole dancing coach Johanna Sapakie thought she was done working with Jennifer Lopez after the 2019 movie Hustlers...that was, until she got a call about the superstar's 2020 Super Bowl Halftime Show.

"Rehearsing for the halftime show is incredibly intense," Sapakie said on the latest episode of E! News' digital series While You Were Streaming on June14. "Everyone is very focused on exactly what needs to be done."

The singer, dancer and actress' Super Bowl performance with Shakira is the subject of the new Netflix documentary Jennifer Lopez: Halftime, which premiered June 14. And like any project Lopez tackles, Sapakie said, "She's there to do it well. She's there to kill the game. She's there to make an impression."

"When you're in the room with her," the instructor continued, "she demands and expects the same from everyone she's working with."

Fitting pole dance practice time into Lopez's busy schedule was a challenge for Sapakie. Luckily, she and the Grammy nominee found a convenient solution.

Jennifer Lopez and Celeb Friends at Halftime Premiere

"We actually installed poles into three different locations around the country for her," Sapakie shared. "We had one in her spot in Miami, in her spot in LA and in her spot in New York, and I would just go to wherever she was. So, if she had a few minutes in her day that we could fit it in, we could do it wherever."

But for as fit as the "Let's Get Loud" singer already was, it took a lot of preparation to get her to the level of her Hustlers character, professional pole dancer Ramona.

"You can't just start doing it out of nowhere," said Sapakie. "There is a lot of learning and conditioning that goes along with being able to do all of these extremely athletic movements."

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

As for the hardest move Lopez learned to tackle for her memorable Hustlers routine? Inverting, which Sapakie describes as "turning upside down, where you're just holding on with your hands, and you flip your entire body upside down."

"[Lopez] was like, ‘You need to see my face while I'm doing that move so people know it's me, that's there's no body double,' and there wasn't," Sapakie recalled. "We worked a lot on making sure she could do that well. You could see that she was at the level that we all knew she could be."

And the hard work certainly paid off.

Check out the full episode above, and be sure to follow E! News on Twitter so you don't miss new episodes of While You Were Streaming.

Jennifer Lopez: Halftime is available to stream now on Netflix.

Watch the latest episode of E!'s While You Were Streaming Friday, Nov. 11, at 9 a.m. PT on Twitter @enews.