Since 2014, TV audiences have followed The Dancing Dolls of Jackson, Miss. from one epic dance battle to the next on the Lifetime reality show, “Bring It.” The hip-hop majorettes have become one of the most popular dance troupes in the country. Alongside this group of talented young ladies has emerged an unexpected star, J.J. Williams.
The divorced father of three girls, all of whom have participated on the dance team, Williams’ fun-loving personality and down-home Southern charm makes him a fan favorite on the reality show. “You might as well get ready cause the new season is coming out and I’m on about six or seven episodes,” he says with his signature Southern twang. “Let me tell you…you’re going to trip out.” While it’s obvious that this doting dad is far from bashful, a well-kept secret among the show’s producers and crew is Williams’ special talent for cooking. “That’s why they love filming at my home,” he says, “I throw down in the kitchen.”
His love for preparing large meals began out of necessity but quickly blossomed into a passion. “Daddy’s babies love to eat,” he jokes. “Raising three girls, you got to get in there and learn how to cook or else you’re going to go broke trying to feed them.” With an impressive mastery of several Southern food staples, the dish that Williams’ is most known for is his signature spaghetti or “sketti” as he calls it.
“Don’t nobody cook “sketti” like I cook it. They all come out of the woodwork when I hook it up,” he says. “My momma comes around, my sisters, my brothers, everybody wants some.” What’s the secret to this memorable spaghetti? If you ask Williams he’ll tell you it’s “heart and soul.” “See, when you’re cooking, there’s a difference between just putting ingredients together and taking the time out to season it to your taste and cook it with love,” he says. “It [love] adds to the flavor. You can taste the soul in it.”
With his oldest daughter, Sunjai Williams attending college on a dance scholarship, Williams continues to support his twins Star and Sky as they follow in their big sister’s footsteps on the show. A successful entrepreneur, Williams uses his flexible schedule to support his girls by taking them back and forth to practice and showing up to support them at their events. Given his big heart and endearing nature, it’s easy to see how Williams became a reality TV breakout star. Still, with or without the cameras, Williams considers fatherhood his most prized role. “Daddy loves his babies,” he says. “It’s a blessing to see their dreams come true.”
Photo credit: Michael McNeil