Long before her fist-pumping days in Seaside Heights, "Jersey Shore" star Deena Nicole Cortese was already causing a commotion over her suggestive dance-floor skills. On the latest installment of MTV's "When I Was 17," the reality TV newcomer reminiscences about her dirty-dancing antics.
"When I was 17, I quit cheerleading and started dancing," Deena says on Saturday's episode. "It was great because me and my one girlfriend were the captains of it, and we were, like, making up the dance moves. We got to pick out our outfits and I got to show my dance moves off. It kind of brought my music into the dance team."
With her newfound creative freedom, the New Jersey native whipped up a sassy dance routine. But the high school's staff wasn't too impressed with Deena's choreography. "I remember making up this crazy dance move, like sexy moves, you know, like shaking your butt," she admits. "Everybody was sitting there like, 'Oh my God, where did that come from?' "
Childhood friend Jaimie also remembers the controversy. "Our small town wasn't ready for the dance moves that came out of Deena's mind, and definitely made the teachers raise an eyebrow of what was going on," she says.
Despite the reaction of the faculty, the self-proclaimed "Energizer Bunny" says she really never understood why her routine was such a big deal.
"[The teachers] were like, 'Are they allowed to dance like that?' I'm thinking to myself, 'Yeah, we can dance like this,' " the reality starlet recalls. "It's allowed. I'm not showing any boob or anything, it's OK — God, open your windows," she laughs at the memory. "There's a lot out there."
"When I Was 17" — this week featuring Deena Cortese and Patrick Stump — premieres Saturday at 11 a.m. ET on MTV.