I have EXCITING ventures ahead! I’m super protective of my work, so I’m sorry not to share! I understand how important it is for people to stay connected. I encourage people to follow me on IG and TikTok (@jaslorenmorr), and stay tuned for my official website reveal!
Jasmine Morrison of Lizzo’s #WOFTBG Shares Her Story and Speaks on Upcoming Tour
Heave you tuned in yet???????? – On March 25, 2022 Amazon Prime released a new TV Series called “Lizzo’s Watch Out For The Big Grrrls” and we had to catch up with the movement!
The Show celebrates curvy dancers and women, for them to own their true power and beauty; showing up for themselves and the entire curvy community!
We’ve had the pleasure and honor to chop it up with one of Lizzo’s Big Grrrls and life-long dancer/performer, Jasmine Morrison, and here’s what she had to share:
Tell us a little about your dance journey and how it all began?
I grew up in the 90’s in Hollis, Queens, home of legends like RUN DMC and LL Cool J. My parents were in the music industry; my father was a DJ, touring with Def Jam, and my mother was a singer and model. We had a recording studio in the basement, and my father would always play music loudly. My nick name was “Honey Bunny” because I used to dance around the house whenever I heard music. My dance journey started with a seed that was planted by my mother, when she told me I was going to dance school. I took my first dance class at the age of 8 at a local school in Queens Village, but it wasn’t the right fit for me. Then, my mother found DeVore Dance Center in Hollis, Queens, and it wasn’t until age 11 during my first ballet class that I knew this was my life’s passion. I’ve trained in hip hop (pop and locking, funk, groove, and freestyling), street jazz, tap, jazz, ballet, modern, West African dance, and lyrical, but hip hop is where I can express myself best.
As an adolescent I faced social challenges, like being bullied and teased. I once had to fight for my life I’m a local train station by my school, after two girls attacked me. I used to get teased for how I dressed, for the shape of my body, and my facial features. Even though it took a toll on my emotional health, my experiences made my passion for dance grow. Being bullied was a blessing in disguise, because my confidence, drive, passion, and talent for dance grew.
In my early 20’s I made a vow that I wasn’t going to let anyone f*ck with me, but that I’d continue to be kind. I knew my personality was strong, and being mindful of that allowed me to build long-lasting relationships. My mentor, owner of DDC, appointed me as the creative director of her first youth dance team, Project DeVore. She taught me the business side of being a dance studio owner. Then, I was asked to join a dance company owned by one of the dance teachers at the school. He appointed me as the secretary of the group. Then, I was referred to join a all-female dance company, by a friend who was in my dance class at DDC. I learned that being bullied pushed me to be a stronger person and have discernment. I pushed myself to gravitate towards accomplished and driven people, instead of people who would try to bring me down.
In my mid 20’s I’d have performed all over New York City, in live shows, television, music videos, and more! In addition to clubs, lounges, and live performances facilitated by my dance school, I performed on BET’s 106&Park three times, winning twice in the wild Out Wednesday competition. I auditioned and made into the first Hop Hop performance in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, I became a dance instructor at multiple dance studios and schools! I was booking so much, gaining traction, and being referred for more jobs and gigs. I found my niche and I vowed to never give up on myself. Dance became the vehicle to grow my faith in God. I thought to myself, “if God keeps blessing me with this way, I must be worthy”. No one was going to stop me from making my dreams come true, no matter how hard they tried… not even myself.
What excites and inspires you about the art of dance?
I have so much respect for this art. Dance is one of the most creative outlets to tell stories, which always ends up inspiring and empowering people. I’m committed to it because it’s the reason why I’m alive. As a teenager I faced depression, and Dance saved me.
When I was scared, I danced and became fearless. When I cried from emotional stress, I danced and felt relief. When I had a break up, I’d listen to music and choreographed movement, which healed me. Dance is my healer, and it owes me nothing. I owe dance to continue its healing purpose.
What was the process like, being casted for Lizzo’s “Watch Out For The Big Grrrls!”?
The process for being casted was so much fun! It was also long and challenging! I was on the phone with my friend when I received a message from a woman in my Instagram DM. I told my friend I would call her back since I could see it was long message. This woman introduced herself as a talent scout, and invited me to speak to her about Lizzo’s new show in the works. We spoke for a while on the phone, as I aired out my entire life’s work and messy personal life. Days later I received an email by the production company, asking me to answer a ton of questions on the website. I also submitted a short dance video with a dramatic opening statement. Then, I moved on to the next round which required me to learn a routine, perform it, and submit it. I made it to the next round! The last few rounds were more dance videos, and you can tell they were getting down to a few girls because their responses were quicker than usual.
I remember, the week of July 16, my birthday, I was waiting for the casting crew to send communication, or an update from my last video. I planned a birthday bash for me on July 17th, and I knew I was going to get hammered and sleep in my hotel room afterwards! Also, I had an early morning video shoot that I was booked for. I was going to party, take an aspirin, go to sleep, and wake up to work. The day before my birthday bash, I got an email from the casting team, as they requested that I learn another dance combo, but it had to be submitted by July 18th by the afternoon! I freaked out! I thought to myself, “how am I going to party, and shoot in the morning, and make this deadline for the submission!?”. I figured it out, though! As planned, I had so much at my party, tequila shots and all! Then, around 12am, I went to my hotel room, drank some water, changed my clothes into costume, and learned that dance combination! My friends helped me record it in the hallway of the hotel, and I submitted the video around 2am! I also woke up in time and was early for my video shoot! Nothing gets in the way of my passion.
What was it like working with Lizzo?
I wish we spent more time together, but from the moments we filmed on set, Lizzo was an encouraging woman.
How did you feel, being on a new TV show that celebrates curvy women and dancers?
Filming a reality show that celebrates bodies like mine, was like being apart of a society that the world knew about, but didn’t understand. It felt like a secret mission and a quarantine operation, all in one. I felt so proud and humble to share a space with women who faced similar battles as me. I remember seeing the girls for the first time. I said to myself, “WOW! These women are gorgeous and talented, just like me!” I was apart of a mission deeper than dance. I enjoyed rehearsals the most. In circles like this, I’m a professional first, and I don’t play about my passion. We were breaking stereotypes with our midriffs showing, sweat dripping, bodies moving fiercely, all while dancing full out together. It was lovely seeing the dynamic between all of us in rehearsals.
What was your experience like on the show?
My personal mission was to secure a spot on tour, and although I didn’t, I’m still a professional dancer and mother. This isn’t the first door that has closed on me and it won’t be the last. I’m a firm believer in my faith in God and His plan for me. No matter what happened in the house, I’m receiving huge blessings because of this platform. I’m so grateful to have contributed to the change in how the dance industry views plus size women.
What were some of your biggest challenges and takeaways?
My biggest challenge was getting out of my own head. I struggled with the concept of being deserving of my spot on the show because of one comment made by Lizzo. During the feedback portion of the marching band challenge, and this didn’t make it on the show, Lizzo complimented my performance, but mentioned that she didn’t connect with me. I struggled with this throughout filming because as a professional, I know how important it is for artists to connect with their dancers. The whole point of us being here is to make it on tour with her, so when she said this to me, I discouraged myself. My takeaway from this situation is, I’m never going to dim my light. It’s important for me to stay grounded in who I am and not easily be moved. After I was sent home, I received therapy, and vowed to continue to be the best version of myself, even if that means someone won’t like me because of it.
Who were some of the dancers you connected with most?
If you watch closely, you’ll see Syd and me are always sitting next to each other. That’s my homie!
What’s something most people don’t know about you that you’d like fans to know?
What people don’t know about me is I’m a testimony of resilience. I’m a compassionate leader, and a woman of God, who doesn’t allow my mistakes to stop me from following my dreams. My adolescence was pretty challenging. I’ve been bullied, sexually assaulted, and teased about what makes me unique. Figuratively, even when carrying this weight on me, I still spread love wherever I went. I faced a lot of trauma as a young, Black girl, and I fought my anger using dance as a vehicle. Dance saved my life.
I promised myself I would never be a victim, and I buried myself in my talent. I stayed teachable, learning the business side of dance. No matter what happened to me, I believed in myself and never gave up on my dream.
I’m a mother of two beautiful girls. Motherhood is so important to me because it’s making me a better woman, and giving me purpose in life. When I have a bad day, all I have to do is look at my children, or speak to their father, and I feel whole again. Because of them, I’ve learned what unconditional love is.
There’s so much more to my story, about my journey, and motherhood than I can’t fit in this article.
What’s next for you? How can we stay connected?
I’m currently touring my performance workshop now! Please visit starlegacyworkshop.eventbrite.com to get your ticket!