It truly feels like just yesterday that Lizzo joined forces with Amazon Prime Video and sent out a call looking for plus size dancers to join her Big Grrrls dance team. She was always looking for plus size dancers to join her famous dance crew, but agencies never had them… so she had to take matters into her own hands and find them herself. In an ideal (not fatphobic) world, society wouldn’t judge you by your size, but unfortunately, it’s the reality for most fat folks in practically every field constantly overlooked and undervalued.
So Lizzo did what had to be done and created this opportunity for plus size women! These ladies competing to win a spot on Lizzo’s Big Grrrrls dance crew have incredible dance skills and are athletes in their own right. Finally, the world will be able to see just that, thanks to Watch Out For The Big Grrrrls.
What I find most notable and groundbreaking about the upcoming series is truly how positive and supportive everyone seems with one another. Very rarely do we have plus size representation in reality tv at all, and to see a show full of plus size women of all shapes and sizes doing something they are so passionate about is incredible to be able to witness.
Meet The Cast!
So, who exactly are these ten dancers starring in Lizzo’s dance competition? We got all the info for ya, so go ahead and read on for the inside scoop!
Sydney is a 24-year-old dancer from Houston, TX. She has been dancing since she was three years old and has a strong cheerleading background. Sydney is also a curve model and social media influencer, where her platform highlights body positivity and dance.
Jayla is a 33-year-old dancer from Portland, Oregon, raised in Buffalo, NY. Originally a gymnast, Jayla has been dancing since she was ten years old and has trained in 12 different dance styles, including tap, jazz, ballet, and modern. She is passionate
about making sure there is a transgender representation in dance.
Asia is a 23-year-old dancer from San Bernardino, CA, raised in Birmingham, AL. She started dancing at the age of 4, but she started taking dance seriously after the tragic loss of her father and continues to dance in his memory. She is a trained praise and majorette dancer and studied African and hip hop styles. As the former captain of the first exclusively plus sized dance team at an HBCU, The Alabama State Honeybees, Asia is a pioneer for the body positivity movement and is a strong advocate for mental health
awareness in all communities.
Jasmine is a 31-year-old dancer and mother of two from Queens, NY. She took her first dance class at the age of 8, but it wasn’t until age 11 during her first ballet class that she knew this was her life’s passion. She is trained in hip hop, street jazz, tap, jazz, ballet, modern, West African dance, and lyrical, but hip hop is where she can express herself best. Her biggest goal in life is to empower her daughters to follow their dreams and never give up on themselves.
Isabel is a 25-year-old dancer from the Bay Area, CA, and has been dancing since before she could walk. Her mother signed her up for hip-hop classes at the age of 5, and while she is trained in hip hop and contemporary dance styles, she has the strongest connection to K-pop dancing. As a longtime K-pop fan, Isabel expresses her love for the genre by posting dance covers of K-pop choreography on social media.
Arianna, also known as Ari, is a 22-year-old dancer from Indianapolis, IN. She has been a technically trained dancer since she was two years old, studying styles including ballet, tap, jazz, musical theater, lyrical, contemporary, hip hop, and modern. Arianna loves dancing because it allows her to express emotions she cannot put words to, especially after the recent loss of her grandmother to COVID. Arianna hopes to spread joy through her artistic passions. Her hobbies include painting, cooking, playing with her dog, and singing/songwriting.
Ashley is a 27-year-old dancer from Inkster, MI, trying to walk in her purpose on this Earth. Since she was five years old, she has been dancing and is trained in ballet, Cecchetti, tap, jazz, lyrical, hip hop, and flag/majorette styles. She was a majorette and Campus Queen at her HBCU, Livingstone College, and toured as a background dancer for gospel singer Kierra Sheard. She believes that no matter what size, race, age, or demographic you come from, with God, you can do anything you put your heart into.
Moesha is a 24-year-old off-Broadway stylist, costume designer, dancer, dance instructor, dresser, costume supervisor, wig designer, singer, and choreographer from Bronx, NY. Since she was just two, she has been dancing and is trained in hip hop, street jazz, and voguing. Moesha is Black and was adopted into a Puerto Rican family when she was young and has ten siblings between her adopted and biological families. She is also a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community. She wants the world to see her as a fun, unique, talented, loving, and creative individual.
Kiara is a 26-year-old dancer from Ewing, NJ. She has been dancing since the age of 2, learning traditional African dance with the Timbuktu dance company at her school, APAS (African People’s Action School). She credits her parents for her musicality as her mother was a dancer, and her father was a DJ. Kiara has trained in hip hop, contemporary afrobeat, Jersey club movement, and heels dance styles. Her hobbies include roller skating, painting, art & crafts, and creating content for her Instagram followers. Kiara is unapologetically herself and wants the world to know that her imperfections make her perfect.
Charity is a 35-year-old dance instructor and marketing account executive from Charlotte, NC. Since middle school, she has been dancing, and while she’s dabbled in various dance styles, hip hop is her favorite. Charity teaches at a local dance studio in Charlotte and founded her own plus size dance troupe, 4Thirty-Two, in 2016. The troupe has traveled and performed internationally, creating content to spread the message that plus size girls have a place in the dance world .
Curvy Confessionals with The Big Grrrls Cast!
Recently, I had the chance to chat with the cast of Watch Out For The Big Grrrls at SXSW so that you can get to know the ten talented women trying to snag a spot on Lizzo’s iconic dance team before the show officially premieres on March 25th!
How did it feel to know she was intentionally looking for confident bad-ass big girls to represent on stage?
Jayla: “Seeing somebody like Lizzo looking for somebody like me gave me hope because there’s nothing in the industry for women like us bigger-bodied women. And you know, it’s a very tough environment to work in. And the fact that she was looking for that gave us a little bit of hope. That we will be seen and shown that we’re powerful and valid, and we deserve to be onstage.”
Sydney: “I agree with Jayla as well. Like I said, there are so many industries that are kind of like hopping on the bandwagon and allowing there to be inclusivity when it comes to brands or with modeling and things like that, but I personally feel that dance is that last industry that’s really lacking the representation of curvy women, bigger or bigger bodies.
It really gave me hope as well because of my story. I danced my whole life. I cheered in high school, I danced in college, and I told myself, there’s nothing else for me after college, I’m just gonna quit dancing and get into modeling or influencing and that whole thing, so seeing Lizzo come out with this revolutionary concept was just beautiful and gave myself as well as so many other girls hope.”
Jasmine: So I’m a mom. I have two girls, a five-year-old and a three-year-old, and I was living with their father when I was applying for this. And you’ll see on the show what happens because I definitely talk about my story. But when I initially found out about this… dance saved my life again.
And I don’t want to talk about it [right now] because I just want you to have that moment when you watch me talk about it on the show. But it is a dream come true. Because I’ve always felt like I was 100% That Bitch. But people didn’t think I was, but it didn’t matter to me because I knew that I was That Bitch. You know what I’m saying?!
There were no large spaces for me to get in. I’ve been in dance companies, and those were amazing experiences, but I never got a chance to dance on stage and tour with anybody like my friends, go to festivals, be called on stage, and be that spotlighted dancer. So, this opportunity did save my life.”
What was it like, living in the Big Grrrl House together during the competition? Can you share a favorite memory or two?
Arianna: “My favorite memory in the house was when we threw a birthday party for my roomie Asia. We did a bunch of behind-the-scenes filming of it, but we set up a little slumber party situation. We got Asia’s favorite foods, and after a long day of rehearsal, we still made time to celebrate our friend.”
Ashley: “My favorite memory is … you know, at night they tell us that the cameras cut off at midnight, sooo … that’s when we were truly able to let our guards down, really just talk about ourselves and be naked!”
*everyone erupts in laughter*
These ladies are all incredible, and they are all stars in my book (and besties in my head)! I am so ready to watch the show when it premieres on Amazon Prime Video this Friday!