Lizzo’s new Amazon reality competition show “Watch Out for the Big Grrrls” presents the art of dance in a way choreographer Tanisha Scott finds, in a word, “refreshing.”
The reality series, which premiered March 25, details Lizzo’s hunt for backup dancers to join her on her upcoming world tour. Audiences see Scott as she trains the 10 hopefuls, working through countless choreography routines.
What resonated with Scott was Lizzo’s desire to see and feel herself while she’s performing. That meant surrounding herself with plus-sized women who look just like she does and empowering them by giving them the platform of the TV show. Scott, who has worked alongside Rihanna, Beyoncé and Drake, the last on his “Hotline Bling” video, says seeing this authentic representation on screen and on stage, shattering the norm of featuring only skinny dancers, makes her feel like she can finally breathe.
The eight-part series includes a rigorous dance boot camp audition process. Scott is excited that viewers get a window onto how difficult it is to put a show together and learn choreography. “Audiences are going to see how hard these women work — how hard it is to get to do what they want to do. They are going to see the fitness, endurance, health and wellness aspect of it all, because you have to be fit,” says Scott.
In one episode, a dancer with an injury coming into the show is faced with the central question for a performer: “Is it worth pushing your body so far?” Scott says. “When you’re injured, you have to rest, [but] as cliché as it sounds, the show must go on. A dance injury is one of the worst things that could happen, because you can easily get replaced.” Continuing, however, comes with great risk.
The choreographer is grateful for the many facets the series showcases, but ultimately, she comes back to its message of empowerment — the notion that there’s no reason why anybody can’t be on stage. “Let’s freakin’ tear down this box and allow us all to dream big and go for it without having any type of parameters that allow us to pull back,” Scott declares.