Moesha Perez, 24, has a bubbly personality that translates beautifully in her dancing which she’s been doing since she was 2 and the basis for her entry into reality television. The Bronx-born dancer is a competitor on Grammy-award-winning singer, Lizzo’s, brand-new reality show Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls on Prime Video. The unscripted series features 10 talented, curvy dancers move in together to train and compete to be a part of body-positive icon’s upcoming world tour. Lizzo discussed the show during SXSW earlier this month sharing that it’s been a passion project for since 2014 having been in an industry where so few dancers look like her. This competition is meant to change that and Perez and the other contestants are part of a shift that Lizzo is aiming for when it comes to the cattiness and drama typical of reality TV show competitions.
“It was important that I changed the narrative of what a reality competition television show looks like,” Lizzo said. “We don’t have to pit people against each other. … It’s hard enough in the dance world for girls who look like me, so why would I create that environment in my space?” She later added, “This is just the beginning. I want them to shake up the industry, come in and shift the paradigm, be in demand and change the rules — and I think they’re doing that already just by existing. I’m so glad I found them, and they found me.”
Perez is up to the task and she’s got the years of experience and the confidence to make a change and we got to talk to her about her past and plans for the future.
Perez is Black and was adopted by a Puerto Rican family when she was an infant and raised in the Bronx. She first heard about the show on TikTok, not long after she suffered an ankle injury that forced her to re-learn not just how to walk, but also how to dance. Currently she’s working as an off-Broadway stylist, costume designer, dancer, dance instructor, dresser, costume supervisor, wig designer, singer and choreographer — yes, she wears many hats. Perez tells HipLatina that she had to shut down the negative thoughts in her head, and convince herself to audition, and once she did, there was no turning back.
The show was born out of Lizzo’s experience searching for dancers to work with that look like her to no avail. She decided to take things into her own hands and attempt to create the representation she wanted to see on stage. The 33-year-old singer, rapper, and flutist pitched the idea of a reality show competition as a part of her first-look deal with Amazon Studios, and the show is now set to premiere on Friday, March 25.
The show includes Perez and nine other women who move into the Big Grrrls House and learn a 90-minute-show routine to have the opportunity to perform with the star in a live show at the end of the competition. Legendary choreographers Tanisha Scott and O.G. Big Grrrls Chawnta’ Marie Van, Shirlene Quigley, and Grace Holden are featured in the show.
Perez, who is also part of the LGBTQIA+ community, has been dancing in after-school programs before she was even eligible for them, because she was so determined to be a dancer. “I did a lot of programs when I was younger — outside of school and in school. And then, in my adult years, I trained professionally at Broadway Dance Center and all the other names that come along with it,” she says. “I was in advanced programs that wasn’t for me. I was young. The youngest in the program, because I’m like, ‘you know, I’m a dancer’ and they were like, ‘yo, you not even supposed to be here.”
Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls premieres Friday, March 25 on Prime Video