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Falcons cheerleader lands role in Nick Cannon movie

Phil W. Hudson, Staff Writer
Atlanta Business Chronicle
September 2, 2014

Second-year Atlanta Falcons Cheerleader and Lithonia, Ga., native Jasmine Cooper will be the principal dancer in the upcoming VH1 television movie “Drumline: A New Beat.”

The follow-up to the 2002 movie “Drumline,” which starred Nick Cannon, tells the story of a rebellious upper-class girl from Brooklyn who defies the odds by becoming Atlanta A&T’s drumline’s first female section leader while revitalizing the marching band.

During her childhood, Cooper trained in ballet, jazz, tap, modern and funk at Decatur, Ga.-based Conservatory of Dance and Fine Arts.

According to the Falcons, Cooper went to college at the historically black university Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Fla. At B-CU, she first auditioned to be part of the marching band and made the auxiliary section known as the 14 Karat Gold Dancers.

In summer 2010, after graduating from B-CU, Cooper went on a month-long tour in Japan with “Drumline Live,” the stage production based off of the original movie. While traveling through Japan, rumors of the second movie began to surface.

It would be another four years before Cooper would audition for the role. During those four years, Cooper was part of the performance “Drumline Live,” at halftime for the New York Knicks vs.Brooklyn Nets game in December 2012. Soon after she tried out for the Atlanta Falcons Cheerleaders and landed a spot on the squad in 2013 as a rookie, and again as a second-year veteran for the 2014 season.

Cooper credits the Falcon’s cheerleader tryouts in helping to prepare for the movie auditions.

“It was almost like the AFC (Atlanta Falcons Cheerleaders) auditions; there were hundreds and hundreds of girls,” Cooper said in a statement. “I think there were actually more girls at this audition than there were at AFC this year.”

More than 300 women tried out for a spot on the 14-member dance team, seven of which make up the fictional Atlanta A&T Dancers. After day one, directors cut the number of girls down to 200, and after the second and final day that included two final cuts, they dropped the number of dancers down to 25.

Cooper learned she made the Atlanta A&T team a week after completing the audition process. She also learned the directors wanted a more personal team and cut 11 additional dancers to make a final total of 14, the Falcons reported.

The movie will air in October on VH1.

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