People who allow their passion to swallow them whole are our kind of people, and dance is the all-consuming fixation of our new Closet, Jasmine Croissant. "I've tried to run away from it, but I can't," she told us as she let it rip for our cameras (just like her tights that have been torn 1000 times) on the deck of her enchanted treehouse. So immersed in her calling, Jasmine sometimes has trouble recollecting what exactly went down in a performance, like the time she became "animalistic" and wanted to grab one of her fellow dancer's "tits": "I totally left my body. I felt like a beast. I just got really wild."
Maybe even more than passion, we love those who don't consider themselves fashionable (i.e Jasmine) but who kill it with a raw originality that would send the paparazzi flashing (should she care). Her teased, Rasta-meets-beehive hair has so much style that it alone can make a flannel shirt, voluminous Guatemalan skirt, and her husbands motorcycle boots look rad. Jasmine explains that her mom -- a 60s North African sculptor from the Earthworks movement who raised her in the Malibu canyons with no curfew and animals everywhere (we just went back to LA and shot her last week and she's sick sick sick) -- never shoved anything down her throat, which explains a lot, including how abandoned Jasmine is in a leprechaun-circus jumpsuit with hooker heels. "My mom was a wildcat who just down-poured love," Jasmine's proud to say. "I could've have been a lawyer or a prostitute, and she would have had my back."
A self-described "coyote" when it comes to authority, Jasmine stands out, not just for rocking a bubblegum-pink baggy dress that makes her look like a wedding cake, but for guiding women toward the path of confidence instead of self-hatred. In her dance classes, by teaching 40-year-olds to pick their eyes off of the floor and face themselves in the mirror, Jasmine has empowered females to embrace themselves. She herself wears a size 13 shoe, knows what it's like to be told she's fat by her modeling agency, and to grow up in LA staring at billboards of skinny girls in G-strings. But the openness of abstract and African dance turned Jasmine's world inside out and upside down by accepting women's bodies of countless shapes and sizes. "The hottest thing to me isn't the way a person's body looks," states Jasmine, "it's how they move and hold it. If you can own your body and weigh 400 pounds, then own it."
Impossible to pigeonhole Jasmine into any one standard, she once shaved her head as a way to see what would happen to the catcalls and her sexuality once her luscious locks ceased to define her. "I could walk down the street in a red dress and people still thought I was a man," she told us. "It was weird yet very liberating." For her current beauty regime, she ritualistically paints dots on her face to express the duality between looking sad and happy at the same time (in addition to taking a grounding moment every morning to add a dot to one side or the other for balance in her life). Darkness is not something that Jasmine was afraid to open up about with us, and she bares all regarding a bleak depression that followed a debilitating back injury. The experience reacquainted her with the importance of pure, childlike contemplation (instead of America's doing-doing-doing ethos). Returned to her full health, the zen "hotsy" in a flowery Latin dress continues to stay grounded (despite her tendency to be in the clouds) while swinging on her swing overlooking the tree tops.
Check out the website for Jasmine's dance company, Wife
Jasmine was shot, photographed, & interviewed by Elisa & Lily
Jasmine's video was edited by Ximena Borges
The song is "Against the Wall" by Marlon Rabenreither