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Heather Morris, who plays naive cheerleader Brittany S. Pierce on Glee, is only 24 years old -- but she's already experienced life-changing grief: her father died when she was 14.
"It made me grow up in a different way," she says in the November issue of Seventeen. "My mom and I are really close because of it, so I'm glad I have a good relationship with her, but I definitely went through a lot of phases."
Morris says her father's death helped push her to keep practicing and eventually become a professional dancer.
"At times, I didn't care at all and I went to school in my pajamas and I cried," she recalls. "But then I cut it out and I focused on my dancing. I was in dance class all the time."
The new Seventeen cover girl's dedication eventually landed her a lucrative gig as one of Beyonce Knowles' back-up dancers for her concert tour.
"Beyonce was just always full-out. She's like a beast," Morris tells Seventeen. "There were ten dancers -- four guys and six girls -- including me, on the Beyonce tour. Sometimes we would go out with her to events. She was really normal -- just like everybody else!"
Maybe Morris will be able to use her own experiences to help comfort grieving Glee costar Charice Pempengco, who's own father was killed earlier this week in the Philippines.