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Kimberley Wyatt is an American dancer, singer, choreographer, and television personality.
Here she tells the fascinating story behind the Pussycat Dolls – moving from her home town of Missouri to the rude awakening of auditions in LA, and having to prove herself every day in a group where she was constantly told she was replaceable.
We hear about her incredible work ethic, which she believes accounts for 90% of success in the entertainment industry, and how she blended her contemporary background with street dancing to find her own style and start really getting noticed.
Kimberly talks in depth about her love of dance, which is the source of her belief in herself and her love of life, and reveals the moment when – at the height of commercial success – the business side of dance threatened her pure relationship with the medium.
She is candid about the physical demands of dancing (‘Don’t do it unless you can’t live without it’) and how dance is underappreciated as a crucial element of the music and entertainment industry.
Anyone with just a passing awareness of the Pussycat Dolls might be surprised to find that Kimberley is such a deep and thoughtful person, as we talk about finding her identity after the group ended, and the more healthy work/life balance that reignited her love for dance.
We learn what makes her tick now, working with young dancers on the show ‘Got to Dance’ and becoming an ambassador for the Youth Sport Trust.
Her desire to give back clearly comes across when she talks about her work on the Well-Fit campaign, which helps kids develop a positive relationship to their bodies early on in life.
Perhaps most surprising after everything she’s done is that her biggest challenge may have been winning Celebrity MasterChef and being accepted in a different country.
We also cover her spiritual side as she agrees that ego is the enemy, discusses the benefits of essential oils for dealing with anxiety, how she uses angel cards and journaling, and what she’s learned from motherhood. And why she’s trying to wear the same outfit at least 30 times!
This turned out to be a great episode from a passionate person with a unique story to tell and an honest and refreshing outlook on life. Enjoy!
02:50 Brian’s Introduction.
03:23 How a girl from Missouri came to be living and working in the UK.
04:41 Why were the Pussycat Dolls so popular in Britain?
05:45 Tremendous fan support helped her to rise above feelings of exhaustion and pain.
06:24 How the Pussycat Dolls evolved to the cheeky, racy, explicit, Don’t Cha video.
07:35 Giving Don’t Cha a more urban feel for the video.
08:51 Fight of Kimberly’s life to be good enough to be in the video. Filming it was brutal.
11:26 Financial pressure to make this video a success.
12:03 What was given a great deal of thought when it came to the branding of the Pussycat Dolls.
12:27 Artist’s videos which inspired her as a child to be the one white girl dancing in their videos.
13:14 Kimberley’s early dance career.
15:48 Growing up in Missouri and moving out.
16:51 Welcome to Los Angeles honey amid fierce competition.
18:27 Trying to pay the bills whilst figuring out what she was, wanted and how to get that.
20:15 What dance means to Kimberly.
23:39 A pivotal moment when Kimberly realised what had pulled the love of dance from her.
24:59 Leaving the Pussycat Dolls.
25:38 Faking authenticity in performance.
26:24 What it takes to make a great dancer.
27:37 Why is dance at the bottom of the totem pole?
29:11 Work ethic is probably 90% of being a serious dancer, all in those heels.
30:31 Stressful time, meanwhile demonstrating she wanted to make the Pussycat Dolls a success.
33:16 The 360 deal.
34:20 What it is like being in the maelstrom of the entertainment business in Los Angeles.
35:25 When did Kimberly know she was in the band and that they were going to be big?
36:57 The moment she realised the Pussycat Dolls were really successful.
37:42 What she has learned from having had that fame.
37:49 Looking back on those 7 years of fame with the Pussycat Dolls.
41:08 How Pussycat Dolls stayed together for so long?
42:13 The two sides of Nicole Scherzinger and the decision to leave the group.
45:15 Trying lots of different ideas and her successful ventures.
50:21 Is dance the opposite of a selfie? What dance has the ability to do for families and children.
51:28 Dance as a form of expression and communication.
52:19 “You can’t see how to connect the dots until you look back”
52:34 The changing ways of achieving fitness, away from the gym, using movement.
54:51 The three rules Kimberly has always lived by.
56:47 Finding it tough participating in Celebrity Master Chef and what winning meant to her.
1:00:22 Why she chose to live and bring up a family in London rather than Los Angeles.
1:06:05 Why she thinks ego is the enemy.
1:11:09 What wellness means to her.
1:11:43 Success secrets.
1:12:24 Trying to find a balance between doing normal things and having to interact with social media.
1:15:34 The stories behind her tattoos.
1:18:05 Being very in tune with her body.
1:19:26 Trying to help 6-8 year olds understand and deal with their emotions.
1:20:09 Narcissism is a real problem now and something we need to combat.
1:21:10 Will there be a Pussycat Dolls reunion sometime in the future?
1:21:42 The NWA movie.
1:22:51 The crazy, cut-throat music business.
1:23:51 Brian’s summing up.
The Pussycat Dolls
The Viper Room
River North Dance Chicago
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd
Dangerous (Busta Rhymes song)
Joffrey Ballet School
Steps on Broadway
New York Dance Centre
VMA Video Dance Award
When I Grow Up
Got to Dance show
Live to Dance
Her Majesty and the Wolves
House of Lords
Youth Sport Trust
Well Fit Campaign
Taking the Next Step
Celebrity Master Chef
Ego is the Enemy
People mentioned in this episode:
James “Jimmy” Iovine
Baroness Campbell of Loughborough