The standing oversplit is a dance sign featured in most Pussycat Dolls’ music videos. (You guys remember the Pussycat Dolls, don’t cha?) It is a move in which the angle of the legs, these being extremely long and perhaps fishnet clad, exceeds 180 degrees. What you may not have noticed as you stared, curled up on your couch watching early morning MTV count-downs, mesmerised by this inhuman act so casually broadcast for your viewing pleasure, was that there was whole person attached to that fabulous pair o’ stems. Her name is Kimberly Wyatt and hey, she’s pretty cool.
Robin Antin, creator of the Dolls, originally spotted Wyatt when she was a backing dancer for a Nick Lachey music video. She began dancing at the age of seven, and as a teenager earned herself a scholarship to study with New York’s Joffrey Ballet and the Broadway Dance Center. Her vocal debut came on the album Doll Domination with a solo song called Don’t Wanna Fall in Love. In 2010, Wyatt was the second doll to leave the group, which has now officially disbanded.
Since then it seems Miss Wyatt has been a very busy girl. Most recently, Wyatt has finished filming the second series of Sky 1’s Got to Dance, on which she acts as a judge alongside Adam Garcia and Ashley Banjo. She explains that she originally got involved with the show as means of staying connected with the dance world as she began to focus more heavily on her own more musical projects. That ‘was super important to me’, Wyatt says.
The show itself had changed a good deal since its original 2010 incarnation when ten year-old Akai won his £100,000. Not only has the prize money increased to a staggering £250,000, which just happens to be the largest cash prize on a television talent show, but the program also had a new structure this time around. Four live semi-finals were followed by the grand finale during which, for the first time this side of the pond, viewers could vote using—go figure—an application configured for the iphone, ipad and ipod touch. ‘We grew as a show and as judges’, Wyatt says. Elaborating on her own growth on the show, she explains matter-of-factly: ‘There is a talent to expressing how you feel as well, a way it can be heard and not taken as negativity.’ She is a Southern girl after all.
Wyatt had quite a few crazy moments herself this season. (At one point a contestant offered her an engagement ring.) When asked what her favorites were: “I have a few. The first was with ‘Dance 21.’ They were a large group doing cheerleading who all had Down’s Syndrome. They sent so much joy over me; just squeezed my heart in such a way that tears came out. The second was ‘Happiness.” You have probably seen her performance on Youtube. If you haven’t, you really should. ‘It was just absolutely genius. She was just this free little bird, doing what every dancer strives to do. My last is the ‘street hop’ duo. They did everyday things and made it a dance. I felt bad because I honestly thought that they were joking.’
Talking about the series winners, 20 year-old dance duo Chris and Wes, Wyatt said: ‘Chris and Wes represent the show in such an incredible way. They are not just great dancers but great visionaries as well. They take an audience on a journey and have found a formula that works so perfectly. They can hold their own not just as dancers but with their comedy. They not only dance but build great shows. My hope for them is to work in commercial television. I see them in a kids’ show. Like Pee-Wee Herman…but with dance! Opportunities for dancers are few and far between, you have to make your own, be the creator of you own vehicle.’
Wyatt has been working on several of her own projects over the past year as well. The song Not Just a Doll was posted on her official website in March of 2010. In May she was featured on Aggro Santos’ track Candy. Most notably she has teamed up with former Jupiter Rising member Spencer Nezey to create a new group entitled Her Majesty & The Wolves. They have thus far released two tracks—Glaciers and Stars in Your Eyes—from their debut album 111 due out this June.
‘The album was the most phenomenal experience ever. With Spencer it felt meant to be. I did a lot of soul searching and [becoming a duo] felt like the way it was supposed to be. It was the biggest learning experience as an artist. I learned a lot from Spencer.’ What can we expect from the album? ‘We bring our inspirations together staying true to our love of dance and want to make a crowd just dance their little heinies off, but there’s some emotional heart felt stuff too. The album feels very personal. When looking to make my own music it was about more than just music; it was a way to express myself.’ Some of the heartfelt tracks to look out for are Emerald Shower, Don’t Cut Me Down and Shades of Grey, which Wyatt says is ‘everything I love to do’.
‘Her Majesty & The Wolves is bigger than the two of us’, she continues. ‘I stepped away from a large label and moved to a more indie label for the album. It’s more of a family effort with like minded people—looking for ways to create music and not sell out’. The album drop isn’t the only big event coming up for the group this year. They will also be performing at the Wireless Festival in Hyde Park this summer. ‘It is the biggest dream come true going to perform at the Wireless Festival’, beams Wyatt. ‘I had once seen The Who play there. It goes to show that if you dream big you can make great things happen’.
Wyatt, along with promoting Her Majesty & The Wolves, also has a make-up line coming out this summer. And it figures. Throughout the course of Got to Dance I couldn’t help but notice and admire Wyatt’s style in its ever-evolving forms. For one of her performances on the show she not only did the music and the choreography but even had her hand in the costume design. Beyond this she journals, blogs and draws. Does she sleep? Seems implausible.
The once backup dancer has proven herself to be an artist with a capital ‘A’. Her artistic influences include – maybe a little surprisingly—Vivien Westwood and Tim Burton. ‘I love Beetle Juice!’ she explains. ‘I like very beautiful things that are a little left of centre’. Just like her split. Kimberly Wyatt is much more than a pair of legs. Though, we still must admit, it was something of a shame to have her sit so long behind that judging table. The girl’s got some nice gams.