Kristin McQuaid has been in the entertainment industry for over 15 years and has worked alongside top artists such as Britney Spears, Prince, Mandy Moore, Cyndi Lauper and more. Kristin has been travelling across the United States for many years, teaching and choreographing for many of the top ranked dance studios in the country. She is not only a dancer and choreographer but has also lead a successful acting career. Teenzone had the opportunity to discuss Kristin’s dance and acting journey, including her involvement in the series Dance Moms.
You have been in the entertainment industry for more than 15 years. What has been the most valuable lesson you have learnt thus far?
I would have to say finding who you are. Trying to follow trends and copying someone that is already successful won’t help you. I like to say “Be yourself, everyone else is already taken”.
With a similar approach, what has been your most memorable moment in those 15 years?
Wow, that’s a hard question because I have had so many amazing experiences and they all have their own special memories. If I were to choose one, I would have to say working with Britney Spears. She is the most down to earth person and really inspired me to become a unique artist.
How did you get involved with acting?
Funny story! I actually went to acting class with my friend and before going to the class I showed no interest in acting. I got to the class and it was an “On Camera” week for the month. The acting coach looked at me and said “No, you aren’t just going to watch! You are going to participate as well!” I left that class loving acting just as much as dance and began acting from that day on!
How did you become involved with the TV show Dance Moms?
I teach on a dance convention called “Hollywood Connection”. Jeanette Cota had her studio attend one of the cities and her daughter Ava Cota took my class and fell in love with my teaching style. A few months had gone by and I got a message from Jeanette asking if I would come onto the show and choreograph for her team. I of course said yes and we began production.
How has the experience been thus far?
Dance Moms was stressful. The week leading up to the competition was fine for me as I was just the choreographer on the show so I didn’t have much interaction with the moms. When it came to the actual competition that day, it was a different story! Lets just say I love working with the kids and getting to set unique choreography on television.
Was the development of Revolution Dance Company and Prestige Dance Company always a dream of yours?
Yes, it has always been a dream of mine to one day have my own company. I not only was able to achieve starting a pre-professional company with kids, but I was also able to start a professional company with adults. Both companies were an amazing experience for me. Unfortunately, with my busy schedule, I am no longer able to maintain either.
How do you remain balanced with such a grueling schedule?
I don’t think I’ll ever get used to my crazy busy schedule. I never stop! What most people don’t know about me is that I split half my time in Tulsa, Oklahoma and the other half in Los Angeles. My husband is a cardiologist in Tulsa and that is where I get to spend time with my family, although all of my work is in Los Angeles. The best way I remain balanced is to take my life day by day. I can’t look at everything coming up or I get way too overwhelmed.
What is the biggest difference you have seen in choreographing dancers below the age of eighteen compared to coaching dancers above the age of 18?
Having worked with both age groups in so many different aspects of dance and jobs, I would have to say the biggest difference is attention spans. I can work with adults into the late hours and can go for a long period of time. With kids I can only have their attention for a few hours before they are thinking about wanting to go play with slime.
Light the Sky (feat. Grace VanderWaal) has received so much attention since its release. How did this project differ to the others you have worked on before?
This was probably the most fun project I have done to date! First off, I am a huge Grace Vanderwaal fan. The fact that she writes, plays and sings her own music at the young age of 13 blows my mind! The best part of this project to me was the dancers I got to work with. They were unbelievable! I had dancers from So You Think You Can Dance, Dancing With The Stars and more! You can’t get better than that! The passion they put behind my choreography and vision made this video what it is today. So I owe this to them!
What made you decide to enter the world of fashion along with everything else?
I have always had a love for unique and spunky clothing. As a kid I never wanted to match anyone else. I wanted to be the one to stand out. As I got older so many people would ask me where I shopped or who designed my outfit. So I decided it was time to start my own line. I started out small with t-shirts and tanks and this fall I have so many cool things coming out in the line
By: Kriszti Bottyan