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Nikki Webster was 13-years-old when she suddenly became a child star after singing at the opening ceremony of the Sydney Olympics.
Now, 20 years on and the Strawberry Kisses singer is a mum-of-two who owns three dance studios.
After a challenging year, for not only Nikki and her businesses, but for so many of us, it has never been more important for kids (and adults!) to get their bodies moving.
With this in mind, Nikki is inviting families to join in the fun and dance along to the tracks of the happiest movie ever, Trolls World Tour.
Best of all, the moves are choreographed by Nikki herself and her six-year-old daughter, Skylah and three-year-old son, Malakai will be dancing alongside their famous mama too.
Bounty Parents caught up with Nikki to find out more.
Dance with Nikki! The former child star is hosting a virtual dance party.
2020 has been a tough one for so many. How have you coped?
2020 certainly has been a tough year for everyone around the world, it has really taught us a lot about being adaptable and most of all the importance of connecting with people. It has been an extremely difficult year for my business, having to close our doors for a few months was devastating, and still now, trying to rebuild is hard. But we’re driven to continue providing opportunities for young performers.
Some of the highs would have to be just spending time exploring our beautiful country, going to new places and supporting communities where we can as a family. And spending time with my loved ones and realising as long as we have each other nothing else matters.
When COVID hit you had to close your dance school and adapt to offer virtual dance classes. What was that like?
Adapting overnight was extremely difficult we literally had to close our doors by 12pm the next day. We jumped straight online the next day to offer our dance community and students across Australia free online dance classes – we wanted to give back and allow the kids to connect online and be physically active and keep their minds active.
It was hours and hours of filming classes, uploading classes and trying to work out and navigate this new online world. We are so grateful to have some of the most amazing teachers in the country whose passion for their students never died so we all worked together to keep our students engaged.
What is it about dancing that kids love so much?
It’s about the creativity, losing yourself in different styles of dance, becoming whoever you want through dance and music and being accepted for it, achieving a goal and seeing the progression in your ability to retain choreography, and in your body physically. But most importantly it’s the friendships made, our studio is like a home away from home with a support network of like-minded passionate and driven kids.
Why is dancing important for kids?
Dancing is just the best for kids. It gets them up and active which is a major contributor to their overall physical health. Dance is incredible for endurance, coordination, flexibility, memory, muscle development, posture and balance, just to name a few… but most importantly, dance is so fun.
Were your kids big Trolls fans before your involvement in Dance Party?
My kids, Skylah and Malakai are obsessed with Trolls and are so excited they get to be involved. They felt so lucky to meet Queen Poppy herself which was such an exciting moment for them!.My kids and I would agree that Trolls World Tour is definitely the happiest movie ever. So, we knew we needed to do something that brought lots of fun and laughter to Aussie families.
What was running through your mind when you were coming up with the choreography for Trolls Dance Party?
As a dance teacher, I hear a song and always think of how I could choreograph an awesome dance to it. When I heard the latest track from the film The Other Side, by Justin Timberlake and SZA, it became my favourite straight away. I choreographed the dance with those in mind who are ready to dance it out to Australia’s Biggest Trolls Dance Party! There’s some super fun dance moves in there that everyone can pick up from their lounge rooms… little kids, big kids… and parents too! I can’t wait to see everyone’s moves.
Not only is dancing fun but it has loads of health benefits too.
It’s been 20 years since the Sydney Olympics. What do you tell your daughter about that time in your life?
It has been a wonderful celebrating the 20 year anniversary and being able to share my Olympic experience with my daughter. I’ve told her about our Australian culture through the opening ceremony, I’ve loved retelling my fun stories from backstage and introducing her to people that I worked with during that time, it’s been magical.
How did it feel seeing Skylah in your Olympics dress?
It was so emotional never in a million years did I think back in 2000 that in 20 years’ time I would be blessed with the most precious, supportive, loving, beautiful, resilient and strong daughter. I’m the luckiest mum and to see her so proud of what I have done makes me driven to continue to set a great example for her in the future.
You recently appeared on The Masked Singer – what was that experience like?
I loved the Masked Singer! It was a crazy experience but so fun, it was a great challenge and such a great opportunity to just get out there and sing again.
How will you be spending Christmas?
I’ll be spending it with my family, the most important people to me in the world, thanking them all for all the love and support they give to me throughout the year. And of course being a big kid myself, I can’t wait to celebrate with the kids. I can’t wait to see them get their presents from Santa and unwrap everything. It’s my favourite time of the year.
As a mum it can be tricky to find time for yourself. What do you do for self-care?
To be honest I don’t really think of things like that, the best time I have for self-care is taking the kids out on an adventure and not having to work, just surprising them with a fun day out and watching the world through their eyes.
Australia’s Biggest Trolls Dance Party will be held on YouTube on Friday 11 December at 4pm. Click here to set a reminder.
Trolls World Tour Dance Party Edition is available on digital now and DVD.