Kristin McQuaid needs no introduction. Dancer, choreographer, director, producer, Kristin is behind the scenes of some of our favorite music videos and dance creations. She’s so talented, it almost makes you wonder what else she could have done. Well, Kristin was wondering exactly that, and those wondering led to experiments and adventures you don’t want to miss. Thank goodness she filmed it all! We spoke with Kristin to get an inside look at her new series Kickin’ It with Kristin and everything else that’s keeping her busy and inspired.
“I’ve grown up dancing my whole life. That’s all I’ve ever known, and I kind of got curious as to if I would have taken a different path, a different hobby, a different talent when I was growing up, where would my life have taken me,” Kristin told us. “Would I have been really good at that talent? Would I have been the next Picasso or Bob Ross? There’s just no telling.”
Kickin It with Kristin, which premieres new episodes on Talent Recap‘s YouTube channel, is what happened when Kristin decided “You know what? Let’s find out,” about all of those potential talents and hobbies. Going to new places, meeting new people, and testing her luck with new skills, Kristin takes us on an inspiring journey, and it really isn’t all about her. “I got to thinking that everyone might probably be thinking this,” she said. “‘What if I had done something different? Or, what if I have a hidden talent I know nothing about?'”
The first episode jumps right in with Kristin trying to learn guitar, and while Kristin did reveal to us that she hasn’t become the next Taylor Swift yet, she does know that it’s possible for her to get good (as long as she practices!). Guitar is the first thing she tried, and it’s also one of the more difficult talents she’s taken on in the show so far, but Kickin’ It With Kristin demystifies the skill. If Kristin can try it, why can’t you? (And she did it on camera!)
In the upcoming second season of the show, we can expect a hip hop episode that will bring Kristin back to her usual skillset, but there’s a reason she didn’t lead with what makes her comfortable. “Everybody would expect that dance would probably be the first episode, and that’s kind of why I didn’t want to do it,” Kristin told us. As she’s trying out everything from horseback riding to fashion design, she knows that people will think, “That’s not the Kristin we know. What is going on?” “I wish I could just bring this out in everyone,” she said. The goal is to inspire people to step outside their comfort zones.
Each episode is about 10 minutes long, and they follow a fun, behind-the-scenes kind of look at each of the hobbies that Kristin tries with her attempts interspersed with interviews and commentary and even a “Kristin on the Street” segment. The show wasn’t always going to be that way, though. Kristin almost had a Lizzie McGuire moment as an animated character exploring the real world, but once they started filming, she knew it had to go in a different direction. “I really started to learn a lot myself as we were filming, and I was like, ‘Wait this is so interesting. I never knew that. We need to tell the world about this!'” So, Kickin’ It with Kristin got it’s educational, behind-the-scenes spin, and we can’t imagine it any other way.
Along with that education comes wholesome moments of inspiration. When Kristin takes on guitar, her tutor, musician Kevin Jameson, tells her, “Talent is a thing that you decided that you liked, and you practiced it until you were good at it. Everybody is bad at their first anything they do,” and bowling coach Mike Foster gives Kristin hope when her ball rolls into the gutter. “Remember, a zero’s not far from a heart.” Throughout all of Kristin’s tries (with some mishaps and fails), the obvious message of the show is “keep trying.” If you love what you’re doing, it doesn’t matter if you’re good at it (though you’ll probably get there).
“Walking into a place that you know nothing about, it’s scary!” Kristin shared that she thinks the biggest barrier between people and the hobbies that interest them is fear. She hopes that by watching her take on scary new things, people can find that motivation to go try something new. Plus, she has a lot of fun doing it. “Literally, it’s the best job ever…It’s fun to see where sometimes I fail and sometimes I succeed, but I’m still having fun the whole time.”
Picking the hobbies is fun, too. Kristin looks for things she’s interested in, all of those “what if” hobbies, but she’s also looking for things that will just be fun to watch. “Synchronized swimming is definitely on the top of my list. For sure, I need to do that. Surfing would be another one. Anything that involves Kristin in the water is going to be interesting.” There are limits, though. We asked Kristin about extreme hobbies like skydiving, and not only was she expecting the question—”Why does everyone want to see me jump out of a plane!?”—but she was also pretty certain that we wouldn’t be seeing her in the sky any time soon. Lesson number two? It’s ok to know your limits when you try new things.
So, what has come of this journey? Well, Kristin hasn’t mastered guitar (she still has plenty of time to practice!). Her bowling skills are perfect for birthday parties and whenever she wants to rock a flashy shirt and retro shoes. The skill that she’s put the most passion behind is fashion. In fact, she’s starting a fashion line. Khaotic Khaos, Kristin’s forthcoming clothing line will be making what we can only assume will be a fantastic and bold debut sometime in 2022.
“I think the best thing that I’ve taken out of the show so far would just have to be living in the moment and living now.” Kristin shared. “I think a lot of times we don’t enjoy the process. We just want the reward. We just want the prize, but we don’t enjoy how we get there. I think within each episode that I filmed, I actually enjoyed the process, and that’s why the result came out on top.” She’s also reconsidering how we understand talents. We often think of sports or art when we think “talent,” but when Kristin goes on the street to ask strangers what they’re talented at, she’s been most inspired by deeper answers like “perseverance” and “communication.” “For them to even have that response of them thinking that’s their talent was so inspiring to me.”
Season 1 of Kickin’ It With Kristin has six episodes that will be followed by a bonus “Kristin on the Street” episode. Season 2 is currently set to be double that! We don’t want to spoil anything, but we do know to expect dog agility (featuring Kristin’s dog Gunner!), beekeeping, and of course, hip hop.
While we’ve been kickin’ it, Kristin has also faced a difficult time after the loss of her daughter London in July. Along with planning new adventures for the show, Kristin is also working on a non-profit. London is the Reason is “an organization to support surrogates and intended parents that lost their babies.” Kristin is working on a campaign to open a clinic in New York City for parents that have lost a child and are trying again as well as working as a spokesperson for PUSH for Empowered Pregnancy. To get involved and learn more, visit LondonistheReason.org.
“Entertaining, education, medical, you know, bees, you name it, Kristen is doing it,” she told us. You can watch Kickin’ It With Kristen on Talent Recap’s YouTube channel now—literally, what are you waiting for?—and it’s (always) the perfect time to try something new or dive into something you love.