Former Pussycat Doll Kimberly Wyatt announced her second pregnancy earlier this month, but that doesn't mean the Got To Dance star has any plans of slowing down her dance and fitness routine as she launches her new activewear collaboration with Zakti this week.
The Missouri-born dancer and choreographer, who is mum to two-year-old daughter Willow with model husband Max Rogers, hosted a dance class in Zakti's Islington store shortly before sitting down with HELLO! to chat all things fitness and pregnancy – but first we had to ask how her adorable daughter has reacted to the big family news.
Kimberly Wyatt is expecting her second child later this year
"[Willow] is so excited to become a big sister! It's the sweetest thing," Kimberly tells us. "You don't realise how clever kids can be, but she really knows that there's a baby in mummy's tummy. She wanted to sing to it and cuddle it just last night: it just melted my heart.
"I can't wait to watch our family grow and give Willow a little baby sibling," she says. "She's adamant it's a baby sister and she's not having it any other way!"
For Kimberly, dancing and choreography are more than just the day job. The star, who is dyslexic, firmly believes that dancing classes as a child were the thing that boosted her confidence enough to face difficulties at school and conquer the entertainment business as an adult. Her latest projects include a debut children's book series called World Elite Dance Academy and a Well-Fit campaign with the Youth Sport Trust, aimed at empowering school children through dance and fitness. So it's no wonder that one of her main concerns was how to adapt her demanding training regime for her pregnancy.
"It was a real concern of mine with my first baby. I was like, 'listen I'm a dancer, I'm performing and staying active, I can't stop! I'm a working mother!' And [my doctor] said, 'don't look at it as an illness, it's just a baby'," she laughs. "That really helped me, knowing that I as long as I just keep [my routine] going through my whole pregnancy, I can stay fit. But listen to my body: if I'm feeling tired give it a rest, if I need to turn my feet out and make some room for the bump do it."
And Kimberly says that other mothers-to-be shouldn't be afraid of exercise during pregnancy – as long as they listen to their bodies. "You've got to stay away from the core exercises a lot, but you can still work through that with pilates and ballet… work on that pelvic floor. You're fine! You can do all the fitness and dance that you want to," she says. "It's just about having a really good relationship with yourself and where you're body stands. And you can keep going; what gets me through my pregnancy is knowing that I can do this, I'm having this baby, we're going to do this together."
For those of us less in tune with the gruelling demands of a professional training schedule, Kimberly has designed a dance class for Zakti that combines what she describes as the key foundations of her fitness regime. "Dance is the absolute foundation [for me]. I have a lot of inspiration from jazz dancing, from ballet, which is one of the best ways to build your ultimate core," she says.
The former Pussycat Doll has a daughter with husband Max Rogers
"I love to work with the psoas muscle, which is the muscle of the soul, and where we store a lot of our stress and anxiety. It's the muscle that attaches your spine from the top of your body to your pelvis, and by accessing it you can really start to release a lot of stress and anxiety. African dancing is one of the best ways to attack that.
"And yoga is such a beautiful way to really focus on your emotional health, mental wellbeing, and work on your breathing as you’re doing your fitness. So I've brought all those inspirations into creating my Zakti dance class. It's something you can come to do so you can feel good!"
For the collaboration itself, Kimberly says she was focused on designing outfits that would make women and girls feel confident. "Zakti means positive energy and when it comes to comes to fitness I'm all about feeling good," she says. "I really wanted something that inspired woman and empowered them, as well as kids. It's all about showing off the female body in its best way possible. Lifting the line of the pants up just a bit to give the image of an hourglass figure, finding ways to use the mesh to really emphasise the female form, and finding ways to make it feel fun, make it multi-purpose and multi-functional."