The Betty Interview: Mya
The Dancing With the Stars contestant tells BettyConfidential how much she wants to win the disco ball trophy, who she’s secretly rooting for if she doesn’t, and she spills some secrets about her smokin’-hot partner, Dmitry.
Mya, one of the last five contestants on Dancing With the Stars, plans on clawing her way to the top of the leader board. Not even the blisters, bruises and injuries she’s sustained can stop her. “I have tunnel vision right now,” reveals Mya, 30. “I’m giving this competition my all — my blood, sweat and tears — and I’m not going to give up.”
Much has been said about Mya’s childhood tap background (she even trained with world-renowned dancer Savion Glover!) giving her an advantage in this competition, but Mya also has a leg up for another reason. As a singer, she’s already used to the crazy 14 to 18 hours of rehearsals, fittings, tapings and interviews. “Being on Dancing With the Stars is a lot like being on tour,” says Mya, who dropped her last name, Harrison, when she released her first R&B album in 1998. “Actually, as hard and physical as this is — it’s definitely a sport — this is easier, because at least you don’t have to travel. Being on the road takes a lot out of you.”
The Grammy-winning singer behind such hits as “It’s All About Me,” “My Love is Like…Wo” and the Moulin Rouge classic “Lady Marmalade” with Christina Aguilera, Pink and Lil’ Kim, is a mezzo soprano with a four-octave range. Of Jamaican and Italian descent, the Washington D.C.-raised star is a triple threat as a singer, dancer and actress. She put all of those talents to use in a supporting role in the 2003 film adaption of the Broadway musical Chicago, which won her a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble with fellow castmates including Catherine Zeta-Jones and Renee Zellweger.
Hardworking Mya, who is named after the famous author and poet Maya Angelou (minus an “a”), hopes she can draw on her inner-strength to pull off a win. “I’m digging down deep and pushing through the pain,” she says. “I’m not going to lie. I want to win! If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be here.” No doubt, like her namesake, she’ll rise, she’ll rise, she’ll rise.
What has being on Dancing With the Stars taught you about yourself?
It’s taught me that I’m willing to put in the time and energy and sacrifice necessary to reach my full potential.
What has been your favorite dance to do so far?
I loved the Jitterbug [from week six]. It’s such a fun, social dance.
Which celebrity dancer have you gotten closest to?
We haven’t really had the time to get too close because we’re always practicing with our partners, but I really enjoy being around Kelly Osbourne. She’s full of jokes and is a very pleasant spirit.
Which contestant have you been the most surprised by during the competition?
I thought Melissa Joan Hart’s Charleston [from week four] was amazing. The choreography was spectacular and her personality shined through. She showed so much growth.