You may know Nico Archambault as the hottie who won the title of Canada’s favourite dancer on season one of So You Think You Can Dance Canada, but this Montreal native has a lot more going for him than just his dance moves and his French accent. When he’s not busting a move with his dance company, Street Parade, or choreographing up-and-coming SYTYCD stars with his choreography partner (and life partner) Wynn Holmes, he’s busy modeling, acting and lately, he’s even tried his hand at designing. “I’m a dancer but I also see myself as an artist,” says Nico. “I love to be creative, try new things and just be original, whether its with the way I dress, or my haircut, or my style as a dancer, I’ve always tried to come up with my own thing.”
Teaming up with fashion label TXT and PREVNet, a group committed to preventing bullying, Nico designed a limited edition T-shirt for the Stand Up Rise Above campaign, which will take place this month in support of Bullying Awareness Week (November 15-21). “As a kid I was bullied a lot — it’s a part of who I am and why I do what I do,” says Nico. “It forced me to stand up for myself and keep doing what I liked doing.”
Recently, between choreographing jobs and acting gigs, Nico sat down with us to give ELLE Canada readers a peak at the man behind the moves, including his thoughts on Ed Hardy, his shocking beauty secret and why he wears black all the time (its not what you think!).
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
If you get to do what you love, surrounded by the people you love…and you have the time and calm to appreciate it, then that’s perfect happiness. It’s about being in the moment.
What do you consider your worst trait?
I have every nervous habit you can have. I bite my nails, I crack my fingers all the time, I shake my legs, I make a lot of noise — I’m always hitting a beat on something or whistling a song or doing DJ scratches with my hands…name it. I’m a loud person.
If you could choose an occupation other than your own what would it be?
It would definitely be music related because my love for dance comes from my love for music. So maybe a musician.
When and where was your last vacation?
My last vacation was in Mexico in July…and it wasn’t fun. I had an allergic reaction to something and was stuck indoors half the time. I had to have a cortisone shot in the bum, the whole thing. Not so great!
What is your most treasured possession?
I’m such a gypsy right now — travelling all the time, living out of my suitcase — so I don’t think I have one. I would say Wynn, but I don’t possess her.
Nico's grooming secrets on the next page ...
We play 20 questions with our ELLE compatriot, Joe Zee What’s your usual?
Vodka soda with a splash of lime. It’s the clearest thing you can drink. And you never get a hangover.
iPhone or Blackberry?
Blackberry. But I’m a secret lover of the iPhone.
Latest beauty/grooming discovery/secret?
Someone recently took me to have a manicure and pedicure — it was my first time and I have to admit: it is actually kinda fun! It feels good!
Fashion trend you wish would disappear?
Ed Hardy. It’s time. It needs to go. Right now.
Fashion trend you’re loving right now?
I love fashion but at the same time, I don’t care at all. I like dressing up and coming up with outfits and accessorizing, but I don’t really care if it’s “in style” or “in fashion.” I do what I think looks good. It’s the same in my dancing. I do what feels good to me.
How would you describe your personal style?
There’s definitely some punk, rock, hipster thing going on. I like to mix in a little bit of everything.
Travis Taddeo. He’s a young designer out of Montreal. I like his stuff a lot.
Name something people might not know about you?
I’m colour blind so I live my life in black and white. The only colours I can actually understand are blue and red. Any time you see me wearing any other colour, it’s because my girlfriend or my mom helped me.
What is your greatest extravagance?
Travel. And I’m planning on doing a lot more. I don’t feel right if I stay in the same place too long. I like moving around.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Where I am right now. I know that luck had a lot to do with it but at the same time it’s a result of what I’ve been doing all my life. It’s what I’ve always wanted and worked for, so I’m actually kind of proud. It feels good.
What’s the biggest lesson you learned this year so far?
It’s funny because it’s tied to the previous question. Everything that’s happened to me this year, and where I am right now, actually doesn’t mean anything unless I keep working and make something out of it.
Describe your perfect Sunday?
A calm day at home with the people I love. Not having to rush out somewhere, or answer an email; just chill, watch a movie and maybe cook some good food.
What do you value most in your friends?
Honesty — I need them to be straight up with me. If they did something, if they heard something, if they think my last project sucked, I want them to tell me. And independence, because I’m so bad at keeping in touch with people.
What is your Twitter policy?
I have no time for twittering. I’m really trying to cut down on how much time I spend on the computer. Between researching and email and Facebook and YouTube and working on my website, it’s already way too much.
Finish this sentence:
“People think I’m rude but I’m just being honest.” You have to be around me a little more to see it, but I don’t take a lot of detours to say what I mean. Sometimes it can sound rude but that’s how I am and that’s how I want people to be with me.
We play 20 questions with our ELLE compatriot, Joe Zee
Designer DNA: Smythe
Designer profile: Andy Thê-Anh