It’s been a great party for Yellow Wiggle Emma Watkinis, but after nearly a decade of singing and dancing with the children’s entertainment group The Wiggles, she’s decided to pass on the yellow skivvy to someone new.
In a press release about her retirement, Watkinis said: “Like many people around the world, the pandemic has given me time to reflect on what is important in life. For me, that means spending more time at home, something that I didn’t realize I was missing out on being away 8 months of the year on tour, but something that I have really cherished over the last 18 months.”
As the first-ever female Wiggle, Watkinis broke boundaries for the Australian music group. Her successor, Tsehay Hawkins, is about to break even more. Hawkins is a 15-year-old girl from Ethiopia, making her the youngest and first Black Wiggle to join the group.
Hawkins is an award-winning dancer, winning numerous Australian and global championships in salsa and Latin dancing. She was one of the four new, diverse Wiggles cast members previously announced in August, chosen to be a member of the Fruit Salad TV YouTube series. As the proud new wearer of the yellow skivvy, Hawkins will begin her career as a Wiggle next year on the group’s North American tour.
Hawkins grew up watching The Wiggles, singing and dancing along to classics like “Fruit Salad” and “Come on Down to Wiggle Town.” As she got older, she realized the importance of representation in childhood programs. Hawkins, fully embracing her Ethiopian heritage, hopes to bring a new cultural perspective to The Wiggles’ work and to be a face of inclusion for Wiggles fans who haven’t always felt represented by the show.