From her years of professional ball dance competitions and eight sequin-filled years lighting up the dancefloor on Strictly Come Dancing, it’s safe to assume she knows a thing or two about putting on a stunning performance.
The time has come for Kristina Rihanoff to take on another step in her professional career. The professional dancer has announced new 39-date UK tour, directed and choreographed by Kristina herself. The music and dance extravaganza will feature Kristina Rihanoff and Robin Windsor who the public will know from Strictly Come Dancing, Oksana Platero – Strictly Come Dancing and Dancing With The Stars USA, – Jonathan Platero – So You Think You Can Dance, The Apprentice USA, – and six more professional world-class dancers. As to the singers, except for Chris Maloney, Beth Sherburn, Duet with Little Wayne.
We spoke to Kristina ahead of the tour about her work, professional goals, and time management.
How did the idea of creating an international tour come about?
Dance to the music tour was a longtime dream. I always knew that I will be doing staging, directing and choreography after leaving Strictly Come Dancing. During my 8 years on the show I have choreographed numerous numbers and also was involved in a lot of creative ideas. I also had loads of national tours in the past 9 years where I gained my expertise in staging and choreographing.
My goal is to create something that no-one has ever done before, a unique type of show that will bring all ages of fans together.
What can the audience expect from the tour?
The name says it all. It’s a journey through decades of music and impact of the music styles on dance crazes.
We start from 20’s with Charleston and go all the way through to modern day. We have every style of dance like swing, lindy hop, twist, hustle, disco, breakdancing, hip hop and of course Latin, ballroom, Argentine tango, and salsa. All performed to ultimate dance hits!
What are your expectations towards the tour?
Mostly I want to bring families together. Whether you are 8 or 80, there is something in this show for each and every one. I want people to have a great time, sing along and maybe even dance or tap to the songs they know. I want people to listen to their favourite hits and feel happy!
Tell us about the preparation for the tour and your rehearsal schedules?
We have about two weeks to put the entire show together. It will be very full-on with rehearsals. But I am confident as dancers are very hard working. We get used to 6-8 hours of dancing, especially on shows like Strictly. I will be choreographing most of the numbers but I have an amazing cast of 8 dancers who are all versatile and we all going to collaborate.
How did you find getting back to dancing and rehearsing full-time after giving birth to a wonderful baby girl?
I haven’t worked for over a year – taking time to enjoy my little girl and motherhood. It took a while to get back into shape but I wasn’t going to stress out about fitting into my skinny jeans. I think there is unrealistic pressure on women to lose baby weight really fast. It’s very wrong and I believe it’s a special bonding time to enjoy your baby rather than to worry about exercising and dieting.
How do you manage your time between work and family? (i.e any particular day is a family day or you prepare any treats for Milena?)
Both Ben and I are self-employed which means we don’t have a lot of structure. We are trying to make sure that one of us is at home with kids while the other one is working. But, of course, it’s not always possible. And we are very lucky to have the support of Ben’s family.
I know the tour will be very hard for me as I will be away for a few weeks, but Ben was very supportive and encouraged me to do this job. Also, as any other working mum, I have to work to support my family.
We know it’s early days but do you plan for a pro dancing future for Milena?
I am not keen for her to be a competitive dancer, to be honest. It’s a tough sport and also very subjective. Of course, if she will really love it, I will be on board.
Getting back to the tour, how would you describe your directing style?
Innovative and creative. I want the show to be very special and unique for the audience.
Who do you draw an inspiration from when it comes to directing / choreography?
I was lucky enough to work with incredible choreographers in Russia, USA, and UK over the years. It was great to work with people from different backgrounds and styles, which now gives me the confidence to choreograph and direct myself.
Who is your role model when it comes to directing and choreography?
I worked numerous times with Mandy Moore who’s recently become a household name for her choreography in La La Land. She is amazing to work with and I love her personally and professionally.
How easy / hard it is to book a dance class with you?
It’s very easy! You can book a lesson with me through my website http://www.bespokeballroom.com. The email comes directly to me. So do get in touch. Whether you want to start dancing yourself, get your wedding dance sorted, prepare for a special occasion or get my lessons as a gift for your loved ones, you can do it on my website!
Dance To The Music Team: Chris Maloney, Kristina Rihanoff, Robin Windsor