Since finishing her time as a professional dancer on BBC Strictly Come Dancing, Kristina Rihanoff produced and choreographed Dance to the Music in 2018 and will be taking the show on another UK Tour next year starting 11th January at The Capitol Theatre in Horsham where she will be co-hosting with Jake Quickenden. Dance to the Music will run for two months visiting over forty venues with the final date on 2nd March at Peterborough and will feature hits from across the decades. Kristina was part of Strictly Come Dancing for eight series and during her time on the show, won the 2010 Christmas Special with her celebrity partner John Barrowman and finished runner up in Series 12 with singer Simon Webbe. This week, we caught up with Kristina about her Dance to the Music tour, co-hosting with Jake Quickenden and what audiences can expect from the show.
What are looking forward to for starting the Dance to the Music 2020 UK Tour?
I’m looking forward to being on stage again and being in the theatre. It’s a family show so it’s great to see kids and grandparents in the audience all enjoying it together.
What can audiences expect from this tour and why would you recommend booking tickets?
Expect a lot of glamorous costumes, lots of different music and dance, up to fifteen styles of dancing throughout the decades. It’s a great night out, the audience are singing and some even dancing.
Have you worked with any of the cast previously and how have rehearsals gone so far?
I’ve only worked with one of the cast members from the previous tour, he is now my Assistant Choreographer, Aaron Brown. The cast this year are incredible and versatile, they have lots to offer and it’s also great to have Jake Quickenden on board as he is a triple threat. Singing, dancing and also hosting, it’s great to have someone like him on board.
How is it having Jake Quickenden hosting and being vocalist on the show?
Jake is so creative and to have his input in the show is great, he has a great sense of humour, he’s just so quick and so I’m excited to co-host with him and have a bit of banter and to bounce off of each other.
Are you able to say about any of the songs you’ll be performing to?
Every decade you will know a famous song. All the big songs from 40s and 50s like Elvis Presley, and then 70s, 80s, I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor and Hot Stuff – Donna Summer, there will be all the biggest hits from every decade to get you moving!
What’s it like seeing the show you created come together on stage?
From a thought in my head it came to life to a big performance on stage and to see the audience enjoying it was just an incredible feeling, especially seeing their reaction of just having a great time, that’s what it’s all about, seeing the audience having a fabulous time, as a choreographer and performer, that is the best thing.
The show runs from 11th January at The Capitol, Horsham through to the last date on 2nd March at The Cresset, Peterborough, how are you preparing for two months on the road?
Touring is never easy, but it’s part of my profession, we all tour, it comes with the show business industry. But then you have the luxury of relaxing for a few weeks at home before you head off on the road, it has its pros and cons. I have such a supportive family, if my partner Ben Cohen wasn’t as supportive as he is, I would never be able to do this tour. My mum comes over from Russia to help with my daughter Mila, my family are always on board to help and support.
You started directing, producing and choreographing Dance to the Music in 2018, what was the response like to last year’s tour?
Incredible! That’s why I wanted to bring it back! It’s such a special project to do. Especially after when I do the meet and greets and I speak to the family from the kids who love the hip hop and the 80s and then the grandparents love the 40s with the GI Joes, and the war period, it’s something for everyone that’s why I wanted to do it again.
What do you enjoy most about performing to an audience?
The buzz from the audience and there is no other feeling like a live performance it’s so, so special, no other feeling like it.
Do you have a favourite dance to choreograph?
I do love the Argentine Tango, it’s one of my favourite styles of dance to perform and choreograph, it’s quite special in this show. There is an 80s icon section in which we do a Michael Jackson tribute, we do the Argentine Tango to one of his songs which is quite unusual, and it had a great response. I have traditional and not traditional throughout the show.
How different is touring with a show like this opposed to being on the Strictly Come Dancing tour?
I have much more involvement, I have to make sure everything is done on time, all of the dancers and crew are taken care of, it’s your team, whereas on the Strictly tour, you’re driven to the next show and it’s all sorted for you, but with my show it’s more of a responsibility and I get so much gratification out of it!
What do you miss about being a pro dancer on Strictly Come Dancing?
Working with all the pros! And, of course, the celebrities, having that journey with them throughout the show, it was always different with each individual. With the pros, it’s just such an amazing time and experience performing and creating with them.
Can you tell us about Bespoke Ballroom?
Created a long time ago, it’s my dance and drama academy and I have local dance schools who we teach and they perform ballroom dancing and we also have a drama coach there, so it’s acting and dancing and it’s a real pleasure watching the children grow as performers. I guess I wanted to pass the notch onto the next generation!
Do you have any advice for someone wanting to become a professional dancer on a show like Dance to the Music?
Social media is great to get in contact about castings etc. You can contact me on my website, send your CV and Showreel. But really, it’s about persistence and hard work, if it’s your passion, always believe in yourself.
Book to see DANCE TO THE MUSIC on their 2020 UK Tour https://www.dancetothemusictour.com
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