Ipswich: Stars of Strictly Come Dancing come to the Regent

Robin Windsor is a bit tired when I drag him out of another long, long rehearsal for Strictly Presents Dance To The Music; but it doesn’t dampen his excitement at kicking off the tour in his home town of Ipswich.

“Everyone is excited. Nobody’s more excited than me, of course, being as I was born and raised there,” says the former Coplestone High School student. “I used to go to the Ipswich School of Dancing on Bond Street, which is where I started my ballroom dancing career.”

He can’t wait to catch up with his parents, sister and nephews who live in the town. So whose spare room will he be using?

“I think we’re driving back to London afterwards because our next show is at the O2. It always seems to be a flying visit every time I come home,” he laughs.

You’ll be able to see what the stars of Strictly Come Dancing can do when they don’t have to worry about judges at the Regent next Tuesday.

Robin, his professional dance partner Kristina Rhiannoff, 2010 champion Kara Tointon and her partner - and Robin’s best friend - Artem Chigvintsev will perform some of their favourite Strictly numbers as well as some new routines.

Joining them will be the hit BBC One series’ 15-piece band, led by musical director Dave Arch, performing together live for the first time away from the Strictly studio.

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Robin promises Strictly fans will love Dance To The Music.

“It’s great to be working with the Strictly band and the amazing singers they have. At last count I think we’ve got 25 different songs. We’re hoping we can teach the audience a little bit of something they can do in their seats; if anybody wants to get up and dance in the aisles they’re more than welcome,” he laughs.

“It’s a great opportunity, especially for me and Kristina to showcase what we do as professionals. What you see most of the time is us dragging a celebrity around the dance floor and making them the best they can be.

“Myself and Kristina have spent 30 years dancing and it’s an opportunity to show everybody what it is we’ve spent all those years doing, the craft that we’ve mastered.”

Since he’s brought up Strictly, as he, Kristina or Artem got the call to dust off their sequined shoes for this year’s contest?

“No, we’ll find out very shortly who’s doing the next series as far as the professionals are concerned. We’re all eagerly awaiting, we all seem to be quite confident but you never know, it’s a brand new set of producers this year.

“They’re looking for bigger, better and of course we’ve got a new judge this year as well.”

He’s referring, of course, to prima ballerina Darcey Bussle. The former Royal Ballet principal dancer is replacing judge Alesha Dixon who’s waltzed to Britain’s Got Talent.

“Alesha did a great job on Strictly. Darcey’s going to be a great addition to the team, someone absolutely full of knowledge of dance who has been the best they can be in their field. It’s a very good move by the BBC to bring in someone with an absolute high respect in the dance world.”

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