Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Rihanoff: Strictly gave me it all

Joe Calzaghe and Kristina Rihanoff met on Strictly Come Dancing

Kristina Rihanoff says she'd never dreamt of finding love on Strictly Come Dancing.

The Russian-born professional dancer has been in a relationship with former world champion boxer Joe Calzaghe since they competed together in 2009.

She admitted: "Finding love on Strictly was amazing. Something I never dreamt of. I would never have met Joe without it. The show has given me everything."

Kristina said there was one reason that Strictly fuelled so many romances.

"When you dance with someone, it reveals their true personality much quicker than if you were dating normally," she said.

"That's the reason why so many couples get together on Strictly. Being on the show is tiring and emotional and so you see people's true colours very quickly.

"We see each other for what we are and that's when people fall in love. In the four months of training and performing on the series, you get to know someone better than you would in a whole year outside of the show. You put your emotions out there."

Kristina, set to appear in Burn The Floor in London's West End, added: "Joe was so nervous at the beginning of the competition, even though he could have a knock out with anyone in his own profession. It showed me his vulnerable and sensitive side."

:: INFORMATION: Kristina Rihanoff appeared at the re-opening of the Everyone Active Westcroft Leisure Centre in Carshalton, Surrey, and the launch of its dance school. For more information, visit www.everyoneactive.com

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