Kristina Rihanoff is one of the nation’s most renowned dance stars, having showcased a multitude of performances from the age of 7, she is best-known for her appearances on the hit BBC television series, Strictly Come Dancing.
The daughter of two engineers, Kristina Rihanoff was born and grew up in Vladivostok, Russia. Her parents divorced when she was aged 12, during the decline of the Soviet Union. Living with her mother, at the age of 15 she became a part-time dance instructor to help increase her household income, earning in a day what her educated mother would earn in a month. It’s an upbringing which she credits with her incredibly high levels of self-discipline.
By the age of 21, her talent and eye for choreography caught the attention of dance schools in America, to which Kristina was invited and accepted the role of dance instructor. From there, she developed her career over the next few years through a combination of teaching and performing in the United States as well as choreographing shows in China, Hong Kong and Japan.
Putting herself in the spotlight, Kristina entered and mastered a number of competitions around the world; she gained 1st place in the South African International Latin Championship (2005–2006), 2nd in the US National American Rhythm Finals (2003–2005), 2nd in the Open to the World, Mambo Championship (2003–2004), and was a Semi-Finalist at the Open to the World, Blackpool Dance Festival in 2007, to name a few.
In 2007, Kristina joined Strictly Come Dancing, the biggest TV show in Britain, appearing on every episode since and, as such, has become one of the most recognisable and popular members of the cast. Strictly Come Dancing is watched, on average, by over 12 million viewers per show and its popularity has seen it exceed eleven seasons.
As a professional dancer on the show, Kristina has partnered with John Seargent, Joe Calzaghe, DJ Goldie, Jason Donovan, Colin Salmon and Ben Cohen, Jason Donovan, of whom, was her most successful partner yet. “The dynamic duo proved to be a formidable partnership, clocking up the most rehearsal hours of all contestants and taking numerous perfect 40 scores” – BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing.
Life on stage during Strictly Come Dancing brings its own challenges and anecdotes. From the high pressured live shows, to an abundance of performances with global superstars like Beyoncé and the BeeGees, to name but a few.
Aside from Strictly, Kristina has featured in a number of newspapers and magazines such as Hello, OK, Cosmopolitan, Closer, The Mail on Sunday, The Daily Mirror and more as a result of her increased screen presence and growing following. She also went on to become the face of St. Tropez Perfect Legs Tanning, the coverage of which made its way to page 3 of The Sun, the Mail Online, The Sun Online and Heat Magazine’s site, Heatworld. As a direct result of Kristina’s endorsement, St. Tropez’s sales increased by over 40% and traffic to their website went up by over 100% with 84% of those visits being new.
Health, fitness and wellbeing has been a passion throughout Kristina’s life. Her Hello Magazine wellbeing blog provides the portal to champion a positive and supportive attitude towards her blog readers, as well as women in the public eye. The honest accounts of the insecurities she faces as a woman, including the struggles of a first time mum and an aspiring entrepreneur, give confidence and encouragement. She is very proactive in discouraging the pursuit of unrealistic body images branded across glossy magazines and rather advocates women loving themselves.
In 2012, Kristina was chosen to front a highly successful campaign to raise awareness for breast cancer, through a charity called CoppaFeel! and Panache Sport Bras. Panache were looking to recruit a “real” woman to head their campaign, and its launch went on to receive fantastic coverage in a number of newspapers, the combined readership of which exceeded 9 million people.
As a patron of Dot Com Children’s Foundation, Kristina has a dream of helping to raise a mentally and physically healthy young generation. The charity provides an educational programme which teaches children how to communicate any worries or dangerous situations to adults. The programme is endorsed by the Home office and Midlands police and is seen as an early prevention of crime, grooming and abuse of any kind.
Kristina is available for a number of commercial projects including personal appearances, motivational speaking and dance shows with her professional partner. If you’re looking to turn the heat up on the dance floor or in the boardroom, Kristina should be your first port of call.
Posts featuring Kristina Rihanoff
Strictly Come Dancing and Celebrity Appeal
"Inspirational, really - Kristina managed to lift the spirits of every person in the room...”
Dot Com Foundation