Strictly Come Dancing star Kevin Clifton in Sheffield with hit dance show Burn the Floor
Strictly champion Kevin Clifton has returned to one of the most inspiring moments of his earlier career to star in dance show Burn the Floor.
The Grimsby-born dancer who finally took the famous glitterball trophy with celebrity dance partner Stacey Dooley this year has said on social media that returning to the stage show is like coming home. He has performed with it on Broadway and West End and around the world.
This version of the show promises seriously romantic waltz, a futuristic foxtrot, passionate tango and paso doble, emotionally-charged cha cha, samba and jive and a “smoking, irresistible rumba”.
“It came at a time when I was a little bit frustrated with the competition world. I was bored with it and didn’t feel creatively fulfilled.
“I decided to quit competitions. My mum, dad and coaches were going nuts.
“The team took me under their wing a bit. You’ve got a group of dancers thinking the same as you, that we want to push the boundaries and see how far we can push ballroom and Latin dancing.
“You get hit in the face with the energy and power of this dance and how they perform it in such a raw way without having to impress judges and win trophies.”
He continued: “I credit Burn the Floor with the development of my dancing. It changed it forever.
“When they asked if I would come on tour, I jumped at the chance.”
Kevin has had a busy year, also starring in the musical Rock of Ages, a show he returns to next month.
Appearing in a dance show is full on, with classes every day as part of rehearsals as well as performances. “You don’t just turn up and perform in the evening. You have to hold to a certain standard, with a warm-up and technique work and exercises.
“You’re totally engaged and switched on all the time and improving your technique all the time.”
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He confessed: “I’m pretty exhausted at the end of a night. For some reason I’m attracted to it!
“It’s that feeling of just keep going and going and be that sweaty and exhausted because you’ve left everything on stage.”
Ironically, being so much in demand elsewhere meant that Kevin had to miss the Strictly Live tour in the year when he finally won the title.
“I signed for Rock of Ages back in the summer before Strictly started, having no idea how well it was going to go,” he said.
He was surprised how much winning that title meant to him: “After my fourth final, I did think this is probably not going to happen ever.
“This was probably my last chance.
“Finally to win it this year was unbelievable. I didn’t expect we were going to win at any part in the series. Certainly not on the night.
“Stacey was struggling with the routine and said, ‘I don’t know if I can do this. I just feel like the other two girls are absolutely brilliant’.
“’Everybody loves Joe (Sugg) and he’s got a big social media following’.”
In the end they just went out and enjoyed it and took the trophy.
Burn the Floor is at Sheffield City Hall on May 25. Box office: www.sheffieldcityhall.co.uk