From April, 2015
First, you have been busy the last few weeks doing all kinds of things, but have you enjoyed the break from frequent rehearsals and performing? What are you most looking forward to in the upcoming weeks and months?
I’ve been having a great time recently. I haven't had too much free time to be honest with everything that’s been going on but I’m keeping happy and keeping busy. I’m training a lot, working on some new things and getting fitter and getting to spend a lot more time with my wife and family so no complaints. I’m always rehearsing for something though. It’s no different now – it’s just that I’m able to dictate my own schedules.
You have told us in the past that you have occasionally forgotten choreography, but have there been occasions when your celebrity partner has forgotten the steps? How do you handle it?
Yeah, for sure everyone forgets everything all the time – haha. I’m not gonna rat on anyone so I’ll keep them to myself. Those who have made some it's no problem - what can ya do?? It’s been different for different people. Some don't care and some don't realize. Some panic so you try to calm them down and some just laugh and that's cool with me too. I’ve half-stopped at some stages and mumbled, "What are ya doing?" They said, "I don't know "so I said, "Alright so…" When it comes to the mistakes they are obviously not done on purpose but it’s not the end of the world so why get too worked up about it?
We have a miscellaneous category on our forum where we asked people to tell us the name of a very well-known movie they never bothered to see in the theatre, on DVD, on Netflix, or anywhere else. We had some surprising answers. What about you? What extremely well known films have you just never bothered to see?
Sound Of Music, Calamity Jane, Singin’ In The Rain - most of those musical films I’ve never seen. One that surprised even me I think was The Godfather. I only recently watched it but I did like it a lot. There is probably loads. I just can't think of them.
Speaking of movies, in the past you have mentioned a few of your favorite films. What do you look for when choosing a film to see? Are there certain actors whose movies you always want to see or do you have other criteria?
No. That’s a bit too deep for me. I just like the film or I don't.
You once told us that you don’t really care for dance movies. Is it that you generally prefer something else or is there something about them that you don’t like in particular?
I think they are pretty much all the exact same and they just annoy me........and I prefer everything else - although the older ones with Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire were completely different. I can watch them now and again on a lazy day.
A lot of dancers follow strict diets. Do you have things you won't eat or drink or perhaps foods that you think might affect your ability to dance well, particularly during the DWTS/SCD seasons when you dance a lot or even back in the times when you were touring with Burn the Floor?
No, I never really thought about my diet. I probably should have and in saying that I have changed the way I eat the last few years. My biggest thing was soft drinks....so now I drink my whiskey straight – haha! No, I don’t drink soft drinks. That’s my main thing and I don't eat as many carbs anymore but that’s more by coincidence than intention. I was never into seafood but I’m starting to experiment with food more (for some people that means just eating different types of food - not experimenting as in fancy ingredients!!)
Have you been able to catch up with any of your friends from DWTS while being back in the states or have you been busy with other things?
I have obviously seen Farbs and Emma but to be honest everyone is so busy with the show that I just leave them to it. I don't really see too many of them anyway much anymore with travelling and what not but I messaged them all when the season started to wish them luck.
Do you have anything special that you do on the day of a show or performance? Any routine warm-ups or stretching exercises?
No I usually just spend show day talking to people trying to keep away from my partner........haha - only joking. No show day is the same as any other day for me. You have some friends around you say hello too but I’m usually kept busy on show day and in London the show is Saturday so that’s football day so from about 3 til 5.45/5.50 I’m watching Leeds. I may have a stretch while that’s on.
Strictly had new pro dances each week, and you were in most of them. While we understand that preparation and rehearsal begins in August, how long does it generally take you to learn the new dances and feel comfortable with them? Which ones last year were the most difficult to learn, if any?
With Strictly you learn all the group numbers before the season starts and then recap them after show days the previous week so we do full days before the season and then a few hours the week of and then maybe a couple of runs before camera block and show day. It’s not that any were too hard. It’s just that I missed all the original rehearsals because I was on a different show so just catching up was time consuming but they were all grand and I didn't have to do any contemporary or styles that I wasn't familiar with so it was pretty smooth.
While everyone is different and has different practice schedules, one of your supporters asked what is the longest you rehearsed with one of your celebrity partners? For example, how long was a ‘typical’ day or approximately how long was the longest day you rehearsed? Also, did you ever have to do your rehearsals in small blocks of time scattered throughout the day instead of straight through? Is there a preferred way to rehearse or is there anything routine about it at all?
Rehearsals are different for everyone, I think and there is not really an ideal way to a degree. Some people need to break up rehearsals for work or to give their head a break. With Nancy we worked the most hours probably. We would rehearse before and after her shows with no days off. She was a great worker but her schedule was really full on that we worked when we could for as long as we could. Gladys was on tour so that was difficult so a few hours at a time between her sound checks and load in to venues. We had the latest rehearsals I’d image. I think we were still rehearsing at 1a.m. some times. Dorothy’s hip meant we could do little so most rehearsals I did a lot of teaching with little actual dancing, Pam we didn't have much rehearsals but the days we did were long and with that I guess your mind shuts down before your body does so they can be harder and with Valerie we had a few days off a week and then we would take breaks every couple of hours. For everyone it’s different. Ideally you want to be in and out after a few hours but it doesn’t work that way for most. It’s more about what you can get done in your time- not so much about how much time you have.
A lot of people have asked – will you be part of the DWTS 10th Anniversary Special that airs sometime in May?
No, I won't.
Since July, 2012, we have interviewed Tristan 66 times and in honor of our website forum reaching 1 million views in February, 2016, we decided to bring them all back beginning with the first one. We hope you enjoy this very special feature. All interviews are posted elsewhere on this website, including our forum.