In the middle of a very busy few weeks on the Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour, Tristan graciously took time to answer a few of your questions. We hope you enjoy this interview as much as we do!
After a couple of weeks on the tour, do you have a few favorite dances (or a few standout performances) from the show? (other than the Charleston and American Smooth you do with Caroline)
I enjoy all the dances for different reasons on the tour. It changes daily really depending on how everyone does them. I like that the tour has less stress for everyone than the show so you get to see people enjoy doing the dances more, and everyone has a special venue I guess when it’s their home town so its like a new show every day or at least every few days. I like that we are getting to see a lot of different cities across the UK, and I will miss the tour when it finishes in a little under two weeks.
How about a favorite dance that you perform with Caroline?
I enjoy “Mack The Knife” that we do more so than the Charleston mainly because I love the song and it’s a Foxtrot.
You have been in lots of different venues on this tour, but it there an arena or a city that you have especially enjoyed? I’m sure they were all wonderful but did something in particular stand out?
The crowds have been great so far. I really enjoyed being in Manchester, and I had my cousins come see the show so that was fun. Newcastle was unreal, and we have just got home from the first show in Glasgow and this has been the best so far. I’m really looking forward to the London shows because I’ve never been in the O2 Arena, and I was only in Wembley to watch the football so that will be special. I love Glasgow. I wish we got to go to Dublin though and Belfast would have been nice.
We’ve heard very nice things about the tour but has there been an “oops” moment? For example, any forgotten choreography, missed cues, wardrobe malfunctions, etc.
All the above, yeah, haha! My collar popped off my tail suit the very first show. I still don't know how that happened. I think my Charleston costume is a malfunction of its own!! There are always missed steps from everyone. Sometimes you get distracted interacting with the audience and then sometimes you just miss something but nothing too major so far - touch wood!
Have you been able to get back to London at all for an off day or two during the tour or have you remained on the road the entire time?
I don't go back to London, no. I don't live there anymore so I stay on the road on the days off. Recovery time is much needed for me - haha. I spend the days off looking around the towns and then gym and usually icing.
What has been the most enjoyable part of this tour for you thus far?
Best part of the tour so far happened tonight [Friday in Glasgow]. Thom came out to do his salsa in a kilt.... not that part.... but he led that into the Scottish National Anthem and the whole place erupted into the song. It was amazing. That's what it’s all about and that’s what I remember most - none of the dances or the results - just the audience all coming together and the pride in the room was amazing!
You and Caroline have had a lot of success on the tour, but what would you say are her strengths and how has it been working with her these last few weeks?
Caz is great, yeah, we get on well, and it’s just easy times - laughing and doing a bit of dancing. Rach is on the tour as well. She came in to replace Frankie so it’s good having her here as well. I like her a lot and the two of them knock about with each other so that’s cool. Caz just loves dancing and she really enjoyed doing the show, and I guess that’s the best trait - when you enjoy doing what you are doing every day no matter how many times you do it!
Thanks to Tristan for another fun and informative interview. Please feel free to leave your comments for him below.
We caught up with Tristan this week and he shared what he has been doing the last few weeks. Read on to find out more about those special appearances with Iveta Lukosiute and Joanne Clifton, the P & O cruise coming in May, why he finds Iveta so funny, and what he did during his well-deserved break before the Strictly Live Tour begins.
You’ve been very busy since we last spoke. One event was the Karen Hardy Dance Studios Winter Wonderland Gala. We’ve seen the photos, and it looked like a fun evening. What was the role for you and Iveta? What type of performances?
The Karen Hardy Studios were having their showcase night and for us it was more of a last minute thing. To be honest I think somebody was supposed to perform and for whatever reason couldn't in the end. So Karen contacted Iveta a day or two before and then I was asked if I was free. It was during a pretty hectic rehearsal week on Strictly but we put a jive together and then did that to a Christmas song on the night. Apart from that we just taught a wee cha-cha class slash disco party moves (Iveta!! haha) and then watched a few of the showcases which were great to see. We talked and took some photos and what not with some of the guests and students. It was a great night. I have a few friends who work at the studio that I hadn't caught up with in a few years.
Also, on the Sunday after the Strictly final, you danced with Joanne Clifton at her family’s annual event. Would you tell us something about that?
We danced a showcase, myself and Jo, the night after the Strictly final in Grimsby up north in Jo and Kev’s parents’ studio. It was their last dance night before the Christmas break so it was a lovely dinner dance. We did a few numbers and question and answers and photos. It was a super night and we flew back to Dublin the next morning. I have known the Cliftons since we were kids and they are one of the nicest families I have probably met and I loved being part of their academies night. We danced two ballroom and two Latin - Waltz, the Viennese Waltz that I did with Rachel for the Christmas special, a Jive, and a Paso to “Unstoppable.” Kev and Karen did the show the previous year and they had flown to New York that morning so it was easy enough for me to do before I went back home.
One of our favorite pro dances this year was the disco pro dance just because it looked like all the pros enjoyed it so much. Was it as much fun as it looked? Do you have a favorite of this year’s pro dances?
Yeah, the disco number was grand - a bit of fun for sure. The group numbers were great this year. I enjoyed the majority of them to be honest. I loved the Sleeping Beauty number to “Beautiful Nightmare” and maybe the Mary Poppins one was fun. I liked watching that Bollywood number but I’m glad I wasn’t in it and then obviously Lord Of The Dance was amazing. I loved that they came on. I wish it would be on DWTS.
While we’re on the subject of the disco dance, you mentioned in the rehearsal clip that aired on It Takes Two that while working with Iveta, you spent most of the time laughing at just about everything she said. What was so funny?
I couldn't tell you! Iveta is great though. I find her hilarious and we just enjoy each other’s company. She tells terrible jokes and is a rubbish singer but I like her a lot – haha. We have obviously done the cruises together as well for DWTS but I’m glad I get to work with her again on Strictly and now the tour. I know it is gonna be much, much more entertaining that she is there!!
We have seen some photos and short clips from rehearsals for the tour (including that now famous “abs workout” Instagram video with you, Iveta, and Aljaz). How much rehearsal time is built into the schedule and how will it work as you rehearse some of the numbers Caroline did with Pasha? (assuming that's what will happen). How much practice time is involved for group dances?
The rehearsal period is really short for the tour, shorter than I thought but we have still been doing 10-6 each day for a week to learn a few group numbers and then we will have a few days to run the individual numbers that each couple will perform. We are the only 'new' couple I guess on the tour so for the rest it will just be a case of remembering. We tried to do that as much as possible for Caroline so I will really just step into Pasha’s shoes - a few minor changes will be made for everyone as each venue will be slightly different but mainly it will be a case of trying to recreate what it was that people loved about the series and then the bigger group numbers will be quite new. I won't be able to rechoreograph or anything like that. The production chose the dances they wanted in the tour and then we do them!
A lot of your fans in the US and UK are curious if you have plans to get back to the US for a visit (or extended stay) sometime between the tour and the P&O Cruise in late May.
Things change every day so at the minute all I will be concentrating on is what happens the next five/six weeks while the tour is on. I’m always working hard and working on something so my focus will go on the next thing once the next thing starts. I know a lot of people are hinting at this and at that and there is always a 'will I or won't I' thing that runs around that annoys me so much so I keep away from speculation. I have no plans but to keep myself and my family happy. Unfortunately we are in an industry that waits till the last minute to tell us if we have a job or not so I try now to make my own. I appreciate all the support that I have been lucky enough to get from the U.S and the U.K. Hopefully I can continue to do my best to give something back.
Speaking of the cruise, have you been to any or most of the places on this Mediterranean cruise (Portugal, Monaco, Italy) and is there something in particular you hope to see?
I haven't been to most of the places on the cruise and certainly never on a P&O ship so that will be something to look forward to once we get closer to the time for sure. It will be a great opportunity to go see these places, and to be able to discover somewhere I have never been in a position to go to before while working is special. I loved working on the Holland America Lines with DWTS and the cast there were the best bunch of people I have worked with. I love them all so to get another opportunity to dance on a completely different ship with my mate Iveta will be fun.
Finally, we hope you’ve enjoyed your brief break and time off. Have you had a chance to kick back and relax? Are you looking forward to anything in particular as you rehearse and go on the tour?
I had the best break, yeah. Myself and Tahyna had our first Irish Christmas as a married couple and then we got to finally have our honeymoon a year late but just as special. We had the break we needed and now we are fully charged and ready to jump back on the horse, hoping to keep healthy and happy this new year.
All the best.