We are delighted that Tristan will return to Strictly Come Dancing this year, and we know there will be lots of good times ahead!
We hope you will leave a message or two for Tristan in the comments section below. We can't wait to get the SCD party started again!
In honor of 700,000 forum views, here is another brief Q and A with Tristan. Thanks for your questions - keep them coming!
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 begin 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.
Thanks to Tristan for taking more of our questions, and thanks to all of you who keep sending them in. It sounds like lots of things are in the works for our favorite pro!
Please leave your comments in the section below.
Tristan took time from a very busy schedule to take more of your questions and fill us in on what he has coming up in the next few weeks. Enjoy!
You and Chelsie Hightower are scheduled to perform together again in Ballroom With A Twist on May 7 in Ashland, Kentucky. Is this the only scheduled BWAT date for you right now?
Yeah, I’ll be doing BWAT with Chelsie soon and trying to remember some routines from before. It’s difficult when we all live in different places and are so busy finding time to put routines together but that’s the next BWAT, yeah, and then I have some coming up with Anna later in May. I’m not too sure when the next ones are though. I’ve been speaking to Scott [Stander] and trying to find out what can work date wise so maybe more in June/July if we can make something work.
In late May, you and Iveta Lukosiute will be dancing on the P&O Mediterranean Cruise. What types of performances will you be doing, or will you find out more about that at a later date?
I’m actually going to Oklahoma tomorrow to teach for a few days and then I’m meeting up with Iveta in New York, and we will put some things together then and figure out what we need. I think we need 5 or 6 dances so we will get our head around it this week and see what we can do. I’d imagine it’s a split between Ballroom and Latin but we need to get our songs together and put some routines in order. We are gonna do a show together in June as well – Life’s A Dance in Fort Walton/Pensacola which is always great fun. I haven't been able to do it the last few years but myself and Iveta are gonna do it this year. [June 20 – details to follow]
You’ve been away from London for a few weeks now. What do you miss most?
I miss the football. I’d be at most of the games right now if I was there and obviously friends and I miss being close to home but in fairness being back in LA for a little bit has been good for us. I realized what it was that was standing in the way of me liking it. I’ve really enjoyed my time here now and it’s great being back with friends here and working away. The weather is great and I’m busy and just overall much happier. Think the plan is to be back in Europe July/August time so hopefully back to London again - if not I’ll keep doing what I’m doing now - ha!
We saw that you and Anna Trebunskaya had been rehearsing something a couple of weeks ago at her studio. Can you tell us more about that?
Myself and Anna were doing a corporate event in Indian Wells but also practicing for the shows in June. It’s really the only time we can make work rehearsal wise.
We just posted an interview with Jasmine Takacs, and she had some kind words about you. She also talked about her work with the silks on the tour. Any chance you would like to try something like that? What were your impressions of her from Strictly and the tour?
No, silks aren’t for me. I’ve fallen through curtains like that before after a night out but I’ve no intention on being up there. I think it looks better Jas doing it. Jasmine is great, yeah - great dancer, works hard, and you can see why she is so successful at what she does. Genuine girl as well which is the most important thing and works out pretty much every second of the day. Loves protein – haha!
Even though you have said that you were never really crazy about school when you were growing up, suppose you had decided to become a teacher. What subject would you have chosen to teach?
I love History and Geography but when it comes to teaching I find that 'FACTS' can be very misleading so I’d have to do something that would inspire thought more than remembering information if that makes sense. 'FACTS' cause too many problems in my eyes so you should bring up topics and inspire thought. I love history for the stories I hear. I’m not really interested in the date that it happened, just that it happened at all and why. A lot of people will disagree with me but that’s what I like. It doesn’t matter what you know if you don’t do anything with it so to inspire people to use their voice and to understand both sides is so important.
Other than football, what is your favorite sport as a spectator? What is your favorite as a participant?
I’m getting more and more into rugby to be honest and I generally like most sports. Money has ruined a lot of sports for me though so I can watch a lot without getting too invested in it anymore. I think rugby is much tougher than soccer and you don't see people roll around as much and it’s also not as egotistical as football – haha. I follow UFC and endurance sports. I swim a lot these days and I box when I can find time - always on the bike and running.
Who is your favorite professional athlete?
I have a lot of sportsmen I like to watch - Conor McGregor is one obviously but football one of my favourites in Zlatan Ibrahimovic. People hate him but I love that guy. I like lippy people that back it up – hahaha. I’m more into team games though more than individuals.
Tell us about your favorite holidays.
I’m not a beach guy to be honest it bores me I just like hanging out, listening to music, having some drinks and a bit of craic. I like to walk about places and just sightsee. That’s a holiday for me. I like to sit around now and again but it’s not really a holiday to me. Ireland or Australia I’m very happy with. Actual public holidays though I’m not pushed on. Paddy’s Day can be cool but I prefer it at home with friends and Christmas at home, Easter at home with family.
In the past you have given us brief tutorials on different dances. One of the members of our website was curious about the Foxtrot. What are some things you point out when trying to teach it? What things are important in order to have a strong Foxtrot?
Foxtrot is one of my favourites but listening to the music is the main thing always and generally Foxtrot has some pretty cool music. You travel a lot in Foxtrot - all this gliding and what not so trying to travel far while staying connected to the floor so stretching and staying cool! It’s a pretty laid back dance so you should treat it that way. You have to keep a strong standing leg and an eager travelling leg – ha!
While we understand that “good” is a relative term, from your perspective what qualities make a good dancer?
Someone who enjoys what they are doing and who doesn’t look like they are trying. It’s easier said than done and probably said too much. I guess someone who understands the music they are dancing to or who gets something from what they hear - simple as that, probably simpler than my answer! If you enjoy what you see without thinking about why then it’s good.
Clearly we like to have fun and you love to laugh and you once told us how funny you think Iveta is…what song do you think best describes her? Or, if you prefer, how about creating a 2-4 line poem instead?
Probably "Blurred Lines" - not for any other reason than that’s all I hear when she sings it!
Finally, just for fun, we have a place on the forum where we post photos and ask for outrageous/funny captions and one of the site members thought it would be fun if you gave it a go.
"A reaction to an Englishman Irishman and a Welshman joke!! Or there was a rat in the room…"
"Aliona was the first person to agree that what I say makes sense."
"I don't like cats - those two are being cats - Aliona agrees."
Thank you, Tristan!
We hope you will leave your comments for Tristan below. Be sure to check this website often for updates. We regularly add photos to our galleries, appearance schedule changes to our Update and Appearances pages, and special features with other artists throughout the site. Enjoy!
Jasmine Takacs is a multi-faceted artist and performer who is not only a dancer but also a choreographer and model. We know her from Strictly Come Dancing and her brilliant work on the Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour, but there is so much more! We got to know Jasmine a little better in this interview, and we will know you will enjoy it as much as we did!
With such a diverse resume, you are always growing as an artist and must be incredibly busy year round. What do you enjoy doing during your rare time off?
First of all thank you for wanting to do this interview with me and thank you for your interest and support to me as an artist.
During my rare "time off" I enjoy seeing my close friends for coffees, go on a holiday in the sun, see a dance show, cinema or shopping.
Here is a little collage of my holiday to Dubai with Kristina [Rihanoff], where we also met up with Kevin [Clifton] & Karen [Hauer]. Also other pictures from “Strictly” nights out.
Here are Joanne Clifton and I seeing our lovely friend Natasha Mould in Cats (the musical) during Strictly tour rehearsals 2015.
There is never really any "time off" though from my work and passion. Everything that I do can affect my dancing and creative mind so even on my perfect holiday I wake up, go to the gym, enjoy some breakfast, and then start my day of relaxing time once I have "taken my medicine" which is daily exercise as soon as I wake up. I also work with fitness dvd’s, fitness shoots, etc. too so I know that my muscles will pay off in beauty and pay the bills too. And for my dancing, of course I need a strong and flexible athletic body.
I am constantly looking for ways to improve my body and dancing, to maintain a strong fit beautiful body that is ready for challenges and intense dancing periods. I am always trying to fuel my body with the best nutrition possible at every meal for recovery and inner health too. Even when I am shopping I am constantly looking for inspiration for my photo shoots, dance costumes for shows, and everyday clothes that can make me look, feel and dance better.
Please tell us how you ended up as part of the Strictly Come Dancing family.
I got an email from my agent about an audition for a new show/UK tour that Craig Revel Horwood was directing in 2013 called "Strictly Confidential" starring Lisa Riley, Artem Chigvinstev, Natalie Lowe, and Ian Waite.
When I read the email I instantly knew and thought to myself, "I am doing this job - I want it!" I already had other work booked on the day of the audition so I got a friend to cover me and I paid her 200£ extra from my own money to cover me on this job I was meant to do just so I could be available for the audition. That's how much I wanted it...
I arrived to the audition tanned, full hair and makeup, new Latin heels, a little skirt (I was imagining I was a Strictly dancer already) - - I wanted the job really bad! The competition was hard. There were over 200 girls and after a few hours of sweat and hard auditions I got kept to the end finals and danced my heart and soul out to Craig Revel Horwood and the audition panel. I was there to get the job!
A few hours after the audition my agent called me to say they wanted to offer me the contract.
Cast of Strictly Confidential 2013
Since then (2013) I have been a part of the Strictly family and have been a dancer on the Strictly Confidential Tour, a Troupe Dancer on the live shows 2013 and 2014, Assistant Choreographer on group numbers in 2013, Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour 2015, Strictly Come Dancing BBC Worldwide Showcase 2015 Dancer and Assistant, and The People's Strictly 2015 Troupe Dancer and Assistant.
What kind of training and preparation did you need in order to do that jaw-dropping move with the silks on the tour? How did that come about?
Our choreographer Jason Gilkison asked me if I had any experience up on the silks, which I never had, but I was definitely up for giving it a go. I had a good feeling about it and was up for the last minute challenge! My flatmate is an acrobat so I had the right contacts to get in touch with the right people who could teach me how to do it.
I only had 3 hours of silk training the day before we left on tour....thanks to my years of lifting weights and stretching lots I have developed a strong and flexible body.
Along those same lines, how and where did you learn your 'silk' acrobatics?
I learnt by one of the teachers from the BBC show “Tumble” Amy Panther. We will be continuing my training and I have already learnt new tricks.
Back to Strictly Come Dancing for a moment. Do you have a favorite performance that you have been involved with on Strictly?
My favourite performance on Strictly must be the BBC showcase we did in Liverpool 2015 where we also got to dance with The Backstreet Boys. It was a dazzling 15 minute performance with 4 amazing group numbers with non-stop dancing plus I went up twice in the silks in heels! According to my aerial teacher I am the first one to do silks in Latin heels! I am basically pretty fearless!
What performances from the tour particularly impressed you?
I think the opening number of the tour was the most fun for me to dance. Here is a photo of what it looked like with me and Tristan.
"Let it Go" was the most impressive number, maybe because I was in the air at the same time showing off my flexibility and strength on the silks, and I think that brought something magical to the number with gorgeous dancing from the pros and me in the air in a split.
For those of us unable to see the tour, please tell us what dances you were part of.
I danced in the opening number, also Alison Hammond and Aljaz's Charleston...
...Thom Evans and Iveta's Salsa....
...Caroline Flack and Tristan's Charleston to "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)"...
...the "Let It Go" ballroom group number and the finale number.
You have training in many different dance styles, but do you have a specific preference as a performer?
Yes, I am trained in many dance styles such as Jazz, Contemporary, Ballet, Commercial but the Latin dance styles are my favourites.
As a choreographer?
I enjoy all sorts of styles when I get to create my own material depending on what job I do, but I tend to give my own work a Jazz/Latin feel.
What are your favorite Ballroom and Latin styles?
Rumba for Latin and Waltz and Tango for Ballroom.
We have to ask. Had you met Tristan before Strictly Come Dancing and how much did you get to work with him?
Of course I have met him on the series and the tour. He is a lovely dancer and nice personality. Always smiling and bringing a positive vibe to the room.
What do you consider to be the high points of your career thus far?
I consider many things as high points of my career. Here are a few examples: Dancing at 2 Brit Awards with CeeLo Green and Florence and the Machine, Dancing at the MTV Europe Music awards for top artists since 2008, and being a dancer at the London Olympics closing ceremonies. It was such a magical moment doing the big show knowing the whole world was watching, after 2 months rehearsals outside in the rain and then to be dancing on pointe with Darcey Bussell, One Direction, Pet Shop Boys, Fatboy Slim, Jessie J, and Tinie Tempah.
Also going on UK tours with Steps, Pasha Kovalev, Ant & Dec, Strictly Come Dancing & Strictly Confidential Tour starring Lisa Riley. Becoming a troupe dancer on the tv show since 2013 and a part of the Strictly Come Dancing family is, of course, one of the highlights that means the most to me.
Steps UK Tour 2012 / Strictly Confidential
Pasha Kovalev & Katya Virshilis UK Tour 2014
What do you have planned for the next few months?
I just got back from performing in Robin Windsor and Kristina Rihanoff's show on board Saga Cruises.
Later in April me and my dance partner will be instructors and dance on the P&O Strictly Come Dancing cruises. Then I will see what happens. That's one of the exciting things of being a freelance dancer. I don't know what the universe has in store for me but I will continue to train hard and I know amazing things are on their way. :)
Finally, is there anything you would like to say to your growing number of fans?
I am truly grateful for the support my fans are giving me. It does mean so much to me when others want you to succeed and support my journey towards my dreams and goals. I always have a massive smile on my face when I speak to my fans and see what they do for me. I hope I can inspire my fans to follow their dreams and hearts, live their lives with passion, do what they love and wake up with a smile ready to conquer the world.
More from Jasmine....
The Strictly Come Dancing troupe Boys Callum and Jake and I in the gym whilst on tour and an example of one of my many stretches.
BBC Showcase Liverpool 2015
I loved dancing the Michael Jackson medley group number in Blackpool 2014.
Florence and The Machine Brit Awards 2012
CeeLo Green / Brit Awards 2011
Olympics Closing Ceremonies 2012
Dancing on the MTV Europe music awards since 2008 until current date in different countries for artists such as Katy Perry, Pink, Pitbull, Taylor Swift, Carly Rae Jepsen and Kesha.
Strictly Come Dancing UK Tour 2015
Thanks to Jasmine for taking time to answer our questions and for providing us with so many wonderful photos. We can't wait to see what's next for this very talented performer!
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Please leave comments for Jasmine below. This interview is also posted on our Spotlight page.
Most photos were provided to us by Jasmine and are fully owned by the photographers.
Thanks to guest blogger, Em - longtime member of our website and forum - for this very astute post.
My thoughts on Dancing With the Stars – I can take it or leave it, so for now I’m leaving it.
I have watched DWTS since Season 1. Or rather I had watched DWTS since Season 1. I gradually lost interest since the Season 15 All-Stars which was surprisingly a non-event instead of a huge event, but I watched a little longer because Tristan MacManus was a pro and that was one very good reason to stay tuned in to ABC on Monday nights. I skipped Season 18 after I heard Tristan was left off the cast list (for no good reason that I could see) and nothing about that season pro or celebrity-wise was enough to make me watch. The same held true for Season 19 because Tristan was dancing on Strictly Come Dancing in the UK and that was more than enough to hold my interest because I got to see Tristan dance full numbers week after week - even after he and Jennifer Gibney were eliminated. Rewind to the days of the pro and cast reveal for Season 20. It was the same old story. I don’t like things that don’t make sense, and, in all honestly, the cast of pros, the pairings, the insanity, the ridiculousness, the overabundance of self-promotion, and the gimmicks just don’t make sense.
Here’s the thing. After seeing Tristan on Strictly Come Dancing and watching him perform every week, I could really see what DWTS is missing. Tristan brought the fun, energy, excitement, charm, and charisma and while there are some very talented individuals performing on the DWTS stage, there’s nobody that interests me enough to make me watch again. Over the last year I’ve read a lot on the MacManiacs.org forum, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and elsewhere and I know I’m not alone. As the DWTS seasons have passed, more and more of us are skipping DWTS completely or are limiting ourselves to catching the occasional 60 second performance on You Tube or Dailymotion. It’s still an okay show but it doesn’t have the same appeal for those of us who want to see certain pros who can not only dance beautifully but who can teach and who love to teach. We want to see classic Ballroom and Latin dancing with the elements of Ballroom and Latin dancing – not an excess of standing around, overdancing pros, shortened performances, and cringe-worthy gimmicks.
So I’m off the DWTS train. Of course, if my favorite dance pro (who just happens to be a magnificent teaching pro as well as one of the best entertainers of all) is brought back for a season or the 10th anniversary stand alone special, I would gladly tune in to see him. Otherwise, no thank you. DWTS is fine as it is for some people. It’s just not of interest to me without, as Nancy Grace called him, The Dance Purist. Tristan is one of those rare pros that is the complete package. So until or unless he returns, I’m perfectly content watching The Voice. Or adding a Monday night Salsa class to my already busy schedule. Or taking French lessons just for fun. You get the picture.