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.