From October, 2014
***Tristan took some time out of his crazy schedule today to take more of your questions. He talks about his experiences so far with Strictly Come Dancing, working with his partner, Jennifer Gibney, training, and lots more.***
How has the Strictly Come Dancing experience been so far?
It’s been great, yeah. I love it here. All the celebs and pros seem to be on the same page and I’m loving the atmosphere around the place at the weekends and of course at rehearsals during the week.
We understand that you have been training with Jennifer back in Ireland. Assuming you remain in the competition, will you be going back and forth each week?
Yeah, we have been traveling a bit. Jen goes back to Ireland on the Sunday, and I leave Monday after our pro rehearsal in the morning then back Wednesday night. Assuming we stay in the next two weeks, we will be going to Glasgow, Scotland for the recording of Mrs. Brown's Boys so I get to go to Scotland for the first time so I’m buzzing about that. The first two weeks were full on because I had to fly to Ireland for two days and then back to London for two days then back to Ireland but now the show has started it’s just the two flights a week.
Jennifer seems like a very willing dance student. At this point, what do you see as her strengths?
Yeah, she is. She has a lot of strengths. She listens and can visualize things and works on it by herself which I think shows a great attitude. There are always struggles when you try to incorporate 'technique' into natural movements but we are working on not trying to change everything all at the same time so it’s great to see when she lets herself relax. You can see the confidence growing when those moments happen. It’s just getting the consistency now.
You’ve danced the Jive with Jennifer and next up is the Waltz, but is there one dance in particular that you hope to get to perform with her?
No, not at this stage. The next dance is always the most important one. For sure I have some concepts for dances which I’d like us to do but for now it’s just one week at a time and we aren't looking beyond that. There are no dances I’m worried about doing though. I know Jive is always a tough dance but we loved doing that one and we are aware that every dance is difficult and easy in its own way.
Speaking of the Waltz, for those of us who are novices, how do you begin the teaching process and what particular things do you look for to make sure it’s done properly?
The process is different for everyone but for me musicality is one of the major issues - to get the flow and graceful movements that complement the music. I guess a lot of people have the same issues in not having a rigid frame. To get any dance you need to relax first off and let your body move. Working on the controlled transfer of your weight from foot to foot I find is a big, big help (balance). People tend to rush Waltz because when you have slower dances you have more time to think 'I'm here too long I must be wrong’!
Obviously a lot of things are done differently on SCD than on DWTS, but is there anything that has been a difficult adjustment and conversely, is there something about it that you especially enjoy?
There aren't too many differences really but the differences aren't issues. I am travelling all the time so I won't be around to see what’s different. We don't all rehearse in the same studios. Everyone is separate here. In America it's generally just the people touring that don't get to rehearse with the group. Over here we learn all the season’s group numbers before we start with celebs and then recap them first day of the week. All the pros share a dressing room here which is cool. We have the weekly It Takes Two which plays the recaps of the show and talks with the couples about the experience. We don't produce as many conversations here which is great for me because I hate that. The celebs do their own interviews where they are asked about their time. I don't have to start every week with a video of explaining what song we have and what went wrong last week – haha. I can just have those conversations between the two of us. Generally the show is run the same way though all the crew are great and everybody knows everybody. We all have a green room where we hang out on show days before the show starts so you are always around as a group which I like a lot. There is a feeling that everyone is in it together.
Finally, we’re hoping for a London Pike story. How is he adapting, is he making some furry friends, and does he like the change?
Pikey loves it here. He is getting his personality change now. He wants to be friends with everyone which is great. He goes through bones and toys like no one’s business - always hungry, always in our face. He hates getting washed so he tries to hide when he knows the bath is coming. We put him in the groomers and they said he was a 'naughty customer'. I was very proud – haha! He knows exactly what he is doing but he has started doing a weird thing when he gets to the park. He just keeps sprinting in small circles around us and he loves playing catch with himself until he gets bored and then we have to fetch!!
Since July, 2012, we have interviewed Tristan 69 times and each is posted here with the most recent first. All interviews are posted elsewhere on this website, including our forum.