BBC Strictly Come Dancing darlings, Kevin and Karen Clifton hit the dance floor this summer with a brand new UK tour, Kevin & Karen Dance. The glamorous duo danced their way into the hearts of fans with a sizzling blend of onstage chemistry and their cutting-edge dance style.
High on the success of last year’s sell-out tour, the duo have pushed the boundaries of ballroom to create a show that’s bigger and better than ever. Supported by a 12-piece band and a cast of sensational international dancers, Kevin & Karen Dance promises to have audiences dancing in the aisles.
YES Mag’s Carly (decked out in sequins and dancing shoes, naturally) shimmied along to get the lowdown from ballroom’s dynamic duo for Yes Mag readers.
Carly: Following on from the huge success of your 2017 tour, the new UK tour starts in May. This year it’s bigger than ever – visiting no less than 39 venues! What are you looking forward to most?
KK: After last year’s successful sell-out tour, we’re on full throttle to make sure this year’s is as big a success. More importantly, we want it to be even more entertaining than it was last year.
We’re really looking forward to showcasing new story-lines, choreography, costumes and dancers that will get you up off your seat dancing along. We’ve searched the globe to get the best talent onstage!
Carly: What was your inspiration for the tour?
KK: It’s a tribute to all the years of influence and inspiration that have shaped us as we’ve evolved as dancers. We nearly called the show 35 Years in the Making!
Because it’s based on our experiences, the story line connects in all the numbers we’re doing.
Carly: The content and choreography must be one of the most challenging parts of the show to put together. When does all the planning start?
KK: We start generating ideas for the show months in advance. Discussions quickly move onto song choices, then conversations begin with directors and the bare bones of the show are constructed.
We’re both dedicated to continuous improvement where our choreography and style are concerned so, yes, it takes up a lot of our time. This year, we’ve made a massive leap forward and the show’s our best work yet.
Carly: It’s must be a huge operation – the costumes, the staging, the choreography, the music – when does it get to the point when you say, okay, we’re ready!
KK: Well, if it’s anything like last year, it will be about three shows into the actual run! There are so many elements to pull together that, even on opening night, we panic. In the end, thankfully, it’s always amazing!
Carly: Who has been your biggest inspiration in music and dance?
KK: The show is about great showmen and we draw a lot of inspiration from entertainers like Michael Jackson, Beyonce and Robbie Williams. In dance specifically, the old school greats like Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly have inspired us both.
Carly: Do you have a favourite style of dance that you love to perform?
KK: Our favorite dance is the Paso Doble; it’s very dramatic but tells a great story. It’s passionate, energetic and full of character. Our signature dance is performed to the powerful Moulin Rouge version of Roxanne.
Carly: Do you get the same enjoyment performing as a duo as you do on a huge show like Strictly Come Dancing?
KK: Being part of Strictly has been a blessing for us because it made it possible to go on tour and inspire people of all ages and backgrounds to dance.
Both shows are a huge part of our lives and being able to do what we dreamed of since childhood is something we really cherish.
Carly: On a physically demanding show like Strictly, it must be really important to stay in shape. Do you have to watch your diet?
KK: No! If anything we have to make an effort to eat more carbs and protein because we’re rehearsing so much. Energy levels have to be kept high!
Carly: Has the recent press speculation about your personal relationship bought a different dynamic to your professional relationship?
KK: The news hasn’t changed how we dance together. If anything, it’s given us more of a connection and brought us closer on the dance floor.
See Kevin & Karen dance at Venue Cymru on Thursday 26th July 2018. Tickets are on sale now from the Box Office on 01492 872 000