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Robin Windsor’s dance partner Gordana Grandosek Whiddon reveals she ‘tried so hard to pull him out of the shadows’ and the dancer just ‘wanted to be loved’ in heartbreaking tribute: ‘You were too fragile for this world’


Fellow Strictly professional Gordana Grandosek Whiddon has revealed she thought Robin ‘Bobby’ Windsor had pulled himself ‘out of the shadows’ when they worked together just weeks before he was found dead in a London hotel room. 

It emerged on Tuesday the professional Latin and Ballroom dancer, 44, had died, with friends detailing his brave battle against mental health struggles and thoughts of suicide.

Robin is said to have suffered a troubling incident over the New Year period, before heading to work with Gordana in Africa. 

The pair performed on a Fred Olsen cruise to South Africa and Madagascar in January and Robin stayed in South Africa for a while after leaving the ship. 

Speaking to MailOnline after Robin’s tragic death, Gordana paid an emotional tribute to her late friend and shared exclusive photos of their last dance together in January.

Gordana Grandosek Whiddon thought Robin Windsor had pulled himself 'out of the shadows' when they worked together just weeks before he was found dead in a London hotel room

Gordana Grandosek Whiddon thought Robin Windsor had pulled himself ‘out of the shadows’ when they worked together just weeks before he was found dead in a London hotel room

Robin is said to have suffered a troubling incident over the New Year period, before heading to perform with Gordana on a Fred Olsen cruise to South Africa and Madagascar

Robin is said to have suffered a troubling incident over the New Year period, before heading to perform with Gordana on a Fred Olsen cruise to South Africa and Madagascar

She shared: ‘Robin – Bobby – I can’t believe you are gone. You were the light, the rainbow, the sun, the warmth, the smile, energy, you were too fragile for this world.

‘You only wanted to be loved. I treasure our memories from the beginning to the end. 

‘From Biloxi, Mississippi to New Orleans Mardi Gras to Japan Laundry, Broadway, the last 25th anniversary of Burn The Floor.

‘Endless parties. Oh how I don’t regret a single night partying and drinking with you while rehearsing and doing what we loved.

‘We all had so much fun. Late nights walking around, talking, laughing.

‘I was privileged to be next to you on the darkest nights, hugged you when you cried, and it seemed you got out of the shadows but you never did.

‘I tried so hard but it was not enough. We had an unforgettable cruise, last dance with you. I love you Bobby boy for ever.’

Slovenian-born Gordana, 45, joined the 2018 Strictly professional line-up to partner Ronan Keating for a Boyzone Children In Need special.

She was the Slovenian champion four years running, British and International runner up, German, Dutch, Italian, Danish champion and Australian professional 10 dance champion.

She joined Burn The Floor in 2000, which was co-founded by Robin, and was a cast member of the Broadway production. 

Gordana became company manager for Burn The Floor Busch Gardens with her partner Trent Whiddon.

Speaking to MailOnline after Robin's tragic death, Gordana paid an emotional tribute to her late friend and shared exclusive photos of their last dance together in January

Speaking to MailOnline after Robin’s tragic death, Gordana paid an emotional tribute to her late friend and shared exclusive photos of their last dance together in January

She shared: ¿Robin - Bobby - I can¿t believe you are gone. You were the light, the rainbow, the sun, the warmth, the smile, energy, you were too fragile for this world'

She shared: ‘Robin – Bobby – I can’t believe you are gone. You were the light, the rainbow, the sun, the warmth, the smile, energy, you were too fragile for this world’

Gordana added: ¿You only wanted to be loved. I treasure our memories from the beginning to the end... I don¿t regret a single night partying and drinking with you while rehearsing'

Gordana added: ‘You only wanted to be loved. I treasure our memories from the beginning to the end… I don’t regret a single night partying and drinking with you while rehearsing’

She added: ¿I was privileged to be next to you on the darkest nights, hugged you when you cried, and it seemed you got out of the shadows but you never did'

She added: ‘I was privileged to be next to you on the darkest nights, hugged you when you cried, and it seemed you got out of the shadows but you never did’

Gordana went on: ¿I tried so hard but it was not enough. We had an unforgettable cruise, last dance with you. I love you Bobby boy for ever'

Gordana went on: ‘I tried so hard but it was not enough. We had an unforgettable cruise, last dance with you. I love you Bobby boy for ever’

Gordana joined Burn The Floor in 2000, which was co-founded by Robin, and was a cast member of the Broadway production

Gordana joined Burn The Floor in 2000, which was co-founded by Robin, and was a cast member of the Broadway production

While the cause of Robin’s death has yet to be confirmed, his close friend and former Strictly co-star Kristina Rihanoff hinted that he may have taken his own life.

She wrote online: ‘There are no words to express the pain.

‘Robin wasn’t just my dance partner, he was a friend and together we shared endless experiences from our career highlights to hitting rock bottom of rejection. 

‘Many of you, who went to see his farewell tour, know perfectly well that he spoke very openly about his mental health struggles and thoughts of suicide.

‘I’m sure it was devastating for anyone who loves Robin to hear that, but those thoughts were in his head for many years… Too much pain, too much disappointment, too much neglect.’

In a second post she showed her followers her and Robin’s last rehearsal together in late November, adding: ‘If I only knew it’s the last ever dance… may you dance with the angels with no more pain my friend.’

Robin previously opened up about his struggles with depression on Strictly. 

In 2018, he revealed: ‘We all have dark days but I was having dark weeks. I would end up not getting out of bed for four or fives days at a time, as far as everyone was concerned I was ‘happy Robin’ – except to the people I lived with.’

In another poignant interview with a mental health charity last year, he said: ‘I was always seen as a happy person, always with a big smile on my face. Now I realise that those with the biggest smiles sometimes can hide the biggest pain.’

He also previously told how was left struggling to get out of bed after his relationship with his fiancé Davide Cine ended, he lost his job on Strictly and he had to pay a £100,000 tax bill – as his world came crashing down all at the same time. 

Robin's last dancer partner Gordana spoke of her 'love' for the Strictly professional following his tragic passing

Robin’s last dancer partner Gordana spoke of her ‘love’ for the Strictly professional following his tragic passing

The Slovenian dancer, who's also performed on the BBC One Show, shared a video of the pair dancing on stage together, alongside the caption, 'I love you Bobby' with a heart and a broken hearted emoji

The Slovenian dancer, who’s also performed on the BBC One Show, shared a video of the pair dancing on stage together, alongside the caption, ‘I love you Bobby’ with a heart and a broken hearted emoji

It comes after Gordana shared a poignant message about the dancer just weeks before he died

It comes after Gordana shared a poignant message about the dancer just weeks before he died

The pair had been longtime dance partners, performing at the iconic Blackpool Tower together and recently reuniting for the Madagascan cruise

The pair had been longtime dance partners, performing at the iconic Blackpool Tower together and recently reuniting for the Madagascan cruise

Robin, who said he had battled with depression from the age of 19, would later get into a relationship with, X Factor star Marcus Collins – but their 18-month romance ended in 2015.

He said: ‘I was still on Strictly at the time it started – it was really bad. A lot of things happened at the same time, quite bad things, which set it in motion. 

‘My injury, a financial situation, my engagement [to Davide] had ended and I lost my job on Strictly all at the same time so it took its toll.’

Robin also revealed how he struggled to watch Strictly after he was axed by bosses in 2014 following a ‘horrible back operation‘. He previously said: ‘Leaving Strictly wasn’t my choice. I had a horrible back operation and they decided that they didn’t want to ask me back the next year. 

‘It was probably for health and safety reasons, in case something happened, but I was physically fit. One of my best friends Trent Whiddon, who replaced me to dance with Pixie Lott, I wanted to watch and support him, but it broke my heart.’

‘I was with Marcus Collins from the X Factor, who was my partner at the time, and said to him, ‘I’m really struggling to watch the show.’

‘He told me the best thing to do was to really get behind and support everybody. He said it was hard for him to watch the success of Little Mix, who beat him on X Factor.’

Gordana shared a poignant message about Robin just weeks before he died.

Posting a photo of herself with Robin on the beach in Madagascar after their last job together ended earlier than planned, Gordana said: ‘I had an amazing time with Bobby boy on the cruise, which unfortunately got cut short. That’s why we live each day like it’s your last, right @robinwindsor.’

The pair had been longtime dance partners, performing at the iconic Blackpool Tower together and recently reuniting for the Madagascan cruise.

In December 2022, the dance couple returned to the Winter Gardens Blackpool where they competed in a dance weekend marathon.

Gordana said: ‘I think we did a pretty good job for two hours of practice.

‘I had the best time with @robinwindsor doing the dance weekend marathon travelling the UK, which was more challenging than flying from Slovenia.

‘But super grateful to dance again after 23 years in that magical hall.’

After their Madagascan cruise ended earlier than the pair anticipated, Gordana and Robin appeared to enjoy the idyllic beaches and wildlife

After their Madagascan cruise ended earlier than the pair anticipated, Gordana and Robin appeared to enjoy the idyllic beaches and wildlife

Sharing photos of the pair relaxing poolside and with their arms around each other on the sand, the dance pair looked happy

Sharing photos of the pair relaxing poolside and with their arms around each other on the sand, the dance pair looked happy 

It was confirmed on Tuesday morning that the former Strictly professional had passed away aged 44

It was confirmed on Tuesday morning that the former Strictly professional had passed away aged 44 

In December 2022, the dance couple returned to the Winter Gardens Blackpool where they competed in a dance weekend marathon

In December 2022, the dance couple returned to the Winter Gardens Blackpool where they competed in a dance weekend marathon

After their Madagascan cruise ended earlier than the pair anticipated, Gordana and Robin appeared to enjoy the idyllic beaches and wildlife.

Sharing photos of the pair relaxing poolside and with their arms wrapped around each other on the sand, the dance pair looked happy.

Robin posted a series of images on safari after his recent travels to South Africa, where he said it was a ‘dream’ to stay at Leopard Mountain.

The Latin and Ballroom dancer was known best for his appearances on Strictly for five years between 2010-2015.

During that time he was partnered with model Patsy Kensit, EastEnders actress Anita Dobson, Loose Woman Lisa Riley and Dragon’s Den star Deborah Meaden.



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