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Strictly’s Kristina Rihanoff claims Robin Windsor was in ‘excruciating pain’ before his death aged 44


Kristina Rihanoff has claimed Robin Windsor was experiencing ‘excruciating pain’ following his death aged 44.

The professional Latin and Ballroom dancer, best known for his appearances on Strictly Come Dancing between 2010 and 2013, was confirmed to have died on Tuesday.

Fellow pro dancer Kristina, 46, worked with Robin on Strictly and the pair developed a close friendship.

In a heartfelt post on Instagram, Kristina said she began to notice changes in Robin’s personality after he was dropped from Strictly after suffering a back injury, something she claimed left him ‘absolutely destroyed’.

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

Kristina Rihanoff has claimed Robin Windsor was experiencing 'excruciating pain' following his death aged 44

Kristina Rihanoff has claimed Robin Windsor was experiencing ‘excruciating pain’ following his death aged 44

Fellow pro dancer Kristina, 46, worked with Robin on Strictly and the pair developed a close friendship (pictured together in 2011)

Fellow pro dancer Kristina, 46, worked with Robin on Strictly and the pair developed a close friendship (pictured together in 2011)

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

‘When I got partnered with him on Strictly I was blown away by his kindness, lighthearted personality and amazing loyalty. He had stood by me through many rough times during Strictly for which I am deeply grateful for as there [was] no one else to lean on.’

‘He always found a way to bring my spirit up. However his own spirit was absolutely destroyed when he was dropped from Strictly and that’s where I started to see changes in his personality, depression and broken self-worth.

‘While we went on to do many shows tours gigs & appearances together he was struggling more and more with instability of work and excruciating back pain because of the injury he had suffered during Strictly.’

Kristina said Robin was out of work for quite some time after an operation to fix a dance-related injury, adding the career of a professional dancer can often be quite short.

She wrote: ‘Sadly, us dancers always neglect our health because we always after the next gig, the next job and he just couldn’t look after his injury properly until there was nothing left to do but have an operation which also put him out of work for quite some time. 

‘Unfortunately ‘stage live’ of a dancer is short and nobody really cares because there is always the next person who can take your place and that’s the ugly truth. He often would say that he doesn’t know where he’s going and what’s will be next.

‘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 a suicide. 

Kristina said she began to notice change's in Robin's personality after he was dropped from Strictly in 2015, something she claimed left him 'absolutely destroyed'

Kristina said she began to notice change’s in Robin’s personality after he was dropped from Strictly in 2015, something she claimed left him ‘absolutely destroyed’

‘I’m sure it was devastating for anyone who love Robin to hear something like that, but those thoughts were in his head for quite many years and it’s so deeply sad that he felt that he is better to another place rather than stay here. Too much pain too much disappointment, too much neglect.

‘I was asked today to appear on every news outlet, every TV show to pay tribute him to which I said no. Not today, not over zoom saying a couple of words what a great guy he was – the truth is he was an incredible person and it’s absolute tragedy that he felt there was no way out

‘Thank you for everything Robin, rest in peace.’

MailOnline has contacted representatives of Robin Windsor and Strictly Come Dancing for comment.  

Robin posted a black and white selfie with the caption ‘hiding in the shadows’ just weeks before his shock death.

Windsor, who started dancing at the age of three and was one of the founding members of dance show Burn The Floor, ‘lit up any room he walked into’, his representatives said as they confirmed his death.

The ‘extremely talented’ dancer had spent last month entertaining holidaymakers by performing on a Fred Olsen Cruise and he had posted smiling selfies when the boat docked in South Africa

Kristina said Robin was out of work for quite some time after an operation to fix a dance-related injury, adding the performing career of a professional dancer can often be quite short

Kristina said Robin was out of work for quite some time after an operation to fix a dance-related injury, adding the performing career of a professional dancer can often be quite short

Kristina wrote: 'It's so deeply sad that he felt that he is better to another place rather than stay here. Too much pain too much disappointment, too much neglect' (pictured in 2010)

Kristina wrote: ‘It’s so deeply sad that he felt that he is better to another place rather than stay here. Too much pain too much disappointment, too much neglect’ (pictured in 2010)

On January 27, Windsor posed in front of a marina with Cape Town’s Table Mountain in the background with the caption: ‘This place is the distraction of all distractions!’

He looked happy as he took pictures of elephants on safari and relaxed in a lodge overlooking the stunning Leopard Mountain game reserve. The dancer had also enjoyed a one-night stop in Mozambique and was seen relaxing on the beach and posing with a Lemur in Madagascar in the days prior.

But Windsor’s last post on Instagram, which was shared on January 28, was a more muted selfie in the near-dark with the caption: ‘Hiding in the shadows.’ 

Three weeks earlier, he had shared a message with his friends and followers which said: ‘Big shout out and love to everyone who’s reached out and checked in the last week. Sorry I have not replied… it’s been a bit of a trying time and things are looking up. Robin.’

Tributes have poured in underneath the star’s tragic last selfie, with one fan writing: ‘So shocked and saddened to hear the news. Have followed him for years since Strictly, an amazing talent. RIP.’

Another added: ‘So sad & shocked. Just a couple of weeks ago I was dancing in his arms for 90mins as I didn’t have a partner in a cha cha cha class. A gentleman. A gentle man. A magical day for me. Sending love to his friends and family RIP.’

A third posted: ‘No longer in the shadows but in the light.’ A fourth also said: ‘This was not the news I wanted to wake up to this morning. Rip Robin.’

Windsor partnered with model Patsy Kensit, EastEnders legend Anita Dobson, Loose Woman Lisa Riley and Dragon’s Den star Deborah Meaden during his stint on Strictly. The Suffolk-born star also performed with This Morning host Alison Hammond in the 2015 Christmas Special.

A heartbroken Susanna Reid, who partnered with Windsor on Strictly for Children in Need in 2011, fought back tears on today’s Good Morning Britain after learning of the dancer’s death.

Robin Windsor's last post on Instagram, a black and white selfie, was captioned, 'hiding in the shadows'

Robin Windsor’s last post on Instagram, a black and white selfie, was captioned, ‘hiding in the shadows’ 

Windsor is pictured with TV presenter Susanna Reid on Strictly Come Dancing for Children in Need back in 2011

Windsor is pictured with TV presenter Susanna Reid on Strictly Come Dancing for Children in Need back in 2011

Robin Windsor had been spending some time in Cape Town when the cruise ship docked. He wrote: 'This place is the distraction of all distractions.'

Robin Windsor had been spending some time in Cape Town when the cruise ship docked. He wrote: ‘This place is the distraction of all distractions.’

Robin Windsor recently went on a cruise to South Africa and posed for photos. He commented: 'Sooo lovely to meet you both'

Robin Windsor recently went on a cruise to South Africa and posed for photos. He commented: ‘Sooo lovely to meet you both’

Robin Bobby Windsor dazzles in a blue ensemble as he enjoys dancing on a cruise trip just weeks before his tragic death

Robin Bobby Windsor dazzles in a blue ensemble as he enjoys dancing on a cruise trip just weeks before his tragic death

It's understood that Windsor (left) was performing on board the cruise last month with Gordana Grandosek Whiddon (second from left)

It’s understood that Windsor (left) was performing on board the cruise last month with Gordana Grandosek Whiddon (second from left)

The cruise trip was one of the final times that Windsor would dance. Here he joined a friend on stage as they docked in Durban, South Africa

The cruise trip was one of the final times that Windsor would dance. Here he joined a friend on stage as they docked in Durban, South Africa 

Show night: Robin Windsor (centre) laughs after a 'fun packed first week' on board the cruise ship. He commented with two love hearts

Show night: Robin Windsor (centre) laughs after a ‘fun packed first week’ on board the cruise ship. He commented with two love hearts

The talented dancer is seen performing on stage on the cruise ship where he entertained holidaymakers as they travelled the world

The talented dancer is seen performing on stage on the cruise ship where he entertained holidaymakers as they travelled the world

After co-host Ed Balls announced the tragic news on Good Morning Britain, Reid told viewers: ‘He was an absolutely remarkable dancer, strong so creative, he was just so enthusiastic about dancing. I just adored him. He was the most incredible personality. As soon as I danced with him there was something really special about it.’ 

Former Strictly dancer James Jordan also paid tribute, posting: ‘I had the pleasure of working with this man for many years on Strictly.

‘Everyone who came in contact with him adored him, from his celebrity partners to his working colleagues. You will be missed old friend.’

Long-time Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood remembered Windsor as ‘one of the kindest, gentle, honest, funny and caring people I’ve had the pleasure of knowing and working with’.

He added that the dancer would be ‘forever missed’ as he sent his support to Windsor’s family and friends.

Windsor was an original member of dance show Burn The Floor, who announced the star’s shock death on their official website.

Their statement read: ‘Burn the Floor family has lost one of its founding members, Robin ‘Bobby’ Windsor – who has tragically passed away.

‘A BTF journeyman he danced with us for twenty years – including Broadway, The West End and all our crazy adventures around the world.

‘His stunning image attached with Jessica Raffa defined our company, colourful, extreme and sensual.

‘His talent, attitude, energy and personality helped create the Burn the Floor stage reputation. He leaves a void in our hearts that will never be filled, yet our wonderful memories will stay forever’. 

From the age of three, Windsor studied Latin and Ballroom and his talent and commitment to his vocation took him to the highest level of competition where he won numerous World Championships.

He joined the cast of show Burn The Floor in 2001 and toured the world for 10 years, with a nine-month run on Broadway.

He got his TV break on Strictly in 2010 but was forced to pull out of the series in 2014 due to a slipped disc which left him paralysed for four days. While he never won the Glitterball Trophy, he came seventh with Patsy Kensit and Anita Dobson.

Windsor also appeared in Dancing With The Stars Australia and So You Think You Can Dance in the Netherlands and assisted in the choreography for the Australian version of So You Think You Can Dance, as well as acting as a motivational speaker. 

Windsor’s representatives told MailOnline: ‘It is with deep sorrow that we announce the tragic passing of our beautiful Robin.

‘Robin’s dancing started from a very young age and never stopped. He lit up any room he walked into, he was a nurturing soul always full of fun.

‘Strictly Come Dancing, Burn the Floor and many other dance shows along with all the school children around the country who he gave his time.

Tributes have poured in to Windsor this morning, with Strictly's Amy Dowden describing him as a 'kind, talented soul'

Tributes have poured in to Windsor this morning, with Strictly’s Amy Dowden describing him as a ‘kind, talented soul’

‘Robin was a strong advocate for mental health and worked closely with the ‘Sane Charity’. The dance world has lost some of its sparkle today. We ask for the family’s privacy at this very difficult time.’

Founder of Burn the Floor and friend of Robin, Harley Medcalf, said: ‘We have lost a beautiful friend, Robin Windsor, Bobby, one of the founding members of the Burn the Floor family.

‘Robin has passed away in England. A generous, extremely talented dancer, full of energy, life and love.

‘His stage presence defined the Burn the Floor company. Whenever we visited London, Robin was always the first to call, always there to support, celebrate, laugh and cry together.

‘In the photo attached a highly emotional Robin was just off stage after his last performance with Burn The Floor Reunion Tour in Birmingham in 2022.’

‘Our hearts are broken he will be greatly missed by all his friends, family and fans around the world.’

Performance arts theatre Burn The Floor, where Robin danced for 20 years and was a founding member, said there is a ‘void’ in their heart since the tragic passing.

Fellow dancer Giselle Rojas Peacock wrote: ‘I was shocked to find out today we lost another Dancer and Friend Robin Jamie Windsor.

‘This one hits home as we had so many years dancing performing and touring together all over the world in Burn the Floor.

‘One of the original members and poster boy of Burn, Bobby was so loved by everyone, the sweetest human. Just like a massive teddy bear.

‘You light up the stage with such an energy and it was always a pleasure to dance with you.

‘We had so many laughs, tears, highs and lows together and even though life took us in separate directions and the lord has taken you to soon, I think all us will cherish so many memories with you in them.

‘RIP my good friend. My heart breaks today for all who loved you. And there were many.’

Strictly choreographer Patrick Helm said Robin was unaware of how much he meant to people.

He wrote: ‘I don’t even know how to find the words to this post. I will dearly miss you Robin Windsor

‘This one is hitting me hard and too close to home.

‘My deepest condolences go to your family and everyone who knew you! You were another one who was loved by so many but couldn’t see it himself.

Performance arts theatre Burn The Floor, where Robin danced for 20 years and was a founding member, said there is a 'void' in their heart since the tragic passing

Performance arts theatre Burn The Floor, where Robin danced for 20 years and was a founding member, said there is a ‘void’ in their heart since the tragic passing

Fans and friends flooded X with tributes to the late dancer

Fans and friends flooded X with tributes to the late dancer 

The professional Latin and Ballroom dancer (pictured in October 2023) was best known for his appearances on BBC 's Strictly Come Dancing for five years between 2010-2015

 The professional Latin and Ballroom dancer (pictured in October 2023) was best known for his appearances on BBC ‘s Strictly Come Dancing for five years between 2010-2015

‘May you finally be free and find piece

‘RIP Bobby.’

Robin was previously engaged to ex-partner Davide Cini and proposed on a romantic New York helicopter ride in 2013 before splitting years later.

He also previously dated Marcus Collins, the singer who featured on The X Factor in 2011. 

In 2018, Robin opened up about his struggle with depression while he featured on Strictly Come Dancing, saying: ‘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’ – expect to the people I lived with.’

Robin also experienced mental health issues when he suffered two huge setbacks, losing his job on Strictly and splitting with his fiancé.

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.’

In a statement announcing his death, Sisco Entertainment said: ‘It is with heavy hearts that we announce the tragic passing of our beloved friend, Robin Windsor.

‘Robin’s presence in Come What May was more than just a performance; it was an embodiment of passion, grace, and sheer talent.

‘His extraordinary ability to express emotion through movement captivated audiences, leaving them spellbound with every step.

‘Beyond his impeccable dancing, Robin’s vibrant spirit lit up the room, infusing rehearsals and performances with infectious energy and warmth.

‘His laughter was contagious, his kindness boundless.

‘His friendship was a gift cherished by all who had the privilege of knowing him.

‘Robin, you will be deeply missed.

‘Though Come What May will continue without you, your legacy will live on in the hearts of all who were fortunate enough to share in your light.’

For confidential support, call Samaritans on 116 123 or visit samaritans.org 



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