Kristina Rihanoff: Dancing Out of Darkness: Strictly My Story by Kristina Rihanoff
Kristina was born in 1977 in Vladivostok, East Russia, a bleak naval town closed to foreigners under Soviet rule. Despite the limitations this imposed, Kristina's early years were spent in a creative home, in which her father's love of music saw her dancing from an early age. It was Latin music, in particular, that stirred her passion. From the age of seven, Kristina was already winning competitions and from sixteen she had established herself as a renowned dance teacher and champion. After university, her life was to change forever: she was invited to the United States to compete professionally with an American dancer - a partnership that propelled her to win international competitions. After retiring from the competitive world, Kristina joined the US TV series Dancing With The Stars on their Winter Tour 2007/8 and was so popular with the public that she was invited to London to take part in Strictly Come Dancing. This brought with it a new level of fame.In this frank and heartfelt memoir, Kristina describes for the first time the struggles she faced in her younger years, when those dearest to her were falling apart, as well as the sheer nerve and determination she needed to succeed in the competitive world. From her high-profile relationships to what it is like dancing with her celebrity partners such as John Sergeant, Joe Calzaghe and Ben Cohen, she reveals the truth behind the tabloid headlines and how it feels to be at the heart of a global franchise. Speaking candidly about the impact world travel and stardom have had on her character, Kristina offers a glimpse behind the sparkle of sequins and glitter balls. This absorbing tale, sometimes sad, sometimes funny, is one of courage and honesty; and, while Kristina may not perform forever, she will keep dancing with a song in her heart.