Karen and Kevin Clifton on dancing, dieting and the Paso Doble

We caught up with the Strictly favourites ahead of their UK tour.

Strictly Come Dancing professionals Kevin and Karen Clifton are about to hit the road with their second UK tour, Kevin and Karen Dance 2018.

The dancing duo will visit 37 venues across UK and Ireland, kicking off on May 22 with a show that promises to be “high energy, filled with sassy tunes, sparkling costumes and a compelling storytelling”.

We caught up with the couple ahead of their first show.

What was your inspirat​ion for this tour?

The show is based on all our inspiration and influences, so the choreography in the show is much more energetic than last year. The storyline connects with all the dancers in all the numbers that we’re doing.

Do you ​have a favourite style of dance that you love to perform together?

Our favorite dance is the Paso Doble, as much of our make-up as dancers is centered around drama and storytelling. The Paso is a dance in which the drama is so easily accessed and dialed up to the max. Its passionate, energetic and full of character. Our signature dance is performed to the incredibly powerful Moulin Rouge version of Roxanne.

Do you have to watch your diet to keep your energy up?

No, if anything we have to consciously eat more carbs and protein because we are rehearsing so much each day. Energy levels have to be kept high! Neither of us have ever dieted a day in our lives, we are very lucky.

Has the specula​tion around your personal relationship in the press recently bought a different dynamic to your professional relationship?

Our tour actually feels re-energised lately, and 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 dancefloor.

Who or what has bee​n your biggest inspiration in music and dance? 

In dance, the old-school dancers Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly inspired us both. Matthew Bourne is a big influence. The show is about great showmen, big characters and so on. We love a big performer and draw a lot of inspiration from great entertainers like Michael Jackson, Beyonce and Robbie Williams. For us it’s about how you feel when watching dance, not the greater spectacle so much.

Do you ever get nervous before you go on stage? 

We always get nervous, and I don’t think that will ever change! Those nerves usually fade when the spotlight hits and the music starts, though.

Do you get th​e same enjoyment from playing as a duo as you do on Strictly as part of a huge show?

Being a part of Strictly Come Dancing has been a blessing for us. It has made it possible for us to do our tour and inspire people of all ages and backgrounds. A lot of hard work and preparation goes into doing both shows. They are both huge parts of our lives and careers. The dedication, professionalism and pure joy of being able to do what we have dreamed of since childhood is something we really cherish and will always continue to make our priority.

As far as Strictly 2018, when will we know if you guys are definitely back?

When we get a phone call! We’ve got August until Christmas booked out in hope, and obviously we love the show so would really like to keep doing it.

To be so successful at wh​at you do and to remain at the top, what does that mean to you?

You always have to keep pushing, there will never be a time when we feel like we’ve made it – always room to create more and improve, and that is a big driving factor for us.

Tickets for the tour are on sale now, available to buy at kevinandkarenlive.com. For a full list of venues, visit the website.