Robin Windsor had spoken ‘very openly’ about struggles with mental health before death, former co-star says

21 February 2024, 16:20 | Updated: 21 February 2024, 17:40

Robin Windsor died aged 44.
Robin Windsor died aged 44. Picture: Alamy

By Jenny Medlicott

Strictly star Robin Windsor had spoken publicly about his struggles with mental health before his death aged 44, his former co-star has said.

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The professional dancer, who was known for his time on Strictly Come Dancing between 2010 and 2013, died aged 44, it was announced on Tuesday.

Kristina Rihanoff, 46, said the Strictly star had spoken “very openly” about his struggles with mental health as she paid tribute to Windsor on Tuesday.

She wrote on Instagram: “There is no words to express the pain and devastation [sic].

“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.

“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.

“I’m sure it was devastating for anyone who [loves] 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 [in] another place rather than stay here.

“Too much pain, too much disappointment, too much neglect.”

Windsor’s former co-star said he had “neglected his health” following an injury which resulted in an operation that “put him out of work for quite some time”.

She also said he had struggled with the “instability” of work and “excruciating back pain” following his injury.

"He often would say that he doesn't know where he's going and what will be next," she added.

Windsor had been working on a luxurious cruise shop at the start of the year and had shared an insight into his travels online.

Just days after he arrived back in London, he was found dead in a hotel, according to reports. It is not known how he died.

"He kept saying that something had happened over New Year but he wouldn't say what it was," a friend told the Daily Mail.

"He sounded absolutely traumatised – whatever had happened must have been truly awful."

Read more: 'May you dance with the angels': Robin Windsor's Strictly partner says dancer was in ‘excruciating pain’ before death

Read more: Haunting final online posts of Strictly's Robin Windsor who said he was ‘hiding in the shadows’ before death aged 44

Windsor had just £879 in his account, records show.
Windsor had just £879 in his account, records show. Picture: Alamy

Windsor's ballroom dance group Burn the Floor, which he co-founded, announced that he had died on Tuesday.

A statement read: "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."

Windsor's former Strictly partner, Kristina Rihanoff, said he had been in "excruciating pain" before his death.

She said his personality changed after he was dropped from Strictly following a back injury, highlighting that a dancers career can be quite short.

"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," she said.

"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.

"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 life' 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."