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

20 February 2024, 16:37 | Updated: 20 February 2024, 18:51

Kristina Rihanoff claims Robin Windsor was in ‘excruciating pain’ before his sudden death
Kristina Rihanoff claims Robin Windsor was in ‘excruciating pain’ before his sudden death. Picture: Alamy/social media

By Emma Soteriou

Robin Windsor's former Strictly dance partner Kristina Rihanoff has claimed he was in "excruciating pain" before his death.

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The professional dancer, who was known for his time on Strictly Come Dancing between 2010 and 2013, was confirmed to have died on Tuesday.

He was partnered with celebrities including Patsy Kensit, Anita Dobson and Deborah Meaden.

But the pro he was paired with on the show was Kristina Rihanoff, who he developed a close friendship with throughout.

Rihanoff shared a tribute to him on Instagram, saying there were "no words to express the pain and devastation".

She also shared a snippet of the duo's last rehearsal together in November 2023.

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

Read more: Strictly Come Dancing's Robin Windsor dies aged 44 as devastated co-stars pay tribute

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

"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 the way to bring my spirit up."

Rihanoff said her friend's 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.

Robin Windsor and Kristina Rihanoff
Robin Windsor and Kristina Rihanoff. Picture: Alamy

"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.

"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 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."

Windsor was a founding member of the Burn The Floor dance company, which shared a statement announcing his death.

He began learning to dance aged three in Ipswich, with his final job being on a Fred Olsen Cruise at the start of 2024.