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Joanne Clifton on reigniting her passion for ballroom and Latin

Joanne Clifton (Matt Crossick/PA)
Joanne Clifton (Matt Crossick/PA)

Former Strictly Come Dancing winner Joanne Clifton has said the show she was due to perform with her brother Kevin had reignited her love for Latin and ballroom dancing.

The dancer and theatre star was scheduled to be touring alongside Kevin, also a former Strictly professional and winner, in their show Burn The Floor: Anything You Can Do, but it had to be postponed following the coronavirus outbreak.

The 36-year-old told the PA news agency: “Basically we had done all the rehearsals, we were about nine days away from opening night when this all happened.

Olivier Awards 2019 – London
Joanne and Kevin Clifton both previously won Strictly Come Dancing (Ian West/PA)

“I was loving it. I haven’t been dancing for a while now, like proper ballroom and Latin dancing. I thought I’d kind of finished that and moved on to musical theatre, but my brother asked me to do this.

“I’ve done it before and I just went into rehearsals, and I was loving it. My passion for ballroom and Latin dancing had returned, and then this all happened.

“We would have been on the stage now, we would have been dancing away.

“The show also involved singing so it was everything I love, with a family member, that should have been happening now. Luckily it’s not been cancelled, it’s been postponed until we know what’s happening”.

Joanne won Strictly alongside Ore Oduba in 2016 and Kevin won it in 2018 while partnering Stacey Dooley. Both siblings have since left the BBC One series.

Joanne is among the people taking part in All The Web’s A Stage, a live-streamed theatre event being held in response to the closures affecting the industry.

Money raised from the show will fund those in the arts facing hardship due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

She said: “It’s just especially hard for everyone involved in this industry, right up from the owners of the theatres to the artist and the performers. We need to do anything we can, we are all in this together.”

Danny Mac, Tom Milner and Kerry Ellis will also be appearing in All The Web’s A Stage, which runs till midnight on Thursday.

All performances are free, but viewers can make donations.

The event’s co-producer, Paul-Ryan Carberry, said: “The overnight closure of the performing arts industry – while necessary and important for all of our safety – has meant that thousands of our colleagues are without an income for the foreseeable future.

“We refuse to stand by whilst so many of our peers are going through hardship and so we’re delighted to be supporting three excellent charities: Acting For Others, Help Musicians, and The Golsoncott Foundation, as they help those in need during this time and beyond”.

– Performances can be viewed at www.theatretogether.co.uk

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