Ex-Strictly Come Dancing star gets pupils shimmying in Barking

robin windsor

Robin Windsor of Strictly Come Dancing fame led 950 children through a series of dance workshops at Ripple Primary School on October 22. - Credit: Jon King

Ex-Strictly Come Dancing star Robin Windsor got more than 900 youngsters tapping, shimmying and shaking on a visit to Barking.

The professional Latin and ballroom dancer led children from Ripple Primary in a day-long series of dance workshops, awarding perfect tens for their skills and enthusiasm.


Pupils dance to Under the Sea during one of the workshops led by Robin Windsor who appeared in four seasons of Strictly Come Dancing. - Credit: Jon King

Robin, who spent four years on the hit BBC1 show watched by up to eight million viewers, said: "Everyone loves Strictly Come Dancing. 

"I love doing this and seeing the kids progress in such a short space of time. We've all had a tough year and so deserve a treat of some kind.

"The teachers have been just as excited as the little ones."

The 42-year-old started doing classes with schools in lockdown and has shared his passion for dance with youngsters across the country ever since.

windsor and pupils

Robin with staff and pupils after awarding certificates to those judged by their peers as giving the best performances. - Credit: Jon King

A total of 950 children from Ripple learned a series of moves to Under the Sea from The Little Mermaid before performing before peers in the visit on Friday, October 22.

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On whether he had spotted any Strictly stars of the future, Robin said: "Absolutely. You can spot a mile off somebody's who's got a natural talent." 

On the show, Robin partnered with former Dragon's Den star Deborah Meaden as well as actresses Anita Dobson, Patsy Kensit and Lisa Riley over four seasons.

Since then he has appeared in Strictly Christmas specials and Burn the Floor at the Shaftesbury Theatre, which is set to return next year with fellow professionals including Kevin Clifton, Aljaž Škorjanec and Janette Manrara.

This Christmas he is due to play Gaston in Beauty and the Beast in Worthing.

Ipswich-born Robin, who started dancing aged three, has also spoken publicly about his own mental health and the benefits of dance.

"Dance provides everybody with the tools to blossom and shine, resulting in a real boost to self-esteem and self-belief.

"It's a fantastic way of keeping physically and mentally healthy whilst having fun," he said.

Ripple's Year 2 group leader and Strictly fan, Lorraine Saunders, said: "When everyone came in this morning they were so excited.

"Robin has been brilliant. Some of the boys came in a bit reluctant, watched [Robin] and threw themselves into it. It was a perfect way to end the term."

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