Who is Kevin Clifton?
Kevin Clifton is a British professional dancer, choreographer and television personality. He is famous for his regular participation in the television celebrity dance show ‘Strictly Come Dancing’. Born into a family of professional dancers and world dancing champions, he developed an early interest in dancing. As a youngster, he won several dance competitions and moved on to competing at the national and international levels. After winning several international titles, he retired from professional dancing and became part of an international dance troupe. He later found employment as an assistant choreographer on ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ and moved up to a celebrity dance partner level, coming close to winning it four times. He finally won in the 16th season of the show with celebrity, Stacey Dooley, who later became his girlfriend. He continues to participate in the show, work in theatre, run businesses with family and friends, and lives a full life.
Kevin Clifton got his start in the dancing field at home when he was coached by his multiple dance award-winning parents in Latin and ballroom dancing. He partnered up with his sister and started participating in national and international competitions as a child. Thereafter, he took on different dancing partners and began focusing on Latin dancing competitions. He won many awards, including the ‘Youth World Number 1’ and four times ‘British Latin Champion’. At the global level, he travelled to countries like Spain, Italy, Portugal, Germany, Singapore, etc. to win numerous ‘International Open’ dance titles. In 2007, at a time when he held the 7th rank on the international competitive dancing arena, he decided to retire.
In 2008, Kevin Clifton took up employment as a principal dancer with ‘Burn The Floor Dance Company’, performing with them across the world, including ‘Broadway’ in New York, ‘West End’ in London, etc. for five years. In 2010, he was part of ‘Dirty Dancing The Musical’ in London’s ‘West End’, which marked his debut in musical theatre. In 2012, he worked as an assistant choreographer on the show ‘Strictly Come Dancing’. In 2013, he made his television debut as a celebrity dancing partner to television presenter, Susanna Reid, in the 11th season of the show. He created a ‘Guinness World Record’ for ‘Most Drunken Sailors in 30 seconds’ during the ‘Pro Challenge’ round on the show that year. In 2014, along with his celebrity partner, Frankie Bridge, he was the runner-up on the show. That year, he went on an Australia and Japan tour with ‘Burn The Floor Dance Company’ as a principal dancer.
In 2015, he participated in the 13th season of ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ with TV actress, Kellie Bright. In 2016, he partnered up with singer, Louise Redknapp, to reach the finals of the show for the fourth time, and also participated in the television show ‘BBC Proms’ with his wife. In 2017, when partnered with comedian, Susan Calman, he did not make it to the finals of the show. The same year, he also went on a theatre tour 'Kevin and Karen Dance' with his wife.
In 2018, Kevin Clifton won the 16th season of ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ with documentary filmmaker, Stacey Dooley. In 2019, he partnered up with television presenter, Anneka Rice, but was eliminated early in the show. He was also seen in a touring production of the ‘Rock Of Ages’ musical that year. He runs ‘Clifton Dance Academy Online’ with his sister and a property investment business with a friend.
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Controversies & Scandals
In 2018, during the taping of ‘Strictly Come Dancing’, his celebrity dance partner, Stacey Dooley, was in a long-term relationship with her boyfriend, Sam Tucknott. But the pair reportedly went through a breakup due to Clifton. Tucknott alleged that he had seen flirtatious text messages from Clifton on Dooley’s phone, but she denied all such allegations.
Family & Personal Life
Kevin Clifton was born on October 13, 1982, in Waltham, UK, to, Keith Clifton and Judy Clifton. They are both former ‘British Latin American Champions’. He has a sister, Joanne, who is also an award-winning professional dancer. He was a good student and went to ‘East Ravendale Primary School’ and ‘Caistor Grammar School’, but chose a career in dancing instead.
He has been married thrice so far. At the age of 20, he married his dance partner, rumoured to be Anna Melnikova, but her identity is not confirmed. In 2007, he married Clare Craze, a professional dancer, but they divorced in 2013. While working with ‘Burn The Floor Dance Company’ at New York, he met Karen Hauer. In 2013, he proposed to her on stage in London and they got married in 2015. But their hectic work schedules resulted in their divorce in 2018. In 2019, he confirmed his relationship with his dancing partner from the show, Stacey Dooley, and the pair reportedly live together at her flat in Brighton.