Strictly Come Dancing stars Kevin Clifton and Karen Clifton on returning to East Anglia with their debut show

Strictly Come Dancing stars Karen and Kevin Clifton. Picture Christopher Mann

Strictly Come Dancing stars Karen and Kevin Clifton. Picture Christopher Mann - Credit: Archant

Strictly sweethearts Kevin and Karen Clifton will perform in East Anglia this June as part of their UK tour. And two lucky members of the audience will have the chance to join them on stage, reports Rachel Banham.

Strictly Come Dancing stars Karen and Kevin Clifton on the June edition of Let's Talk. Picture Archa

Strictly Come Dancing stars Karen and Kevin Clifton on the June edition of Let's Talk. Picture Archant - Credit: Archant

It is, says professional dancer Kevin Clifton, 'a story of our life and love and dance'.

When he and his wife Karen bring their show Kevin and Karen Dance to Ipswich Regent Theatre on June 2, it promises to be a sultry, hip-swinging journey through the waltz, cha cha, foxtrot, tango and salsa.

Kevin says: 'We are telling our story basically. This has been a five-year dream of ours to have our own show. There's a narrative in the show, so it's almost like a ballet - but using ballroom and Latin all the time, instead of ballet dancing. It's a story using dance on stage, and it's going to be the story of me and Karen, us growing up and our life.

'I think the thing about me and Karen is that we're so different, in that Karen's from Venezuela and I'm from Grimsby, and somehow we've ended up together in a relationship and married, and also dancing with each other.

Strictly Come Dancing stars Karen and Kevin Clifton. Picture Richard Haughton

Strictly Come Dancing stars Karen and Kevin Clifton. Picture Richard Haughton - Credit: Richard Haughton

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'It's going to be the story of us coming from completely different cultural backgrounds and dance backgrounds and meeting in New York in a show on Broadway and then on to Strictly Come Dancing and our development of our own dance style together.

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'It's basically the story of Kevin and Karen . . . the story of our life and love and dance.'

Strictly Come Dancing stars Karen and Kevin Clifton. Picture Christopher Mann

Strictly Come Dancing stars Karen and Kevin Clifton. Picture Christopher Mann - Credit: Archant

The show is backed by a supporting cast of dancers, including Strictly Come Dancing pro Gorka Marquez, with a live 12-piece show band.

Karen says: 'People know a little bit about us from Strictly, but the real story behind and the real people behind Kevin and Karen, this is what you're going to see on stage.

'We don't get to dance as much on Strictly together, so it's going to be a whole package of people really getting to know who we are and how we perform together as one.'

Strictly Come Dancing stars Karen and Kevin Clifton. Picture Richard Haughton

Strictly Come Dancing stars Karen and Kevin Clifton. Picture Richard Haughton - Credit: Richard Haughton

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The tour has been so popular that extra shows were added. Meanwhile, just a few tickets are left for the couple's Ipswich performance.

Karen says: 'It's very exciting actually, because we had no idea how it was going to sell or do. I guess now what we have to do is make sure that we do a really good job and don't let anybody down! It's very nice – we feel very humbled and it's a very nice feeling to see that people want to come and watch us.

'People love Strictly Come Dancing and the fact that two dancers from it are going on a little journey and taking a chance, and bringing their dream on to this dance floor on tour . . . this is something that we've been looking forward to doing for a very long time. To see the reaction and see that people want to come and see it - it means a lot to us.'

At each show two members of the audience will follow in the footsteps of Kevin and Karen, learning a dance and performing it on stage.

Kevin explains: 'As we are telling our story, Strictly Come Dancing is obviously a massive part of that, so we were thinking: 'How can we sort of recreate the experience of Strictly Come Dancing, that part of our lives in the show?'

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'There's going to be a section of the show where we're going to get people out of the audience and quickly teach them a routine on stage, and then put them together to dance that routine on stage, as if they're the celebrities on Strictly.'

Kevin and Karen have performed at Potters Resort at Hopton, on the Norfolk/Suffolk border in the past and are pleased to be coming back to East Anglia.

'We've done that a couple of times,' Kevin says, speaking about Potters. 'We enjoyed it; it was a really nice atmosphere.'

The couple recently launched their own dance school, which has classes in Chiswick, Putney and Wimbledon. The Kevin and Karen Dance School gives children the chance to experience the joy of dancing in a non-competitive atmosphere – building confidence and making friends.

When we speak, they don't yet know whether they will be in this year's series of Strictly, but they hope they will be included. Whatever happens, they have a busy time ahead.

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Kevin says: 'We'd love to stay being a part of it, because we do love it.

'In the future, we want to carry on with our dance schools, we want to carry on doing more shows and we'd love to have our own dance company – and just keep creating more and more stuff and getting ballroom dancing out there as much as possible.'

• Let's Talk June 2017 is out now.

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