Kristina Rihanoff (Russian: Кристина Пшеничных,: Kristina Pshenichnykh; born 22 September 1977) is a world finalist professional ballroom dancer, instructor, choreographer and author. She has a degree in Tourism and Hospitality; after finishing public school she studied with St Petersburg Branch of Modern Humanitarian Academy which has several colleges around Russia including Vladivostok.
The daughter of two engineers, Rihanoff was born and grew up in Vladivostok, Russia, and started taking dance lessons from aged 5. Her parents divorced when she was aged 12, during the time when the breakup of the Soviet Union was occurring. Living with her mother, aged 15 she became a part-time dance instructor to help the household budget, earning in a day what her professionally educated mother could earn in a month.
Rhianoff has been taken part in the Stricty Come Dancing Live Tour from 2009 to 2015. In 2009 she performed with fellow professional dancer, Matthew Cutlerand filled in for Lilia Kopylova at one show, partnering Julian Clary.On the Strictly 2010 tour, Rihanoff was partnered with Series 4 Champion Mark Ramprakash. They danced the Salsa and the Argentine Tango. On the Strictly 2011 tour, Rihanoff was partnered with actor Jimi Mistry, they danced the Foxtrot and Paso Doble. In 2012, 2014 and 2015 Rhianoff reunited with her dance partners from the television series, Jason Donovan, Ben Cohen and Simon Webbe, respectively. Rhianoff and Webbe went on to win the overall tour in 2015.
In 2012 Kristina and Robin joined fellow professional Artem Chigvintsev and former Strictly contestant Kara Tointon for the first 'Dance To The Music Tour'.
In Summer 2015, Rihanoff and Windsor took part in the Touring Theatre Production of Puttin' On The Ritz, as well as Dance Weekends around the country.
Rihanoff choreographs a number of professional and commercial dance works. These have included both Burn the Floor and Dancing on Wheels, which she choreographed with Fortuna. She has also choreographed dance routines inside the television commercials, including those for St Tropez suntan lotion, Panache bras and MeMeMe Cosmetics.
Rihanoff has written a book entitled The Art of Dancesport Makeup for newcomers to Ballroom dance competition, a subject that she studied extensively in Russia. Rihanoff participated in the 2008 Weakest Link 's Strictly Come Dancing special. Kristina's weekly column in Best Magazine during each Strictly season has proved hugely popular. Kristina regularly appears in the mainstream media including Hello Magazine, Heat Magazine, OK, Best Magazine, Let's Talk etc.
Kristina has appeared in the Celebrity Version of Mastermind, with her specialist subject which was Patrick Swayze. Kristina has also appeared on The Hairy Bikers Programme, cooking the Traditional Russian Dish Borscht. Choreographing a couple of UK TV Adverts Including the BT Commercial and also Aviva Insurance.
On 5 January 2016, Rihanoff became a housemate in the 17th series of Celebrity Big Brother. On Day 3 she announced, in the house, she and boyfriend Ben Cohen were expecting a child, and that was roughly 3 months into her pregnancy. The pair were dance partners on the 2013 series of Strictly Come Dancing and at the time Cohen was still married to his former wife Abby. On 19 January 2016, Rihanoff became the third housemate to be evicted from the house having received the least votes to save, spending a total of fifteen days in the house.
Kristina has her own children's charity , helping children deal with risky situations, whether it be violence within the home, to confidence building