Kristina: I left ‘great dad’ Ben hold­ing baby

Irish Sunday Mirror - - NEWS - BY ALEX BELFIELD

FORMER Strictly star Kristina Ri­hanoff has praised boyfriend Ben Co­hen for be­ing a great dad as she goes on her first UK tour leav­ing him hold­ing the baby.

The Rus­sian dancer – who had her first child, Mila, with Strictly part­ner and former rugby star Ben in July 2016 – said she wouldn’t be able to do the shows with­out his sup­port. Kristina, 40, said: “I can’t wish for a bet­ter part­ner in life re­ally be­cause he’s look­ing af­ter the kids and he’s an ab­so­lutely fan­tas­tic dad. His mum and all his fam­ily are also very sup­port­ive and they all help.”

Kristina drives home to Northamp­ton­shire be­tween shows on her Dance to the Mu­sic tour to spend as much time as pos­si­ble with the fam­ily. She said it was nor­mal for fe­male dancers like her to have kids later in life but she al­ways wanted to be a mum.

“Peo­ple want to do as much as they can while they’re young,” she said. “But some­times it comes to the point where it’s too late.

“For me it hap­pened when, I guess, emo­tion­ally and psy­cho­log­i­cally I was ready for it.” Kristina spent eight years on Strictly and says it be­came “kind of bor­ing and dif­fi­cult” – like any job.

“It’s the same thing over and over, it’s nine months out of your life ev­ery year. I was ready to go.

“Af­ter hav­ing Mila I never ac­tu­ally thought I’d get back to danc­ing at this level.

“I love my craft, I’ve ded­i­cated all my life to it.”

SUP­PORT Ben and Kristina

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