Kristina Rihanoff is no stranger to hard work. She's been dancing since the age of seven and has earned her place amongst the elite professional team at Strictly Come Dancing. Such is her energy and commitment, that she clocked up the most rehearsal hours of all the contestants in 2011, when she partnered Jason Donovan.
Kristina is an energetic and focused performer who has come a long way since her early days dancing in Siberia. No stranger to the pressures of the spotlight, she has become known for her eccentric pairing with John Sergeant and her role in the successful West End show Burn the Floor. How does she cope?
"As a professional dancer I have to work hard every day. The schedule for Strictly Come Dancing is very demanding, just as it is for the tours and West End shows. When I first started dancing, I never thought about what all this physical activity was doing to my body. I felt invincible.
"As I hit 30, I realised I was feeling exhausted in the morning and I was worn out at night. My career was growing and I felt like I was losing my spark. I couldn't enjoy my precious free time. I was desperate to change that and stay at my best.
"I went for some health checks and discovered that I needed to top up my vitamin
levels, so I began doing my research. It's amazing what we lack in our diets! I was recommended some basic nutrition by an expert, such as selenium, magnesium and vitamin D. But it was coenzyme Q10 that surprised me.
"I started taking Pharma Nord's Bio-Quinone Q10 GOLD as I loved the quality and their commitment to research. I thought it might help my skin, and it did, but that wasn't the main benefit I experienced.
When I was rehearsing with Ben Cohen, my current partner on Strictly, got very intense. We really pushed ourselves. I'm a perfectionist and with Q10 I know my body won't let me down. I just keep coming back for more.
"Dancers can be terrible when it comes to diet. Some of my Strictly friends don't think about what they eat. At first, I wanted Q10 to be my 'secret ingredient' to give me the edge, but I tell everyone about it now.
"A nutritionist told me that the amount of Q10 we make in our bodies goes down as we get older and as we exercise. It was like my dancing and busy schedule were draining my batteries. Taking Q10 gave me a top up and I felt like I did in the early days.
"At first I wasn't sure it was the Q10 that made me feel so good, but I soon found out when I forgot to take my daily capsule. If I had to tour or stay in hotels, I sometimes forgot my supplements. I soon felt the fatigue coming back. Once I bought a cheap pack in a supermarket as a stop-gap, but it had no effect. I never leave home without the Bio-Quinone Q10 GOLD now. It's my secret inner dance partner.
"Q10 has helped me understand what my body needs and I get lots of research papers sent from the guys at Pharma Nord. I've seen the latest heart health studies, and I'm already on to my older relatives about Q10. I must tell Brucie too!"