Robin Cousins MBE

This month, as an extra addition to our Focus On pages, we speak to Robin Cousins MBE, about Holiday on Ice and its new show for 2012, TROPICANA – The Passion Tour, the 10th he has choreographed for the company.

Robin Cousins

You started off as a competitive figure skater and used to skate for Holiday on Ice. How did you first get involved with the show?
After my final competitive season in spring 1980, I was approached by a few ice show companies and Holiday on Ice (being in Europe) was my choice. I made my debut in August and was with three different Holiday On Ice productions in the space of two weeks!

Is there a great difference between competitive and theatrical skating, and which do you prefer?
Skating in shows there are no rules and you get to create characters and dramatic scenarios that you can’t and shouldn’t do in competitive routines. In one you serve the judges and in the other you serve the people who have paid to see you… the audience. No guess as to which is better to play for!

Robin Cousins Interview

Why did you decide to make the move to choreographing Holiday on Ice?
I had been choreographing for myself since I was 15 and even choreographed routines for some of my competitors.
It was natural for me to stretch that to working with groups and couples; I can work with them in a way that I didn’t have the opportunity to myself.

You’ve been choreographing for Holiday on Ice for many years now. How has your style of choreography changed over this time?
I try to evolve with each show I do but I have a definite idea of what I want the audience to feel as they are watching the shows. Each scene in a show will require a different approach and I hope that whilst there is a comfort to watching a show that you don’t get when watching a competition, it should never be too obvious.

Robin Cousins Interview

What is the biggest challenge when choreographing for the show?
My motto has never changed – give the audience exactly what they want, just not the way they were expecting to get it! Which does get more challenging the more shows you create!

What can audiences expect from the new show – TROPICANA?

A little of everything that I think has given Holiday on ice such longevity. It’s very glamorous, keeps people smiling and moves with a good pace. It’s a show I really enjoy and never tire of watching myself.

How does it differ from last year’s show, Energia?
In terms of style and creation it is more traditional, which I like to build on.

Robin Cousins Interview

Do you find it difficult to make the show bigger and better each year and how do you creatively try to achieve this?
You work with what you are given in regard to budgets but if you have a great team around you, as I did, who know you and what your vision for the show is then you make it happen. And boy did the team deliver on this show.

If you could sum up TROPICANA in three words to entice groups to book, what would they be?
Something I always look for in entertainment… Value for money!

Holiday on Ice’s TROPICANA – The Passion Tour runs between January and February 2012 in the UK, beginning in Brighton, moving on to Peterborough and Cardiff, and finishing in Exeter. Group discounts for 10 or more adults and one free ticket for every 10 bought are offered.
For full tour details visit