Strictly Come Dancing professionals Anya Garnis and Pasha Kovalev draw in stars of music, dance, theatre for charity fundraiser

Stars from the performance arts world including Strictly Come Dancing professionals and a West End leading lady are teaming up for an online show to raise money for the struggling industry.

Friday, 26th March 2021, 5:30 am
Anya Garnis and Pasha Kovalev are co-creators of Rise Up With Stars.
Anya Garnis and Pasha Kovalev are co-creators of Rise Up With Stars.

Rise Up With Arts will livestream on March 27, 2021, at 7.30pm on Zoom in celebration of World Theatre Day.

Profit from ticket sales will go to the Theatre Support Fund+ which to date has raised £600,000 working with charities such as Acting For Others, Fleabag Support Fund and the NHS Covid-19 urgent appeal.

Arts and entertainments is one of the industries left hardest hit by the pandemic, following hard on the heels of food and accommodation which have borne the biggest brunt of the downturn in business.

The co-creators of Rise Up With Arts are Strictly Come Dancing stars Anya Garnis and Pasha Kovalev.

Anya said: “Having not been able to perform throughout 2020 and seeing many of my friends struggle without a creative outlet due to the pandemic, we decided we had to take matters into our own hands and create a virtual experience that could bring the arts back to life”.

Her professional dance career has included being a finalist on USA’s So You Think You Can Dance, Burn The Floor, Las Vegas’ Dancing With The Stars and Strictly Come Dancing.

Pasha is one of Strictly's favourite pros who won the nation’s most popular TV dance show in 2014 and still holds the record for the most 10s. He will be interviewed about his life in the arts and will be dancing in the show.

Rise Up With Arts celebrates the magical connection and transformative power of the Arts and will include:

Don Black OBE, the British lyricist whose works include musicals, movie and hit songs with Andrew Lloyd Webber, Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson and James Bond theme tunes Thunderball, Diamonds Are Forever and The Man With The Golden Gun.

Arlene Phillips CBE, a showbiz legend who has been honoured for her services to dance and charity. She is a choreographer, theatre director, talent scout, television judge and presenter, who has worked in many fields of entertainment.

Lisa Riley, actress who starred in BAFTA winning BBC drama Three Girls, Emmerdale, You’ve Been Framed, panellist on Loose Women and contestant on Strictly Come Dancing.

Kevin Clifton, professional dancer on Strictly Come Dancing and for Burn The Floor. Winner of the 16th series of Strictly with celebrity partner Stacey Dooley.

Robin Windsor, professional Latin and Ballroom dancer best known for his appearances in BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing.

Kerry Ellis, the First Lady of West End musicals with leading roles in Les Miserables, Wicked, Oliver, Cats, Miss Saigon, Chess, The War of the Worlds and RENT.

The lead cast from 14 times Tony Award nominated Moulin Rouge The Musical!

Stars from the musical Chicago and live jazz performed from legendary Birdland, New York, hosts to Liza Minnelli, Tony Bennett and Count Basie.

Early Bird £14 tickets are available until February 26, full price £21 from February 27 to March 28. To book, go to