Video: Grantham dancers go toe to toe in Strictly Ballroom event to support St Barnabas Hospice

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A fun dancing competition is well on the way to raising more than £5,500 for St Barnabas Hospice.

The finale of Strictly Ballroom, in its third year now as a fund-raiser for the hospice, took place at the Priory Ruskin Academy in Grantham.

The Strictly Ballroom couples.

The Strictly Ballroom couples.

Eight sponsored couples took part after 11 weeks of dancing lessons.

Hospice fund-raiser Janie McCormick, who was a compere on the night with Roger Graves, said: “We were so very proud of all the dancers on Saturday night. They really pulled out all the stops and excelled themselves with their dancing skills despite their nerves.

“Our very grateful thanks go to all those who supported us and helped to make the night such a success. Huge thanks also go to the Priory Ruskin Academy for allowing us the use of their wonderful venue. A thoroughly enjoyable evening was had by all. Once sponsor monies have been received, we hope to raise in excess of £5,500 for the hospice which we are truly grateful for.”

The judges’ winners were David and Joanna Hiley. David said: “Joanne and I are happy to put our feet up for a bit now but we are going to keep dancing. Our high point was getting full marks in the quickstep. We made a bit of a mistake in the rumba but were much happier when the quickstep went to plan.

Emma Dean and Mick Stafford, the audience winners, said: “We’ve just about got rid of the glitter from Saturday - a fantastic night!

“We both had a brilliant time and want to thank our family and friends for their amazing support. Thanks also to everyone involved from Priory Ruskin Academy for hosting the event, staff and volunteers at St Barnabas Hospice, the lovely ladies at R&R for hair and makeup, the judges, comperes and last but by no means least Ann and Tony, our dance teachers who have endured our two left feet for the past few months.”

Chloe Norris and Amy Robinson were the youngest dancers ever to take part in the event, aged just 19 and 20 respectively. They said: “We did enjoy the event, it was hard at the beginning learning the dances but it was a good way to interact with people you probably wouldn’t interact with normally. It was more nerve- wracking on the night than we thought, but the atmosphere was great and preparations for the show were good because we were all practising together and helping each other get ready.

Another couple Yolanda Martin and Jane Ablewhite said: “All in all a great event and a great fund-raiser. It was really nerve-wracking on the night, but it was all for a great cause and so worth putting ourselves through it. Janie and Roger were excellent comperes on the night and helped to calm our nerves a little and made the night more fun, encouraging some good humoured audience participation and cheers.”

Dancing couple Sarah Tite and Peter Kemp said: “Despite naturally being nervous, we thoroughly enjoyed taking part. It is wonderful to be given the opportunity to learn not one, but two professional dances and we were very grateful to dance teachers Ann Gibbons and Tony Collins for their kindness and patience. As a group, we were all very supportive of each other which really helped on the night. The highlight for us was performing our rumba “step perfect” and getting such good marks from the judges (9, 9, 9, 10). It was wonderful to get such recognition after all the hard work and practice we had put in.”