Nottinghamshire Hospice

Adding Life to Days

Yet another fab-u-lous Strictly Learn to Dance Grand Final

Congratulations to winners Arwen and Phil and all our fabulous contestants who helped to raise £8,700 for patient services.

The East Midlands Conference Centre was packed to the rafters with hospice supporters, and the family and friends of our fabulous contestants all dancing to raise money for Nottinghamshire Hospice for our 8th Strictly Learn to Dance Grand Final.

The couples were given 10 weeks of free tuition by Dawn Harrison, Director of the Wollaton School of Dancing. During this time they learnt to Waltz elegantly and to Samba with style.

We run this event twice a year, our next Strictly Learn to Dance lessons will start on the 19th of September and dances have been confirmed now as the Quickstep and Salsa. The Grand Final will take place on the 28th November. So if reading this inspires you to take part in this fab-u-lously fun event for a very worthy cause sign up here.

The wonderful Dangerous Dave Tanner from Gem 106 was our compere for the night and his legendary introductory dance was inspired by the recent performance by Madonna at the Brits involving a wardrobe malfunction with the cape. Dave was determined to show us how it should be done and you can see a video of his routine on Sam and Amy’s Facebook page here.

It is always hard being the first couple to take to the dance floor but the audience were fully behind them and Arwen and Phil did a fantastic job with their Samba, getting well earned praise from the judges and scoring a very credible 23.

Up next were Donna and Lynne, the first of our all-female pairing, who performed a gorgeous waltz, telling the story of unrequited love along the way. Donna and Lynne finished the dance both holding aloft a photo of the object of their affections in their final pose. The frames held photos of none other than Dangerous Dave Tanner from Gem 106, our compere for the night. The execution of the waltz and the story telling earned them a well-deserved 23 too.

The Gypsy Kings provided the sound track for Angela and Horace’s fun, up-beat samba which got everyone tapping their feet earning them 26 points from the judges, the highest score so far of the night, and earning Horace a nick-name of ‘Horace-the-hips’.

There was a score of 7-7-7 for Karen and Andy’s 007 moody and sultry waltz danced to ‘Skyfall’ and 6-6-6 for Josie and Glenn’s Samba with great ‘knee action’ but slight wardrobe malfunction with a wayward headband.

Next came mother and son pairing Julie and Crayg took the lead in the first half with their waltz, scoring 27. Crayg who is just 17 is the youngest ever contestant we have had in any of our Strictly Learn to Dance events. Judge, Jennifer Dodman, IDTA Associate Teacher in Latin and Freestyle, was particularly impressed with the footwork and they were catapulted into the lead with the first 9-9-9 of the night.

Last up, before the interval was our second all-female couple Julie and Dawn who looked gorgeous in their matching fringe dresses and roses in their hair. It was only after the performance that it became evident that Dawn had come along on the night despite feeling unwell because she had virtually lost her voice when she tried to answer Dangerous Dave’s questions. Thank you so much Dawn.

After a short interval, Arwen and Phil took to the floor to perform their waltz which earned them 28, the best score of the evening and the first ‘10’ too. Donna and Lynne followed hot on their heels with a score of 27 dancing a fun and entertaining Samba and the second ‘10’ of the night.

To the delight of the crowd, Angela and Horace ‘the hips’– scored the first 10-10-10 with a breath-taking waltz. But Karen and Andy weren’t to be out done and scored a very impressive 9-9-9 with their Samba followed by Josie and Glenn with a magical waltz to the soundtrack ‘Moonriver’ earning them and very respectable 8-8-8.

Then came mother and son pairing Julie and Crayg, who wowed the crowd and the judges with their Samba gaining them an amazing 10-10-10. The last dance of the evening was a waltz performed beautifully and elegantly by Julie and Dawn to a slightly different version of ‘Let It Go’ which gained them a well-earned 8-8-8.

The judges mark the contestants on technical ability and entertainment value but the audience also get a chance to vote too. 10 points are awarded to the couple with the highest judges score and 1 to the lowest. At the close of the second interval the audience votes were counted, verified and ranked. 10 points were awarded to the couple with the greatest number of votes and 1 to those with the lowest.

For the first time in Strictly Learn to Dance history there was a tie. In the event of a tie the winners are the couple with the most audience votes which were… Arwen and Phil.

Huge congratulations go to winners Arwen and Phil but also Angela and Horace who came second and Julie and Crayg who were third. Thank you to all the fab-u-lous contestants who took part, you all helped to raise £8,700 to fund our Day Therapy and Hospice at Home services for patients in the Nottinghamshire area with a terminal-illness.

We would like to thank…

Dawn Harrison from the Wollaton School of Dancing.

Fabric theatre- www.fabrictheatre.co.uk for making the judges podium look so beautiful.

Garden Party Hire for the dance floor.

Our fabulous dancing host ‘Dangerous Dave’ from Gem 106.

Our amazing photographer Andy Wallis www.andywallisphotography.co.uk .

Our marvellous judges Jan Barratt- Head of Community Involvement, Experian UK & Ireland, Dave Saunders- Chair of Nottinghamshire Hospice Trustees, Jennifer Dodman- IDTA Associate Teacher in Latin and Freestyle.

Stylistix for their fabulous hairdressing and Kelly Warner Hairstylists and Make-up Artists for their stunning make-up

Pat Radford of Mapperley for their donations of bouquets of flowers.

All the people and organisations who donated raffle prizes: KH Hair (x2) Long Eaton; B-Yoo-Tee Salon @ Keith Hall; The Round House; The Health Store (3 Easter eggs); The Galleries of Justice (Family pass); The Little Healing Room (Reiki session); Rita Balfour Silver; Live Love Life Coaching (Life coaching session); Euphoria (back massage); Sainsbury’s on Breck Hill Road, Mapperley.

Our volunteers on the night … and last but not least to all our amazing contestants and everyone who supported and sponsored them on their incredible journey.