Dancers raise record £58,000 for Lakelands Hospice in Corby

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Corby folk have done themselves proud yet again by raising more money than ever at an annual dancing competition.

This year’s Strictly Corby event at the Best Western Rockingham Forest hotel on Friday, October 14, has so far raised a whopping £58,000 for Lakelands Hospice.

The Butland Road hospice organises and runs the event in conjunction with Mash School of Dance.

The total smashed last year’s previous best by an amazing £23,000 and provided a fantastic night’s entertainment for the sell-out crowd of more than 450 people. This year’s winners were Emma Hall, who was representing Team Andy Hall and Lakelands Hospice, and her professional partner Anthony Bazin.

All the dancers were awarded points for the amount of funds they raised in the lead-up to and on the night and these were added to the judges’ scores for their dancing performances. The two scores combined gave Emma and Anthony the overall title.

Emma said: “It was hard work and very time-consuming but a fantastic experience.

“The atmosphere on the night was electric and although I was very nervous, I was very proud to win it for Team Andy Hall.

“When the winners were announced it was worth all the effort.

“It’s also a very proud feeling to have helped raise so much money for a great cause that has meant so much to my family “

Runners-up this year were Simon Wright, representing The UE Group, and his partner Emily Head who danced a brilliant Frozen routine as their show dance.

Simon also broke the individual fundraising record by raising almost £12,000 and won the Vic Hardy Cup for best Fundraiser.

In third place overall were Bob Dent, representing Lakelands Hospice, and his partner Donna Collins who performed to rapturous applause from the crowd.

Both Simon and Bob commented on what an awesome experience it was and that they are both looking to continue taking dance lessons in the future.

Owner of Mash School of Dance Shelley Davis, who provided the professional dancers for the event, said: “I was really pleased with the quality of the dancing, there were some very technical dance routines performed to a high standard.

“It was also amazing to have helped Lakelands raise such a fantastic amount.”

Emma and Anthony also took away the Best Show dance award on the night awarded by the judges for their stunning Charleston routine, while Sam Cruickshank, representing RS Corby, and her partner John Ashton were awarded the “Spirit of Strictly” title given to the couple who have had the most interesting journey. Organiser and Lakelands fundraising manager Paul Marlow said: “Sam was a really enthusiastic contestant and threw herself into the practice routines – wherever they could find a space they danced.”

Sam, who was delighted with her award, said: “At first I was really hesitant about taking part and needed a bit of cajoling, but once we got into the training I really enjoyed the whole experience.

“It was a real challenge but this makes it all worthwhile.”

Mr Marlow, whose team organise the whole event in aid of the hospice, added: “We are all stunned to have beaten last year’s total by a whopping £23,000.

“It’s a truly amazing effort by all of the dancers who really pulled together as a team to put on a professional show.

“This event really captures the Corby public’s imagination, with the tickets selling out in just over 10 minutes.

“The feedback from all quarters has been fantastic; The Mash Dance Pop-tarts, MDP and the Strictly revisited gang who performed in the intervals went down a storm and I’ve even had several people approach me after the show to put themselves forward for 2017.”

The amount raised will go to helping Lakelands raise its annual total needed of £525,000.