A Corby charity dance show kept ten fundraising couples on their toes and raised a glittering £62,035.35 for Lakelands Hospice.
Strictly Corby, held at the Best Western Rockingham Forest hotel on Friday (September 27), was the culmination of ten weeks of fundraising and dance practice.
Run in conjunction with Mashdance, the glittering night’s entertainment was held in front of a sell-out crowd of more than 490 people.
Lifting the glitterball trophy was Nicola McHugh, representing Team Lynn and her professional partner Carl Turner Fountain.
Nicola also took home the Vic Hardy Cup for the best fundraiser raising a huge £14,296.40k - the highest individual amount ever raised in Strictly Corby’s nine-year history.
Nicola said: “I entered Strictly 2019 in memory of my sister Lynn and to give something back to the hospice.
“I can honestly say the whole experience from start to finish has been amazing.
“Having Carl as my partner made the experience even better, he was so supportive and so much fun. I have met some wonderful people along the way that will be friends forever.
“I am so proud of the people of Corby as without their support I would not have achieved the staggering amount that I raised, so a big thank you to all involved.
“The whole experience will stay with me forever and will be something I will never forget, thank you Lakelands for letting me be part of it.”
Couples were awarded points for the amount of funds they raised in the lead up to and on the night which were then added to the judges’ scores for their dancing performances.
Corby Strictly 2019 runners-up were Ricky Girvan and his partner Natasha Davison.
Ricky said: “It was an amazing experience, something I’ll never forget, my family and friends were so supportive, it’s awesome to have raised so much for the hospice, to have been part of a great team and to have danced my way into second place.”
The event was also broadcast live over the airwaves and screened live via the internet by the Corby Radio team.
In third place overall was Shonagh Fullarton and her partner Charlie Walker who wowed judges with their energetic boxing-themed show dance.
Shonagh said: “Taking part in Strictly Corby has been a wonderful experience.
“I’m immensely proud of the amount raised and of all the 2019 team who have been so supportive”.
Gaz Stevenson and his partner Eleanor Springham took away the best show dance award of the night awarded by the judges for their stunning Charleston-inspired synchronised routine.
Gaz said: “The whole ten weeks was an incredible buzz topped off by winning best show dance.”
Winners of the ‘Ray Burke Spirit of Strictly’ title, an award given to the couple who have had the most interesting journey were Jema Thorpe, representing Salonista, and her partner Gez Lyons - last year’s overall winner.
Lakelands fundraising manager and event organiser Paul Marlow said: “Jema and Gez were a really enthusiastic couple, to dance to that standard made it a fully deserved award.”
Paul added: “We are all so thrilled to have pulled off yet another amazing Strictly Corby event.
“It’s a real team effort by so many people especially by all of the dancers who really pulled together as a team to put on a professional show.
“There are so many people to thank, it’s a real team effort, but without the support of the people of the Corby Borough who continue to get behind everything we do we wouldn’t be where we are today.
“This event really captures the Corby public’s imagination with the tickets selling out in just over ten minutes.
“The feedback from all quarters has been fantastic.
“The Mashdance MDP and Tail feather dancers’ 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 2020.”
Owner of Mashdance School of dance Shelley Davis, who provided the professionals for the event, said: “All of the Mashdance dancers give up their time for free and I was really pleased with the quality of the dancing.
“There were some very technical dance routines performed to a high standard.
“It has been amazing to have helped Lakelands raise such a fantastic amount over the past nine years.”
Strictly Corby has now raised more than £360,000 for Lakelands in its nine-year history.
The money raised will go to help Lakelands raise their annual total cost of £545,000, none of which comes from NHS or government funding.
For more details of MaSH dance’s ballroom and Latin classes go to mashdance.co.uk.
All the photos of the amazing night can be viewed at http://alanjkanephotography.com/