These dancers put on a dazzling display of show-stopping routines to help raise £61,000 for Lakelands Hospice.
Strictly Corby took place at the Best Western Rockingham Forest hotel on Friday and was once again a huge success, raising £61,000 so far for Lakelands Hospice which organises and runs the event in conjunction with Mashdance.
The total was the culmination of 10 weeks of fundraising and dancing and provided a fantastic night’s entertainment for the sell-out crowd of more than 490 people.
The event was also broadcast live over the airwaves and screened live via the internet by the Corby Radio team.
Strictly Corby has now raised more than £300,000 for the hospice in its eight-year history.
This year’s winner was Gez Lyons who was representing Taste Original and his professional partner Stacey Fotheringham.
Dancers were awarded points for the amount of funds raised in the lead up to and on the night and these were added to the judges’ scores for their performances.
The two scores combined gave Gez and Stacey the overall title.
Gez said: “The 10 weeks’ training and fundraising was an incredible journey, hard work and very time consuming but a fantastic experience.
“The atmosphere on the night was electric although I was very nervous, but very proud to win the award.
“Individually I raised almost £8,000 for Lakelands which makes me very proud and honoured to be crowned Strictly Corby champion.
“Alongside this I’ve met some fabulous friends and I intend to keep dancing.”
Runners up this year were Heather Bell-Capper, representing RS Components, and her partner Dave Angier Brown.
Heather also took home the Vic Hardy Cup for the best fundraiser, raising £12,500 which is the highest individual amount ever raised in Strictly Corby’s history.
Heather said: “It was an amazing experience, something I’ll never forget.
“My work colleagues and friends were so supportive, and I am thrilled to have raised so much for the hospice and to have danced my way into second place.”
In third place was Jon Berridge representing Montsaye Academy and his partner Ruth Sullivan with an Aladdin themed show dance.
He said: “Taking part in Strictly Corby has been a wonderful experience, I’m immensely proud of the amount raised and of all the 2018 team who have been so supportive.”
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 was also amazing to have helped Lakelands raise such a fantastic amount over the past eight years.”
Darren Wilson and his partner Amanda Wilkins took away the best show dance award on the night, awarded by the judges for their Mary Poppins routine.
Darren said: “The whole 10 weeks was an incredible buzz topped off by winning best show dance.”
Jenna Bailee representing Lakelands Hospice and her partner Charlie Walker were awarded the Ray Burke Spirit of Strictly title for the couple who have had the most interesting journey.
Organiser Paul Marlow said: “Jenna and Charlie were a really enthusiastic couple, to dance to that standard especially their amazing ‘Thriller’ routine made it a fully deserved award.”
Jenna said: “The Strictly experience has been incredible and such good fun, I’d recommend it to anyone to get involved.”
Lakelands fundraising manager Paul Marlow, whose team organise the event in aid of the hospice in Butland Road, said: “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.
“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 Mashdance Ball room Blitzers, 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 2019.”
Photos from the night can be viewed at www.mikebrownphotographic.co.uk or by looking at our picture gallery of all the pictures taken by photographer Alison Bagley for the Northants Telegraph.
The amount raised will go to helping Lakelands raise its annual total of £525,000 which with no NHS or government funding is a vital step forward in making their goals.
Paul said: “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.”