Strictly for fun and charities

The ‘Strictly Banbury’ dancers get in some practice before the weekend event

The ‘Strictly Banbury’ dancers get in some practice before the weekend event

First published in News

TOE-TAPPING residents are putting their dancing feet to the test in a “Strictly” dance off.

They will be swapping their day-to-day suits and shimmying out of their comfort zones for a weekend of ballroom dancing.

Professional dancers will join 16 novices at Banbury’s Mill Arts Centre to raise money for Katharine House Hospice and Banbury Young Homeless Project this weekend.

And for Scott Bloomfield, 41, from Ruscote Avenue, it will be his first taste of the ballroom. The retail and trading manager for Katharine House Hospice said: “It is going really well actually. I have never done anything like it before. It has been difficult, but it is all coming together quite nicely.”

Mr Bloomfield will dance the Cha Cha Cha, the American Smooth and the Fox Trot.

He added: “To start off, I was a little bit nervous. I guess the winner will be who offers the best showmanship on the day.”

After he completed the London Marathon last year for Help the Hospices, Mr Bloomfield fancied pitting himself against the stars in another sporting challenge.

He will face hairdresser James Boswell, 34, this weekend who can’t wait to get started.

The creative director at EKKO hair and beauty said: “I can’t wait for Saturday. Learning the art of dancing properly and learning the style of it has been great. Everyone has been supportive and I am looking forward to it.” Also taking to the “Strictly Banbury” floor will be Cherwell district councillor for Banbury Hardwick, John Donaldson. He said: “I’m probably one of the older ones there. I will try to put the younger ones to shame.”

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Claire Howard, community worker Rev Browne and Aida Walsh, from the Banbury Young Homeless Project, will join the field alongside pe teacher Will Woodham.

Student Alice Gregory will put her twinkly toes to the test against David Beverly and the neighbourhood police sergeant Katrina Hibbert.

The sell-out event has been organised by dance school Step By Step and will see Brian Auld, South Central Ambulance Service’s Marcus Jones, hair stylist Ali Groethe, warehouse manager Shaun Dobbs, Dashwood Academy teaching assistant Louisa Lella and Banbury and Bicester College principal Rose Turner put through their paces.

Dancers have already raised more than £6,000.

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