Step­ping out

The Strictly Clon Danc­ing com­pe­ti­tion is be­ing launched with 44 dancers all vy­ing for the crown.

Irish Examiner - County - - Front page - Áilín Quin­lan For more in­for­ma­tion visit the ■ Strictly Con Danc­ing face­book page.

The glam­orous and hugely pop­u­lar Strictly Clon Danc­ing com­pe­ti­tion is be­ing launched later this week, with 44 tal­ented dancers all vy­ing for the crown.

Com­peti­tors have been re­hears­ing for weeks, even though the event is only be­ing launched in the West Cork town of Clon­akilty on Fri­day next.

How­ever, as al­ways, stan­dards are phe­nom­e­nally high in this ea­gerly-awaited lo­cal con­test, renowned for the eye-catch­ing en­sem­bles worn by the dancers and some truly sparkling per­for­mances.

The event, which acts as a fundraiser for the lo­cal GAA and rugby clubs, tra­di­tion­ally en­joyed sold-out at­ten­dances and the dancers, who come from Clon­akilty and sur­round­ing ar­eas such as Court­mac­sh­erry, Ti­moleague and Bar­ry­roe, are prac­tis­ing hard in the run-up to the ea­gerly-awaited con­test.

Con­tes­tants will not be paired un­til the forth­com­ing launch which takes place in the Ahamilla GAA Com­plex, just out­side the town.

The au­di­ence at the launch will be ad­dressed by the al­ways-in­spir­ing Joanne O’Rior­dan, one of seven cur­rently liv­ing peo­ple born with the con­di­tion Te­traamelia syn­drome.

Joanne, from Mill­street in mid-Cork, who was named Young Per­son of the Year in 2012 at the Peo­ple of the Year Awards, has ad­dressed the United Na­tions and dis­cussed tech­nol­ogy with both the Mas­sachus­sets In­sti­tute of Tch­nol­ogy and Ap­ple.

Ex­plains He­len Houli­han, spokes­woman for the or­gan­is­ing com­mit­tee: “We are ex­pect­ing sell-out au­di­ences this year, as al­ways — we al­ways have a full house and all three events are gen­er­ally booked out well in ad­vance, so we’re ad­vis­ing peo­ple to book early this year.”

Dancers are al­lo­cated a num­ber of tick­ets for fam­ily mem­bers while tick­ets will go on sale to the gen­eral pub­lic through­out Clon­akilty next month.

Strictly Clon Danc­ing starts off with 11 cou­ples com­pet­ing in the first of two semi-fi­nals on Novem­ber 10 next at Fern­hill House Ho­tel.

The sec­ond semi-fi­nal takes place on Sat­ur­day, Novem­ber 18, at Inchy­doney Ho­tel with the other 11 cou­ples.

A lucky dozen or so cou­ples are ex­pected to make it through to the fi­nal which takes place on Fri­day, Novem­ber 24, at Dun­more House Ho­tel.

Pic­ture: De­nis Boyle

2016 win­ners Ciarán Crow­ley and Aine Lynch strike a danc­ing pose at Astna Square, Clon­akilty, for the launch of Strictly Clon Danc­ing 2017. The launch party takes place this Fri­day.

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