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