Strictly fever hits Bantry

Irish Examiner - County - - News -

It’s time to slip on the danc­ing shoes as Strictly Come Danc­ing waltzes into Bantry next month to help aid St Fin­barr’s Boys Na­tional School.

Over three show-stop­ping nights in Bantry, 32 con­tes­tants will take to the floor to show off their dance skills.

The school’s newly ap­pointed prin­ci­pal, Brian Glee­son, took up the chal­lenge of rais­ing funds and the lo­cal sup­port demon­strates what bet­ter way than a raz­zledaz­zle Strictly Come Danc­ing event. Such was the over­whelm­ing re­sponse from the pub­lic, the event had to be spread over three nights.

Un­der the di­rec­tion of dance instructor Michelle Naughton, the par­tic­i­pants are al­ready fol­low­ing a de­mand­ing train­ing sched­ule.

As they pre­pare for the per­for­mance of a life­time, which will in­clude spec­tac­u­lar group rou­tines as well as daz­zling cou­ple dances, Michelle said: “I’m re­ally en­joy­ing work­ing with the Bantry group, they are so ea­ger to learn and have made great progress al­ready.”

Or­gan­is­ing com­mit­tee mem­ber Cllr Danny Collins said: “Strictly is a first for Bantry and I’m de­lighted to be in­volved in this fundraiser. All the dancers must be com­mended for par­tic­i­pat­ing and giv­ing up their time to raise funds for St Fin­barr’s School. It is great to see such com­radery be­tween the 32 dancers”.

A glitzy red car­pet launch of the planned March event has taken place at The West­lodge Ho­tel where each cou­ple was re­vealed, along with the style of dance they will per­form.

And among the judges for the grand fi­nal is Kerry foot­ball great Ai­dan O’Ma­hony, last year’s win­ner of the RTÉ

Danc­ing with the Stars spec­ta­cle. He will be joined by lo­cal dance teach­ers Theresa O’Donoghue and Josie Mc Auliffe, along with Deputy Michael Collins and the cur­rent Miss Bantry, Katie Mur­phy.

The Bat­tle of the Ball­room kicks off at The West­lodge Ho­tel with the first semi-fi­nal on Fri­day, March 9, with the se­cond event the fol­low­ing night. The cou­ples with the most votes, com­bined with judges scores, will ad­vance to the grand fi­nal on Sun­day, March 18, also at The West­lodge Ho­tel.

Event co­or­di­na­tor San­dra May­bury said: “Strictly fever has cer­tainly taken over Bantry and the re­sponse we have re­ceived for this event has been amaz­ing. The dancers in­volved form part of a re­ally fan­tas­tic line-up and all shows prom­ise to de­light au­di­ences with lifts, tricks, glitz and glam­our.”

The Strictly boys ready for the Bat­tle of the Ball­room in the West­lodge Ho­tel in aid of St Fin­barr’s Boys Na­tional School, Bantry.

The Strictly girls ready to take to the dance floor at the West­lodge Ho­tel.

Lily de la Cour and Ro­nan O’Ma­hony at the launch of Bantry’s Strictly Come Danc­ing style fundraiser for St Fin­barr’s Boys Na­tional School.

Par­tic­i­pants Damien Hicks and Shelly Con­nolly.

Diar­muid Sheedy and Bríd O’Leary look­ing for­ward to show­ing off their dance skills.

Ger O’Brien and Gillian Harte en­joy­ing the Strictly ex­pe­ri­ence.

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