Dancing the night away for charity
Ball gowns resplendent with jewels glittered and shone in a spectacle as Dancing with the Stars returned to Feilding.
Now in its fifth year, the charity dancing competition drew in talented dancers and a crowd to Feilding’s Civic Centre on Friday.
About 480 people clapped, cheered, and whistled for Manawatu’s amateur dancers, who jumped and jived to raise money for Feilding’s Manchester House.
Feilding residents Alicia Johnson and fiance David Hallett knew little about dancing before signing up to the competition.
Hallett said he had only danced ‘‘at the pub’’ in recent years, and Johnson said she remembered dancing at school years ago.
But the duo waltzed across the stage, Johnson in a brilliant blue gown, and earned roaring applause from audience members.
The pair were among 11 couples who trained for about 16 weeks for the competition. Each pair was assigned a particular type of dance to learn for the competition.
Hallett said a co-worker convinced him to give it a go, and while he was skeptical at first, the competition was a lot of fun.
Levin resident Anne-Maria Robb and Bulls resident Ross Adlam have been dance partners for years.
Robb said she used to do ballet in her youth and about 10 years ago, decided to give ballroom dancing a go.
‘‘It’s not something that I ever thought I would do. I was 41 when I started. I’m 52 now,’’ Adlam said.
Trish and Mike Whitson were the dancing duo behind the scenes who trained all 51 dancers in the show, including the 21 competitive dancers and the three groups who performed on the night.
Trish Whitson said the dancers took part for a range of reasons, such as wanting to improve their dance skills, get out of their comfort zone and give back to the community.
Robyn Duncan, from Manchester House, said last year’s dancing fundraiser raised about $20,000.
Although she did not think this year’s event would make the same amount, she said every little bit helped the organisation and community.
The money would go towards making parent programmes and combating youth suicide in the area.
Stacey Robinson and Adam Barns dance the jive.