Dancefloor novices to help hospice
A group of Nelson personalities will take to the floor of the Trafalgar Centre once again in the name of raising money for the region’s hospice.
The Dancing for a Cause event matches contestants with professional dancers, and they are told what style of dance they will be performing – a similar format to the popular TV show Dancing with the Stars – to raise funds for the Nelson Tasman Hospice.
Dancing for a Cause Charitable Trust chair and dance teacher Emma Silke-French said she was looking forward to trying to build on the success of last year’s event.
She said it had been a privilege to be involved with teaching the contestants to dance. ‘‘It was probably one of the highlights of my life.’’
This year’s lineup includes lawyer Hamish Fletcher, ex-Nelson Giants and Tall Blacks basketballer Phill Jones, Nelson MP Nick Smith, breast cancer survivor Lizl Matthewson, NZ King Salmon chief executive Grant Rosewarne, Sprig & Fern master brewer Tracy Banner, radio personalities Breffni O’Rourke and Al Columbus, and NBS employee Abbie Cook.
Other than the odd jazz class as a child, Silke-French said, most of the contestants had not danced before.
‘‘We are asking them to do something quite different this year. It is a bit of a challenge, right outside a lot of people’s comfort zones, especially when we ask them to perform in front of a sold-out Trafalgar Centre.’’
The contestants have several months to practise their moves before the event on May 23 next year. It is up to each individual as to how much rehearsal they can fit into their busy schedules.
‘‘It’s such a cool way to help hospice out, and we raised so much money last year we are hoping to obviously better it,’’ Silke-French said.
‘‘It’s super-exciting. I am really looking forward to it, as are the dancers – they are a bit scared, but they are pretty excited, too.’’
Rosewarne said his previous dancing experience consisted of making it up as he went along, usually surrounded by others, without paying too much attention to what exactly he was doing.
‘‘I’ve never done formal dancing where actual steps are required.’’
He said that when Silke-French asked him to consider becoming a contestant, he laughed for a long time, as it was so far out of his comfort zone, and thanked her for the opportunity.
She asked him to think about it – and he decided yes, given that it was for a good cause and he had a few months to learn the steps.
‘‘I did request my dance, which was the tango, but we will see whether I have got it.’’
Hospice chief executive Frans Dellebeke said he didn’t envy those who were dancing, and was glad he hadn’t been asked himself. ‘‘I think you are all incredibly brave.’’
He said the $111,000 raised at the inaugural event last year had gone directly towards the building of the new hospice in Stoke.
NBS Nelson Dancing for a Cause. May 23, 2020 at the Trafalgar Centre. Tickets will be available through TicketDirect – anyone wishing to purchase a table or sponsor the event can contact [email protected]ingforacause.co. nz.
Dancing for a Cause is back for a second year, to raise funds for the Nelson Tasman Hospice. The contestants include, from left, radio host Al Columbus, lawyer Hamish Fletcher, radio host Breffni O’Rourke, breast cancer survivor Lizl Matthewson, NBS employee Abbie Cook, ex-basketballer Phill Jones, and NZ King Salmon chief executive Grant Rosewarne. Absent are Nelson MP Nick Smith and Sprig & Fern master brewer Tracy Banner.
Dancers Oliver Black and Brooke Silke-Atkins showed off their skills during the Dancing for a Cause launch party at the hospice in Stoke on Thursday.