Callam Thomson and Elissia Whitter of Precision Dance Academy hope the competition at Longridge Civic Hall will raise thousands of pounds for the charity Rosemere Cancer Foundation, based at Royal Preston Hospital.
Callam, 31, a champion ballroom dancer who set up his academy around four years ago and opened the Longridge branch last autumn, said: “The plan is that we are aiming to raise £20,000.”
The venue on Calder Avenue in the city will also benefit, with 10% of the proceeds going to the community venue.
Callam hopes the volunteer dancers will do their best. He said: “It will be a one night only event. The idea is to have a black tie dinner experience on the red carpet. We want to do everything to make it a night to remember. Every year it will go from better and better. My idea is to have 20 non-dancers and pair them up as couples… We’re going to turn complete novices into Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers for one night only.”
The sequence, ballroom and Latin American dance teacher will provide 10 hours of basic training for dancers free of charge. Everyone will have to seek sponsorship. He said; “It will be like a sponsored run or walk. Each person can try to raise as much as they can. The public will also be able to vote for the winner, paying £2 for each vote.”
Elissia and Callam hope that well-known local figures and representatives of the Rosemère charity will enter the contest.
The event will be particularly dear to Elissia’s family. The 22-year-old grew up locally and attended Stonyhurst College and met Callam when he gave dance demonstrations at her grandmother’s dance school.
Callam said: “We’ve known each other since we were young. Elissia trains now and helps me with dance school. We want to bring her back because her grandparents danced here. Her great-grandparents also danced.”
Elissia’s mother carried on the family tradition and helped her parents organize a great dance festival that lasted for decades.
The intention is to hold the contest later in the year – possibly in the fall. Callam, from Gargrave, near Skipton, said he was delighted with the reception their new business Longridge has received. seems such a beautiful area.”
He’s no new to Strictly fundraising, as he explained: “I’ve even danced for the Cheshire Housewives version of Strictly and raised money for charity.”
He also helped organize a competition in Sandbach, Cheshire, which raised £12,500 for the local hospice.
As for contestants worried about having two left feet, the Precision Dance Academy website is reassured by the school: “We believe anyone can dance, our encouragement and guidance will engender determination, which is all you need to learn to dance socially”. and bring you success in a competitive way.”
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