If you see a whirlwind of glitter and spandex waltzing around St Andrew’s Healthcare in Northampton, you may have glimpsed Nurse Manager Nick Moore and dance partner Donna Walker practicing for the Strictly Northampton competition.
With just two weeks of rehearsal time left, the dynamic duo are dancing for around 20-hours a week, perfecting the steps they’ll perform in front of a packed Royal and Derngate audience on November 18. The competition aims to raise money for the Cynthia Spencer Hospice, and all of the competitors – Nick included – are calling for donations.
Nick, who works with children and adolescents within FitzRoy House, is a novice dancer who has been partnered with fellow St Andrew’s staff member Donna Walker, who works for the charity’s Learning and Development team. Donna is no stranger to the quickstep, and she has taken part in Strictly Northampton in previous competitions.
Now in its eighth year, Nick and the other contestants have had just eight weeks to learn five dance routines before performing in front of a full house of 1,500 at the Royal and Derngate theatre. The dancers will strut their stuff before a judging panel and live audience, with the winner taking home the much coveted Strictly Northampton glitterball trophy.
Nick explained: “I started with the intention of having a giggle and raising money for a great cause – the Cynthia Spencer Hospice. However after the first training session and incidentally being paired with Donna, it soon changed my life. The training has been intense, long and very creative. I have found muscles I thought had disappeared a long time ago. Donna on this theatrical journey has been patient, supportive and kind with her critique of my dad-style dancing; however the hard work we have put in together is starting pay dividends. The whole experience has been fantastic and exhilarating.”
Donna added: “I am so proud to be dancing with Nick - he embodies everything that Strictly is about; personal challenge, fun and determination. It’s all about making a difference. He is working so hard and we are putting in hours of extra practice to give our very best performance. Along the way we are having lots of fun and seem to always be laughing. Why not come along and support us and have a fab-u-lous night of entertainment!”
The final of the annual event, organised by Step by Step Dance School, takes place on Saturday 18 November at the Royal and Derngate. The dance extravaganza aims to raise money for the Cynthia Spencer Hospice, which provides palliative care services for patients in Northampton. Nick promises that everyone who attends the final will witness a great show: “I will keep dancing till the end - practice makes perfect!”
Tickets for the final are on sale from the Royal and Derngate box office. You can also get involved by sponsoring Nick and donating to the Cynthia Spencer Hospice; visit Nick’s justGiving page by clicking here. JustGiving sends your donation straight to the Cynthia Spencer Hospice, and automatically reclaims Gift Aid if you are a UK taxpayer, making your donation worth even more. Nick and Donna really need your help to reach the fundraising target for this very worthy cause; just click on the Justgiving link to donate.