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Waltzing towards Strictly success!

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My dancing journey began with a brief discussion in the car with Brian Auld, one of the partners here at Brethertons. We were on our way to the Bicester office and Brian was raving about his time doing Strictly Banbury in 2014.  

Then whilst in the office one day, he received an email from Glenda Harper the organiser of the event and before I knew it, I was signed up and taking part. 

On the first day of training I felt like it was my first day at school. It was incredibly daunting, but the team soon made me feel at ease. 

My progress to begin with was slow and even after a few weeks of training I am no where near where I would have hoped to have been.  This however, has nothing to do with the training I have received, it’s just my lack of dancing experience.

We spent the first three hours of training, dancing with a number of different people, with the trainers watching to see who I would be best partnered with. I was lucky enough to be partnered with the most patient partner John Malone, who took part in Strictly Towcester at the end of last year. 

The show will take place over three nights, with potentially a different winner each night. Each couple dances the Viennese Waltz and Cha Cha and we have also been divided into groups for a group performance. We have a team leader who choreographs the performance and this is really where people can get a bit more creative and show off their personalities. 

The training has required quite a lot of discipline. I am dancing five times a week, three hours every Sunday and then between one-two hours a night Monday – Thursday. 

Anyone that knows me will know that this is really out of my comfort zone, but that is one of the reasons I decided to take part and I am certain I will look back at my experience in years to come and be really proud of myself. I have enjoyed every minute of it so far.

Strictly Banbury is a charity event dreamt up by Glenda from the Step-by-Step Dance School. Glenda is one of those special human-beings who invests their time to benefit some amazing causes. In fact, the whole group of people involved in the event are truly amazing! 

The main charity this year is Thames Valley Air Ambulance, with some support also going to Age UK Oxfordshire. 

Most of us know what Thames Valley Air Ambulance do, but not of the cost involved in providing the service. Thames Valley Air Ambulance serves the counties of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire and on average they carry out three missions a day, with each mission costing approximately £2,500. They do not receive any money from the Government or the National Lottery, so the charity relies on local businesses and the community to help raise money. 

All of the money raised goes towards training staff, providing medical equipment and support and the general cost of administration in flying the helicopter. They have also recently started flying at night, which brings with it a whole load of new challenges and intense training. Imagine the difficulty involved in saving someone’s life in broad daylight under extreme conditions, now imagine saving someone’s life in extreme conditions, but in the dark…These men and women are heroes.

If you would like to support the fantastic work that the Thames Valley Air Ambulance does please visit my donation page.

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