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This year, Brethertons' Debi Kendall is donning her dance shoes and taking to the floor in Strictly Banbury! She shares with us her story so far:
We had our first rehearsal 6 weeks ago when myself and 18 other rather nervous “local heroes” met one Sunday afternoon at Bannatynes. Glenda Harper, the organiser of the event and Step by Step Dance School teacher took us through our first few tentative steps. We danced with various experienced dancers until Glenda found the perfect match for each of us.
My partner, Tom, was himself a local hero two years ago and now he and his family are very much part of the Step by Step community. He has been very patient whilst I have been learning the dances. We are performing the Jive and American Smooth Foxtrot. We are also taking part in a group dance which is choreographed by our group leader.
Our rehearsals with Glenda take place for 3 hours every Sunday with ad hoc rehearsals during the week for our couples and group dance. We have also been invited to attend some masterclasses with Andrzej Mialkowski, the principal of Step by Step Dance School which were exciting and terrifying at the same time!
With just under two weeks to go until the first performance, the dances are coming together, the dresses have arrived and my spray tan is booked!
This year we are supporting two fantastic charities: Dogs for Good who support adults and children with a range of disabilities and also children with autism; and Oxford Children's Hospital This charity provides essential extras not covered by the NHS at both the John Radcliffe and Horton Hospital for children and their families whilst they are receiving treatment. This ranges from overnight accommodation for parents, outside play areas and state of the art new equipment.
I am absolutely loving my “Strictly” experience. It does completely take over your life but it is really worth it and I have made so many friends. I am really looking forward to the performances and the camaraderie between everyone involved in the event."
If you would like to see Debi in action, Strictly Banbury is being held on the 13th and 14th May at 7:30 at the Mill Arts Centre Banbury. Tickets for the evening can be booked via the Mill Arts Centre.