Strictly couples all set for grand finale
CategoryNorth London Hospice
With just two days to go our eleven couples are putting the finishing touches to their dance routines as they prepare to take to the floor in aid of North London Hospice. Professional teachers have been putting the competitors through their paces before they go head-to-head in the spectacular finale of Dancing Strictly, sponsored by the Times Series and Enfield Independent. Based on the popular television show Strictly Come Dancing, each dancing duo has been given a routine to master before they perform in front of live audience at Millfield Theatre in Edmonton this Saturday. From the cha-cha to the quickstep, contestants will showcase their best moves as they aim to impress judges while raising money for the hospice. Here are our lovely couples: Laura Tollerton, 28, and Ben Gilhooly, 26 will perform the jive to The Lion Sleeps Tonight when they step out on the dance floor. Laura, from Palmers Green, is taking part in memory of her mother, who died seven years ago. She said: “Every Christmas I donate to a hospice because I know first hand the good work they do. I thought this competition would be a fun way of raising money.” Ben added: “Everyone has been incredible in giving their time to help us. I’m definitely not feeling confident but I’m sure we’ll get there. We just need to polish our moves.” To sponsor the couple visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com and search for Laura Tollerton. Kevin and Carmel English from Whetstone will be cheered on by daughters Laura 11, and eight-year-old Charlotte when they take to the stage on Saturday. Carmel, 42, said: “Our son is too embarrassed to watch so he’s heading off to scouts.” Kevin, 41, said: “Dancing is something I’ve never done before and is totally outside my comfort zone but it’s great fun.” Carmel added: “Before my dad died of Alzheimer’s my mum cared for him at home. She was exhausted so I know how much a hospice is needed for all the family.” To sponsor Carmel and Kevin visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com and search for Carmel English. Brother and sister Carmelina and Joe Musso will jive to Rock around the Clock. Carmelina, 37, from Barnet, said: “I’ve always wanted to do something for charity and to learn to dance the jive so this was the perfect opportunity. “It’s been exhausting practising but we’re loving it. The audience can expect lots of spins and energy – it’s a high tempo, bouncy routine.” Joe,35, from Enfield, added: “It normally takes a few drinks to get me on the dance floor but this is for a good cause.” To sponsor Carmelina and Joe, visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com and search for Joe Musso. Secretary Gail Owen, 56, from Whetstone is dancing the salsa with her boss Mark Smith, 44. Gail said: “My sister Sara has a severe form of Parkinson’s and is being looked after by the palliative care team at North London Hospice. It has been really supportive so I thought this would be a good way to give something back.” Mark, who is the manager at Hampstead Golf Club, said: “I have been threatening to wear some Velcro trousers. You can’t take it too seriously. I’m sure a lot of my members will pay good money to see me on the dance floor.” To sponsor Gail and Mark visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com and search for Gail Owen. Dressed head to toe in sequin, hospice workers Jayne Usher, 24, and Abdulkadir Abdul, 26, are promising to ‘give it everytihng’ on the dance floor. Jayne, who lives in New Barnet, has volunteered at the hospice site in Woodside Avenue since July and her dancing partner Abdul works as health care assistant at the hospice in Winchmore Hill. Jayne said:”I’m going to wear my hair big, plenty of sequins and false eyelashes – we’re going to give it everything to win.” To sponsor them visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com and search for Dancing Strictly. Workmates Louise McKinnon, 47, and John Droy, 57, are hoping to cha cha their way to victory. John, a facilities manager at Affinity Water, said: “Any chance we get we’re practising in the conference room. It’s great fun.” Louise, a finance analyst from Potters Bar, said: “We’ve started to gather audiences in the office. The better we get the more people are watching. “I’m passionate about dance and I’m passionate about the work the hospice does. The hospice is never empty and it’s so reliant on fundraising to continue its marvellous work.” To sponsor them visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com and search for Dancing Strictly. From a field filled with sheep to the living room floor, two ballroom competitors are practising their moves “wherever and whenever” in the hope of being crowned Dancing Strictly champions. Boyfriend and girlfriend Patrick Courtney, 22, and Louise Rice, 23, plan to blow-away the judges with a waltz. Louise, who lives in Barnet, said: “I used to dance at Bath University where I was part of the Latin Ballroom Society. Patrick said: “We visited my parents in the Cotswolds and we were dancing anywhere we could – in the barn, in a field full of sheep. It’s great fun.” To sponsor them, visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com and search for Louise Rice. Cousins Ross Hmailton, 23, & Natalie Philip, 26, will perform the Cha Cha Cha but the competition means more than just lifting the winner’s trophy. Their grandmother Shirley King was cared for by the North London Hospice before she died of cancer six years ago. Ross said: “This definitely is our chance to give something back. It’s also a bit of fun as well.” Natalie of Mill Hill, said: “I think our grandma would be really proud of us.” Sponsor them at uk.virginmoneygiving.com and search for Dancing Strictly. Hoping for a chance to dazzle the judges are boyfriend and girlfriend Sarah Evans, 25, and Andrew Creamer, 27, who will be tackling the waltz. Sarah, a teacher at Wembley High Technology College, said: “My grandma met my grandpa ballroom dancing and she always told me how much I would enjoy it. “It’s really fun and it’s a great way to raise money for the hospice too. When my grandma was ill we benefitted from the help of a hospice – it’s something that supports the whole family.” Sarah and Andrew live together in Kensal Rise, where they have been slipping in a bit of practice whenever they have a spare five minutes. To sponsor them visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com and search for Sarah Evans. Friends Tom McClorry, 42, and Thelia Farago, 54, hope their “fast-moving” cha cha will not only impress judges in next month’s competition, but also raise a lot of cash for the charity. Thelia of Palmers Green said: “When my mum died I had firsthand experience of the kind of support a hospice can provide – not only for the person suffering but for the whole family.” Tom of North Finchley said: “It’s a bit frustrating when you get the moves wrong but we’ll just keep practising.” To sponsor Tome and Thelia, visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com and search for Thelia Farago. A rock and roll grandfather and a dancing queen are hoping to wow the judges with their quickstep. Valerie Henry, 40, and Lou Sidoli, 74, had never met before the competition, but are already making headway on the dance floor. Lou, a grandfather-of-five, first started rock and roll dancing four years ago. He said: “I find it uplifting to be on the dance floor and although I’m a bit nervous it’s for a great cause. “A couple of my friends have had family members who went to the hospice so it’s a pleasure to be raising money for it.” Valerie, of New Barnet, said: “I used to train in Latin American ballroom and formation. It’s amazing to be dancing again, especially with Lou – he’s such a great guy.” To sponsor them visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com and search for Valerie Henry.