Frances Dawson, Principle at Broadway Dance Centre was contacted by Giles Trust charity and asked to volunteer a couple from her school to take part in “Strictly Come Giles”. The Giles Trust raises funds for world class research into brain tumours and it funds a dedicated nurse to assist with access to clinical trials to potentially offer a better quality of life for brain tumour patients.
Broadway Dance Centre takes pride in supporting charity events both locally and nationally. The Giles Trust held a charity ball on Saturday 13 October 2019 where dancers competed for the coveted “Strictly Giles” Trophy. Gary and I were approached by Frances to take part in this charity event and we wholeheartedly accepted the challenge.
As a non-competitor, the thought of dancing for hundreds of people at the age of 50 was pretty daunting. We accepted the challenge and Frances choreographed three dance routines. A Waltz, a Rumba and a Jive. I was fortunate enough to have a wonderful partner in Gary. We spent many hours learning and refining our routines. Fortunately, Frances was very patient because much of the time was spent giggling, laughing at our mistakes and on a few occasions, falling over.
As the week before the ball approached, nerves became fraught. I was convinced I would forget the routines, go wrong or worse fall over in front of everyone. Practice, practice and more practice ensued.
The big night was here. We arrived early and were greeted by the organiser who ran through the order of events. We were shown to our room to get ready and we were then told the judges for the competition included 3 very famous cricketers: Ashley Giles, Strictly competitor Michael Vaughan and Strictly winner Darren Gough. To say I was starstruck is an understatement.
The venue was spectacular, beautifully laid tables with beautifully dressed guests surrounded the sparkling dance floor. As we stood in the wings waiting to take our place, we could see the illuminated faces of the guests waiting in anticipation to be entertained. Let the show begin.
The stages of our dance journey were filmed by Giles Trust for the big night. The guests saw our hard work and the mistakes we made on the big screen but most importantly they enjoyed the genuine fun and joy we had rehearsing.
Our names were called, and we walked onto the dance floor. I was in a daze, the smiling faces from the audience brought me back to reality. The sweaty palms from nerves were long forgotten. We danced our waltz and I could feel my gown brushing the surrounding tables as we whooshed past. The shaking knees were now gone, and the joy of dancing took over. We had tremendous response from the audience, and I felt humbled by their applause. We danced our rumba and our jive and again we received overwhelming appreciation from the guests.
All dancers had performed their routines for the guests and the judges. We stood smiling on the dance floor waiting for the winners to be revealed. The sheer joy we experienced throughout this dancing journey and knowing we had contributed in a small way to such a worthy charity was reward enough for us. We were happy to cheer for the winners of the competition. The winners were announced. Gary and I could barely believe it when we were declared the winners. We jumped up and down in disbelief and delight when we accepted the “Strictly Giles” Trophy. We were absolutely thrilled and overjoyed.
We would like to thank Frances Dawson and Giles Trust so much for giving us this opportunity to experience such joy and have so much fun through dancing.