It’s a different way to be on the beat

Police Officer Sarah Gillespie dancing with Firefighter Michael Ross
Police Officer Sarah Gillespie dancing with Firefighter Michael Ross

ROOKIE dancers are coming to terms with the prospect of strutting their stuff in front of hundreds of people.

We told earlier this week how police and fire crews are going head to head in a challenge with a difference.

Five police officers and five fire crew from the Hartlepool and Billingham areas are learning how to do the cha cha, waltz, salsa and quickstep.

Then on November 29 they will get on the dance floor in the sponsored challenge which will raise money for Hartlepool and District Hospice.

Dance Fever spoke to some of the dancers who will try out their moves in front of a panel of judges at the Borough Hall, from 7pm.

Sarah Gillespie, 29, is a WPC in Stockton and said: “It’s hard but they do say practice makes perfect so I am trying to get as much practice in as possible.”

Fireman Michael Ross, 33, who works from Billingham fire station, said: “A colleague rang me and told me about this competition. I thought he was asking me to sponsor him! When he said he wanted me to dance, I thought ‘why not’.

“I have had about five or six lessons. The Latin dances are easier than the waltz and the quickstep.”

The challenge is being planned by dance school owner Carol Hammond and it will follow a similar pattern to the Strictly Coming Dancing format on BBC television.

Five fire crew and five police officers from stations across the Tees Valley, will each be partnered with dancers from Carol’s studio to be taught the routines.

Then on November 29, they will show off their skills in front of a panel of judges. The best team will win a gold cup.

There will also be a raffle, a tombola, and a chance for the audience to join in with dancing as well.

Tickets are £13 and they are available either from Carol’s studio or the hospice.