FIVE hundred people watched 10 colourful couples tear up the dancefloor in a glamorous and glitzy dance contest which raised more than £10,000 for charity.
Let’s Dance was held in the Borough Hall on Hartlepool’s Headland, similar to the popular BBC show Strictly Come Dancing, which is hosted by celebrities Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly.
The swanky bash was held to raise money for the Hartlepool branch of the National Society for the Protection of Children (NSPCC) so all of the cash raised will go to youngsters from the town and surrounding villages.
Organisers sought out 10 town couples to sign up for the challenge.
And the dancing novices were coached over 12 weeks by local professional dancers to compete in the sparkling final.
Each couple had to learn and perform two dances, and they were knocked down from 10 to three by a panel of judges, which included Hartlepool MP Iain Wright.
Five hundred people turned up to support the dancers and cheered them on with banners, score cards, pictures of their heads on sticks, and even threw roses onto the dance floor.Jane Jackson, of the Hartlepool branch of the NSPCC
The pair crowned winners were Christine and Peter Robinson, from Lancaster Road, who signed up to the challenge after seeing an article about the contest in the Mail, while second place went to Linsey and Nick Watson, from Elwick, and third place was awarded to Joanne Lake and her partner Shaun Elliot.
Volunteer Jane Jackson, of the Hartlepool branch of the NSPCC who organised the event, said: “The evening was a great success we raised over £8,000 on the night and by the time we collect in the rest of the sponsorship, and carry out the bag pack at Asda this Saturday, the total will be over £10,000.
“Five hundred people turned up to support the dancers and cheered them on with banners, score cards, pictures of their heads on sticks, and even threw roses onto the dance floor.
“The evening involved the competition being split into a ballroom and Latin section.
“The competitors were total novices and only had 10 hours of lessons but lots of practice putting in tens of extra hours per week.
“The night also had exhibitions from other dancing competition winners who showed how well the dancing can be done, but also social dancing with a packed dance floor to Up Town Funk!
“An extra thanks has to go to Iain Wright who not only strutted his stuff on the dance floor but also helped judge the event and present the awards.”
Jane added: “I organised the event with the help of our other volunteers and one of our contestants Sacha Bedding.
“We are really grateful for all the hard work of all those involved especially the dancers themselves.
“All the money raised will be spent on children in this town and surrounding villages, so thank you for helping those children who need it have a better future here where they live.
“So thank you all for your generous donations and support both last Friday and in the future.”
She also gave thanks to Carol Hammond and her dance teachers for their help with the couples, Liberty’s Hair and Beauty, in York Road, who gave their time for free, as did Body wise gym who provided the security. The Borough Hall and Radio Hartlepool also did the pre-event advertising for free as well.
DVDs are on sale from the night at a cost of £5, which goes to the NSPCC, and they are available by ringing (0191) 2275300.