Strictly Come Dancing event pays off for cathedral

Hereford Cathedral raised over £20,000 this weekend by holding a dance competition modeled upon the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing program.

Star of the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, Fiona Fullerton, joined fellow stars of the stage and screen John Challis, Sue Holderness and John Standing as the celebrity judging panel of Hereford Cathedral Perpetual Trust’s own Strictly Dancing gala evening last Saturday night (Saturday 12 April).

Ten couples, who have been training since early in the New Year, took to the dance floor in front of a packed audience of over 400 guests at Hereford’s thePoint4 centre.

‘I can’t help but compare it with some other most memorable moments of my life,’ said Phil Collins, one of the dancers. ‘From lying in bed in early January thinking why did I agree to do this, through to the adrenalin rush of Saturday evening, it was an amazing experience, and fantastic to hear our family using words such as proud rather than hopeless and embarrassed’.

‘Friends and total strangers told us how much they admired us and how they could never pluck up the courage to do it themselves.  Nothing really prepares you for stepping out on that floor and the encouraging roar of the crowd!’

The evening saw the ten couples perform a Charleston group dance with each couple then dancing something of their choice, which ranged from a raunchy American Salsa to an elegant Viennese waltz. This was combined with a three-course dinner prepared by A2Zest with wines supplied by Saxty’s of Hereford.

The winners on the evening were Mark and Sarah Harper, dancing a Jive to Dance with me Tonight by Olly Murs. Fiona Fullerton presented the trophies on behalf of the celebrity judges.

‘Although each table voted for the couple they wanted to win,’ said Erica Manley, who coordinated the event for the Perpetual Trust and was one of the dancers, ‘we all had such fun training and taking part on the evening, we would like to think that we are all winners!’

The evening, which was supported by South Hereford Garages, will have raised more than £20,000 in support of the work of the Perpetual Trust and its support of Hereford Cathedral. 

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