Dance routines proving a new challenge
AS a well-practised pilates teacher and a jobbing actor, Melanie Walters has a good head-start on the fitness front when it comes to taking on Strictly Swansea.
But, like her dancing co-stars in the fun contest, the Mumbles actress says she has been a bit wrong-footed by the technical rigour of her waltz training.
She joins a host of well-known local faces for a glittering night of entertainment, in aid of a host of good causes, at Swansea's Oceana club early next month.
Some tickets are still up for grabs to see Kevin Johns, Lara Johnson, Sara Manchip and others give their all on the dance floor for charity.
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Melanie says while her acting background makes her a poised and a confident performer, the rigour needed for the waltz is another matter. "People often assume I did dance training when I was younger because I am an actress, but I didn't take that route into it at all.
"I was a lifeguard when I was a teenager, instead of a dancer.
"And I haven't done much musical theatre at all. I was in Blood Brothers, but there was minimal dancing in that show for me. This is something else completely."
"But learning to dance is something I have always wanted to do and I hope I can keep it up when the competition is over.
"It is just whether I have the time."
Getting the footwork, the positions and the poses all present and correct though, has proved a tall order, even for one as graceful as Melanie.
"I am finding it really challenging, which is great. I like a challenge.
"But there is so much to think about when you are on the floor.
"The waltz is much more technical than I had realised and I am trying to get to grips with that.
"And Mario and Rebekah at DeMarco's have been brilliant with us all. Very patient."
Melanie's chosen charity on the night will be the British Heart Foundation, since the family lost her father when he was in his early 30s to a heart attack.
She says while she hasn't been an avid watcher of the TV show, her own current training has made her look at Strictly Come Dancing in a new light.
"Work keeps me very busy so I can't say I watch Strictly all of the time, but I did see some of the earlier ones
"And I can appreciate the amount of work that goes into it."
But she is looking forward to getting in front of the panel of judges on the night — Swansea stage school owner Mark Jermin, former Strictly winner Camilla Dallerup and her husband Kevin Sacre will be keeping score.
"I am absolutely delighted to be involved in this event.
"I hope I can get it right for the judges, but no matter what happens I will enjoy it on the night.
"The whole idea is for the evening to be an entertaining one for everyone and I think it will be."
The overall winner on the night will net £3,000 for their chosen charity, courtesy of the Evening Post.