Sequins and swishing to raise money for Alzheimer's Society in Neath
SIX couples will swish their way onto the dance floor at a Neath charity event next week.
And two of those pairs competing at Almost Strictly, in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society, have been trained by a former employee of the hit BBC One show on which the event is based.
Almost Strictly will take place at Cwrt Herbert on Saturday, October 26 — with the couples taking to the dancefloor from 7.30pm.
Pat Thomas, organiser, said: "It’s the second year we’ve held the event.
"We do a big event every year and we try to do something different as well.
"We were running out of ideas and I had thought about Strictly a few times before, but the problem was getting into that world of dance and finding people who would be willing to help out.
"Last year, I thought I would give it a go."
She said on approaching a few people at first, she was soon given tips and advice on other people in the world of dance who could help.
Before long, the first event was held and was sold out.
"We filled the town hall last year, selling 175 tickets.
"So this year, we had to move somewhere bigger, while still having the Strictly set up, so decided on the sports hall."
But, she said, the 400 tickets — which she thought would be too many — have already sold out.
"We did consider going bigger again, but everything is set up for the 400 tickets," said Mrs Thomas.
Fundraisers hit £3,000 at last year’s event, and Mrs Thomas is hoping to double the total following the dance off this year.
And in a special twist, two of the contest’s couples are being trained by one of Strictly Come Dancing’s former employees - coach Mark Parkin, who recently moved to Swansea.
Another trainer, Lissa Williams, says she was thrilled to be asked to take part, because of Alzheimer’s being such a prominent condition.
"It’s such a great charity and it comes to so many if us that I thought I should help," she said.
She is currently teaching contestants Hywel and Angela the Jive and added: "Hywel is finding it really difficult and is amazed how strenuous it is.
"He’s absolutely exhausted at the end of every session, but he puts all his heart and soul into it."
Almost Strictly takes place at Cwrt Herbert on Saturday, Octber 26.