It’s time to slip on your dancing shoes, as Strictly Come Dancing waltzes into Bantry this March with 32 local volunteers taking to the floor to show off their dance moves in aid of St. Finbarr’s Boys National School.
Brian Gleeson, newly appointed Principal at St. Finbarr’s Boys N.S. together with the Parents Association, took up the challenge of raising funds and what better way to do it than a razzle-dazzle Strictly Come Dancing event. Such was the overwhelming response from the public, that this event will now be spread over three show stopping nights.
The contestants are already following a demanding training schedule, under the direction of dance instructor Michelle Naughton. As they prepare for the performance of a lifetime, which will include spectacular group routines as well as dazzling couple dances. “I’m really enjoying working with the Bantry group, they are so eager to learn and have made great progress already”, said Michelle.
Local Councillor Danny Collins, a key member of the organising committee said “Strictly is a first for Bantry and I’m delighted to be involved in this fundraiser. All dancers must be commended for participating and giving up their time to raise funds for St Finbarr’s School. It is great to see such comradery between the 32 dancers”.
A glitzy red carpet launch took place on January 26 at The Westlodge Hotel, compared by local duo Richard Harrington and Georoid O’Leary. Each couple was revealed, along with the style of dance they will perform. The judges include local dance teachers Theresa O’Donoghue and Josie McAuliffe, along with Independent TD Michael Collins and the current Miss Bantry, Katie Murphy. Organisers were especially excited to announce, Kerry GAA legend and winner of RTE’s Dancing with the Stars 2017, Aidan O’Mahony has been confirmed as one of the judges for the Grand Final.
The Battle of the Ballroom kicks off at The Westlodge Hotel, Bantry, with the first semi-final on Friday March 9, followed by a second semi-final on Saturday March 10. Audience members can support their favourite couple by buying votes. The couples with the most votes, combined with judges scores will advance to the grand final on Sunday March 18 at The Westlodge Hotel. Successful couples will dance their socks off once more to impress the judges and audience at the final but only one couple will be crowned Strictly Come Dancing Winners 2018.
Event co-ordinator, Sandra Maybury said “Strictly fever has certainly taken over Bantry and the response we have received for this event has been amazing. The dancers involved form part of a really fantastic line up and all shows promise to delight audiences with lifts, tricks, glitz and glamour.
School principal, Brian Gleeson, thanked the parents association and all the team involved in organising this event. He paid special tribute to the dancers for their commitment and also to the number of local businesses who have supported the school.