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Last weekend saw the annual return of Claire House Does Strictly; an incredible event run by Wirral-based children’s hospice, Claire House, to raise critical funds to support their work.
Each year, 10 (very brave!) individuals are paired with a professional dancer and put through their paces, learning a classic ballroom or Latin number. The amateur dancers then perform the routine in front of a panel of esteemed judges and a ballroom full of friends and family at a glittering Black Tie event, all in aid of Claire House.
This year, one of those 10 places was given to B&M Waste’s very own Director, Dave Curtis. More of a ‘watch-from-the-sidelines’ type than a ‘hit-the-dancefloor’ Fred Astaire, Dave was nervous but placed in the very safe hands of professional dancer, Amy Hancock of Cadmans Dance Studio. Together, they were given the mammoth yet exciting task of learning the American Smooth; a complex dance that incorporates steps from all 5 ballroom disciplines – the Waltz, Viennese Waltz, Tango, Quickstep and Foxtrot – then add to that some old-Hollywood glamour with 3 challenging yet show-stopping lifts.
Prior to the event, Dave said; “This has really put me out of my comfort zone but it’s for such an incredible cause and I’ve had so much fun working with Amy; she’s been extremely patient with me! I don’t think I’ll win but I’m going to give it my all and enjoy it – whilst remembering the very important reason why I’m doing it (and why I’m aching in muscles I didn’t even know I had!)”.
The night kicked off with bubbly all round and an opportunity to admire the gorgeous surroundings of the venue, the Titanic Hotel on Stanley Dock, Liverpool. Once seated, guests were given a sobering yet important reminder of the real reason they were there as a father of a Claire House patient shared his journey with everyone.
Then the competition was underway! Dave and Amy performed a romantic and advanced routine to John Legend’s ‘All of Me’, securing high praise from the judges and scoring 8s across the board!
As well as Dave and Amy’s American Smooth, guests were treated to dances including the Cha Cha, the Quickstep and ever-glamorous Waltz.
Sadly, Dave and Amy didn’t win the Strictly competition but they did come a very close second! What’s more, their performance was praised by all throughout the night and, most importantly, Dave has raised over £3000 for Claire House. As for the event as a whole, over £47,000 has been raised – and it’s still going up!
Dave said, “What an experience! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it and, whilst we didn’t win, we’ve had so much fun and I’ve learned a fantastic new skill. But more importantly, all of the participants have raised crucial funds for Claire House and I’m so proud to have been a part of that.”
There’s still time to support Dave and Claire House via his JustGiving page, which currently stands at over £3000 raised! Simply visit: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/dave-does-strictly