The sequined splendour of BBC TV’s Strictly Come Dancing came to Cardiff’s Swalec Stadium as businesses, health professionals and teachers took to the dance floor to raise £32,000 for charity.
Dubbed ‘Strictly Top Dancer’, the event managed to smash its original £25,000 fundraising target for Llandough Hospital’s Breast Centre – which provides an integrated treatment service for breast cancer patients.
The evening, held on May 13, saw eight teams made up from local businesses based at the Welsh Innovation Centre for Enterprise (ICE), Nurses from The Breast Centre, Creditsafe, Thomas Carroll, SSE, Creazione and teachers from Caerphilly’s Plas Y Felin Primary School dance in ballroom formation in front of a panel of celebrity judges.
All funds raised will go towards additional staff training for specialist or alternative treatment, new and advanced machinery not available on the NHS and further facilities within the centre.
The teams trained for around five hours a week under the guidance of experienced instructors from Shappelles in Ystrad Mynach.
One of the organisers, Mandy Weston is a breast cancer survivor of over 13 years, having been supported by nurses now based at The Breast Centre.
Mandy said: “We are delighted to have smashed our target and raised so much for such an important charity.
“It has been fantastic to see the progress the teams have made since starting in Christmas and the level of dedication and commitment from all 64 competitors was staggering.
“Everyone has put a huge amount of time and effort into practising and fundraising, with all the money raised going to such a worthy cause. I couldn’t be prouder of everyone involved.”
Each team was scored out of ten by a panel of celebrity judges including Caerphilly’s very own TV presenter Matt Johnson, Welsh actress Justine Jones and professional dance teachers Sean and Kay Perry.
The competition was fierce, but the two Caerphilly-based teams ‘Stars in your ICE’ and ‘WRize’ came first and second respectively.
Sharon Chapman, one of the nurses from The Breast Centre said the night was a huge success – despite her team not winning.
She said: “We are a team of specialist nurses and administrative support staff, whose job and passion it is to care for, support and sometimes just be there, for the hundreds of breast cancer patients treated at the centre each year.
“We’re proud to have been a part of this amazing event because we know what a difference the cutting edge equipment provided by the charity, makes to the lives of our patients.”
For more information about the event and to make a donation to the charity, visit www.facebook.com/strictlytopdancer.