It was strictly a night to remember for guests who attended a glittering spectacular of dance magic on Saturday night.
Strictly MK has been a long time in the planning, training and rehearsing with 15 couples finally taking to the dance floor to compete for the coveted glitter ball trophy.
The big night, with a Strictly MK Junior event held on Sunday, raised the roof – and more than £30,000 for Willen Hospice and McMillan Cancer Care.
The event, attended by an audience of 1,400, featured Latin and ballroom with couples dancing a cha cha and waltz – with a mezmerising display by the professional dancers leaving the audience spellbound.
The coveted glitter ball trophy was won by Mark Girven and Caitlin Clancy who performed a spectacular Dirty Dancing show dance. The other four finalists included Jonno Davies and Leah Rolfe, Gail Emms and Ben Milan-Viga, Charlie Dugard and Ryan McShane and Jeremy Hicks and Julie Galea.
Celebrity dancer MK Mayor Brian White was delighted to get through the ordeal, likening it to an election night.
He said: “What was remarkable was that everyone was nervous but for me it felt very much like an election day and I knew how to cope with those kind of nerves so I just relaxed and enjoyed it.
“For the first time in the journey I felt back in my comfort zone.
“I feel I really achieved something through this event.
“I set myself a challenge to do something I thought was impossible and not only achieved it but surpassed my wildest expectations – well not quite because we didn’t get through to the final. It wasn’t until Sunday night that I realised that my partner Davina Lawrence and I won the cha cha cha section of the judges’ votes (39/40) along with Cathy Higgins and Charlie Dugard.
“The secret was simple – hard work and more hard work plus a good teacher and supportive family and friends.
“I want to thank my wife Leena for putting up with the time commitment and Davina Lawrence for having the patience of Job, particularly in the early days when she must have thought she really had drawn the short straw.
“I am really pleased her fellow dancers recognised what a remarkable job she had done in choreographing the routine around my limitations. Leena called her a ‘miracle worker’ and she is.”
Fellow competitor, Citizen editor Olga Norford, added: “It was really nerve-wracking and quite surreal but there was a great atmosphere backstage. Utlimately the organisers put on a truly incredible show which supported two great charities.
“I’ve really enjoyed the experience. It’s been a great opportunity and a real challenge, plus a lot of hard work, sweat and tears.”
Strictly MK was hosted by JustDance, run by Accursio Romeo, and co-organised by Lyndsey-Ann Events.
Said Accursio: “I’m delighted. Strictly MK was a fantastic success, with thanks going to all the sponsors, dancers and volunteers who helped out. The event was really well supported and raised vital funds for McMillan and Willen Hospice. That, and putting on a great show, was the main aim.”
Judges included Mark Lunn and Carol Parry, who represented the professional dance circuit, along with celebrity guest judges Matt Baker and Richard Arnold, who have performed on BBC TV’s Strictly Come Dancing show.
Former tennis ace and TV presenter Andrew Castle was MC on the night.
Nine schools took part in the Strictly MK Junior event on Sunday with the winners’ trophy going to Bushfield School, Wolverton.
Thanks go to main sponsor Bury Farm Equestrian Village, Slapton, which gifted use of the venue for the show.