Three lighted footed members of a business group will be tripping the light fantastic to take part in a Strictly Come Dancing fundraiser for a hospice.
Banker Louise Harper, financial planner Richard Williams and solicitor Ian Edwards, who all belong to Wrexham Business Professionals, will be donning their dancing shoes so they can strut their stuff in aid of Wrexham’s Nightingale House Hospice.
They will be taking to the dance floor at the Lion Quays Hotel in Weston Rhyn, near Gobowen, on Friday, December 6, for the event that’s being sponsored by Wrexham-based Vehicles4business.
In the meantime, the tangoing trio are rehearsing their moves with professional dancers – just like the hit TV show on BBC 1.
Louise, an individual banking manager with Wrexham-based Handelsbanken, says she has to take responsibility for roping in her clumsy, uncoordinated colleagues to take on the glitter ball challenge.
She said: “I was at a Wrexham Business Professionals dinner when the chief executive of Nightingale House suggested I should take part in the Strictly event.
“I probably should have declined but instead set about roping in some I thought would be up for it and some who might make good dancers.
“I talked Richard Williams into giving it a go and I knew he and Ian Edwards would have to try and out-do each other. I’m so glad they both, albeit reluctantly, agreed.”
She added: “I’m doing a quickstep and I’m working with my Polish professional dance coach and partner for the event, Marius Zwolinski. We train once a week and I go to his public dance class too.
“I’ve never really danced before unless you class swaying and rotating around a handbag on a dance floor with lots of other girls as dancing.
“I’m not suggesting for a moment I’m any good but I love it and feel physically so much better. The main thing is keeping Richard and Ian in check while preventing them from falling out over their less than sleek moves.”
The Strictly event will see 10 amateur dancers paired with partners who are professionals and each team will have to perform a 90 second routine.
Ian, a director of Wrexham-based law firm Allington Hughes Law and chairman of North Wales Crusaders Rugby League Club, is doing a Charleston with his professional partner Julie Kirk Thomas, from Llangollen.
He said: “I started training in June and raising the £1,000 each that we have to raise in sponsorship is so much easier than the actual dancing. I’ve never danced before and I can’t say I’m that stylish to be truthful.
“However, I’ve really enjoyed working with my professional coach and dance partner Julie, although it’s far more technical than I thought it would be.
“The dance lessons are a bit like maths at school. It’s really tough but just when you sort out how to solve one problem the next one is even harder!”
He added: “There is some dispute over how I got involved. The truth is Richard Williams challenged me. He caught me at a bad time after a few red wines and I’ve regretted it ever since!
“Richard of course alleges it’s my fault and it was me that got him involved which is definitely not the case. However, if we raise a good sum of money for Nightingale House then it will be worth all the pain and the embarrassment.”
Richard Williams, of Williams Financial Planning, who last year completed a charity cycle ride from Wrexham to Gibraltar says dance training is proving far more demanding.
He said: “In fairness, it was Louise that asked me to rake part and as she’s my bank manager I felt somewhat obliged to say yes.
“Then of course Ian suggested he would beat me hands down and I thought I’m not having that.
“I’m a former rugby union coach and referee and to be perfectly honest I have no dancing ability whatsoever. But I’ve been working hard with my professional coach and dance partner Kirsty Maguire.
“We train weekly in the village hall in Waverton, Chester. Kirsty is very young and an incredibly talented dancer. She’s very patient with me.
“We are doing the foxtrot, one of the hardest dances to learn and get right. Ian of course is doing the Charleston which indisputably has to be the easiest of all the dance styles.”
He added: “My wife thinks it’s hilarious as she seen my past attempts at dancing. She can’t stop laughing but will be there to support me.
“It’s all good fun and we are all putting aside our inhibitions and clear lack of ability to raise as much as we can for Nightingale House Hospice which is such a worthy cause. We are all incredibly grateful for the support of Vehicles4business. ”
Kate Edwards, a spokesperson for Wrexham Business Professionals, said: “I take my hat off to all three of them for taking up the Strictly challenge to raise money for such an important cause.
“Nightingale House provides a vitally important service to families when they most need it and the hospice deserves our support.
“Louise, Ian and Richard are friendly rivals but I know they are taking this challenge very seriously and I wish all three of them the very best of luck on the night.”
For more information about Wrexham Business Professionals please visit www.wrexhambusinessprofessionals.com