Chesterfield 'Strictly' fans- your chance to bag 30 weeks of free dance training and compete in town's own Strictly inspired event

A top dance coach is offering to turn locals with two left feet into expert dancers so they can take part in their own version of Strictly Come Dancing in front of hundreds of people.

Friday, 20th September 2019, 1:11 pm
The event will take place in Chesterfield in November.

Talented dance teacher Ginnette Brookes will pass on her skills to a group of 60 participants for free, taking them from complete beginners to competition-ready in just eight weeks courtesy of charity organisation Ultra Ballroom.

The newly trained dancers will then take part in their own Strictly-style event at Chesterfield's DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, surrounded by their friends and family.

They will be scored by a panel of judges, with one couple taking home the winning title, after learning a range of ballroom dance styles including jive, salsa, Charleston and quickstep.

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The event will take place in Chesterfield in November.

Those taking part are asked to sell tickets for the show and raise at least £50 for Cancer Research UK.

So far, Ultra Events - the company behind the event - has raised £19 million for the charity.

Ms Brookes, who survived ovarian cancer herself and lost her mother to a brain tumour, said the best part of training, which is held at Whittington Green School, Old Whittington, is watching the beginners go on 'an incredible journey' together.

She's taking over training at Chesterfield from September 30, this year, for the town's third event.

Dance teacher Ginnette Brookes.

Ms Brookes said: "It's amazing, such a positive experience.

"You get a group of people who have never really danced before, all with different motivations for signing up, but they're all passionate about raising money and they want to learn to dance.

"They come together, they don't know each other, and they go on this incredible journey, learning a new skill.

"The participants get this dance transformation like you see on the Strictly Come Dancing programme.

Participants take part in a group dance before wowing judges with their individual pieces.

"On the night, everyone looks amazing, they're all dressed up and have their makeup and hair done, it's very glamorous.

"When they get out on the floor, everyone dances the best they've ever danced."

Participants come on to the Strictly theme tune, and the night kicks off with a group dance, before the individual couples perform their routines.

The best five couples dance again before the judges - local dance teachers and professional dancers - pick their winner.

You don't need to be a trained dancer to take part- in fact the competition looks for residents with 'two left feet'!

Ms Brookes from Rowley Fields, Leicester, added: "The main difference from Strictly is this is the only chance the dancers get - they're not coming back next week - so they're not criticised in the judges' comments.

"In my first class I tell them that when they finish their dance on the night, they'll say they want to do it again. None of them believe me, but it always happens."

Ms Brookes started dancing at the age of five, and later trained at London College of Dance and Drama. She currently teaches at Dupont Dance School in Leicester.

She took up Ultra Ballroom because the cause is close to her heart - Ms Brooke's mother, Vera Urry, who paid for her dancing training and supported her through her degree, died of a brain tumour aged 73 in July 2011.

And Ms Brookes, who lives with her 17-year-old daughter Lily, survived ovarian cancer herself after she was diagnosed in 2007.

She said: "My mum paid for me to go to dance college.

You can enter the event as an individual or a couple.

"We loved Strictly - we would phone each other after it was on every week and have big discussions about it.

"The first year after she died I thought nothing of watching it - but when the opening music came on I just cried.

"The music reminded me of her. She would be thrilled that I'm doing this now.

"Ultra Ballroom combines every passion I have. I'm passionate about teaching dance, and I'm passionate about raising money for such a worthy cause."

The Ultra Ballroom event takes place on November 23 and training starts in the week commencing September 30.

Anyone thinking of signing up can visit: