My Strictly Christmas Experience…

After a little persuasion from Emma at Piece of Cake Marketing I went along to the information evening for Strictly Christmas 2019. This event raises essential funds for Zoe’s Place (a baby hospice in Coventry). After some thought I applied to be one of the 24 contestants.

In August I found out that I had been chosen to be a contestant and went along to the meet and greet evening. Here I found out that we would be learning 2 dances - the jive and the waltz.

October was the start of rehearsals and I got to meet my dance partner Graham. For the next 8 weeks every Thursday (during Covhour) and Sunday afternoons we meet at the Euphoria Dance Studios in Bedworth to learn the Waltz with Kris and The Jive with Rob. As a complete novice I can’t tell you what a challenge this was. Both mentally and physically. I also missed not being able to run #Covhour on a Thursday evening. Fundraising was incredibly important to me. I wanted to feel that I had made a valuable contribution. I was therefore extremely proud to make it into the £1000 club and to finish with a personal fundraising total of £1410.

Show Weekend arrived… I was so nervous. All my family we there to support me and I loved getting my spray tan, hair and makeup done, my lovely dress also helped helped to calm the nerves (slightly). The scores on the Friday night were not great but then Saturday night arrived… I was so much more relaxed (had a couple of Prosecco to settle the nerves) the night went so quickly - it was the turn of group 6 and my dance with Graham. The waltz (music Let it Go – from Frozen) I really enjoyed the dance and remembered to smile which I had found hard to do in rehearsals as I was so busy remembering the steps. The scores came in… I got 3 nines and 1 TEN!!!!! I still get emotional thinking about this as never thought I was good enough.

Thank you to all the 24 contestants it was a pleasure to be part of the Strictly Christmas 19 team and helping to raise over £82,000 for Zoe’s place - thank you very much to everyone who donated to my Just Giving page, The Strictly team who organise this event I can’t thank you enough for the amazing experience.

Also a big thank you to Kate & Emma from Piece of Cake Marketing, my son Declan Quinney, my sister Claire Dixon and Aaron Ashmore from Etch & Pin who hosted #Covhour while I was busy training.

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#Covhour was started on 22nd August 2013 and was the first online networking hour for Coventry.  It was set up with the aim to help local businesses to connect, to share information and to support each other.  Now with a community of more than 10,500 followers in less than four years, we can safely say that this has been achieved!   


The unique thing about this online networking group is that it was started by a local Coventry woman Joanne Brooks and unlike most other groups she does not run her own business she is employed by a business in the City.  When asked about the reason she started #Covhour Joanne replied "I enjoy connecting people and I am so proud of the city having lived here all my life, that I wanted to do my bit and to give something back.  I have met so many wonderful people through #Covhour and although it is a big commitment running the networking hour every week, I just love it!"  

Joanne continues to host #Covhour every Thursday between 8 pm and 9 pm and so why not join in this Thursday? 

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