BY JACKIE KEOGH
THE Strictly Come Dancing spectacular is coming to Bantry in March with 32 local volunteers taking to the floor to show off their moves in aid of St Finbarr’s Boys National School.
Brian Gleeson, the newly-appointed principal at St Finbarr’s, together with the Parents’ Association, took up the challenge of raising funds.
They decided there was no better way to do it than a razzle-dazzle of organising a Strictly Come Dancing event and they were delighted with the overwhelming response from the public.
The event, which will be staged over three show-stopping nights, will feature 32 contestants who have already been following a demanding training schedule, under the direction of dance instructor, Michelle Naughton.
Michelle told The Southern Star: ‘I’m really enjoying working with the Bantry group – they are all so eager to learn, and have made great progress already.’
Bantry-based Cllr Danny Collins (Ind), a key member of the organising committee, said: ‘This is a first for Bantry and all of the dancers must be commended for taking part and giving up their time to raise funds for St Finbarr’s School. It is great, too, to see such comradery between the 32 dancers.’
The launch of Bantry’s Strictly Come Dancing recently took place at the Westlodge Hotel at an event that was compered by Richard Harrington and Gearoid O’Leary.
Each participating couple, and the style of the dance they will be performing, was announced on the night, as were the judges.
They include local dance teachers Theresa O’Donoghue and Josie McAuliffe, as well as the West Cork TD Michael Collins (Ind), and the current Miss Bantry, Katie Murphy.
The organisers were especially pleased to announce that the Kerry GAA legend and winner of RTE’s Dancing with the Stars 2017, Aidan O’Mahony, has also agreed to be one of the judges at the grand final.
The battle of the ballroom kicks off at The Westlodge Hotel, with the first semi-final on Friday, March 9th, followed by the second semi-final on Saturday, March 10th.
Audience members can support their favourite couple by buying votes and the couples with the most votes, combined with the scores from the judges, will advance to the grand final on Sunday, March 18th.