Blackpool dance school boss aims to realise even more dreams with new dance event Dance Floor Heroes
The founders behind Blackpool's Strictly NHS dance event, held at the iconic Empress Ballroom and which helped raise more than £23,000 for the Blue Skies Hospital Fund have announced they are to build on its success with a new dance adventure Dance Floor Heroes.
Director and dance school owner Alison Slinger has expressed delight at the opportunity to progress from the stand-alone event and rebrand under a new name for a future dance event.
The Crown Ballroom boss said it was early days for the competition but after the 'overwhelming support' given to the Strictly NHS charity night, the new name and aim would be to open the dance floor to even more people and to 'help realise more dreams.'
Strictly NHS welcomed entries from more than 2000 hopefuls across the country, all NHS staff.
The numbers were whittled down to 12 employees who were then teamed with professional dancers and enjoyed six weeks of intense training before performing in front of panel of judges that included Strictly Come Dancing stars Giovanni Pernice, Flavia Cacace and Amy Dowden.
The night held at the Empress Ballroom, the first dance event in the historic space for more than 15 months, was hosted by former Strictly professional and presenter of BBC's It Takes Two Ian Waite.
Alison, who came up with the idea for the charity event at the start of lockdown last year, said it was exciting to see the competition move into its next chapter and that the occasion had been 'life altering', she said: "This all started, simply, as a way to give back and say thank you to the NHS staff that have been truly amazing throughout the last 14 months.
"It has grown bigger than anyone could imagine in such a short space of time and exceeded all expectations. It has also given light and joy in what has been a trying and dark time for so many.
"We are honoured to have met some wonderful NHS workers throughout this project and are grateful that we have been taken into so many hearts.
"The impact our event has had in boosting morale has made all the efforts, the organisation and the rollercoaster ride of putting the event together, more than worthwhile.
"To know we have made even a tiny difference is an amazing feeling; We have been left humbled by the experience but it now feels only right to make a change.
"Strictly NHS Live will be a stand alone event to mark the light at the end of the tunnel.
"The new name allows us the freedom to open up the dance floor to more people and help to realise more dreams. We look forward to a bright future bringing more joy, raising funds and making more dreams come true as #DanceFloorHeroes."
Alison has now set up a new Facebook page under the new name and said more details and announcements will be made soon.