A POPULAR charity dance competition has ‘dramatically grown’ and hopes to raise a further £35,000, says the organiser.

Inspired by the hit BBC show, Strictly Worcestershire is a ballroom dancing competition which raises funds for local charities.

Julia Williams, director of Worcestershire Ambassadors took part in the first two competitions, until moving over to the production side and taking over the event in 2016.

Worcester News:

Mrs Williams, aged 44 said: “Nobody knew how big it was going to be. I signed up to Strictly without a dance partner so decided to put an appeal on Twitter. The whole journey was different back then. Each couple now has a qualified dance teacher to support you throughout. When we rehearsed, it was nothing like that. We basically rocked up on the night and performed a mediocre performance.

“I couldn’t let the show go, I love it so much and it had developed a real buzz."

The event would raise on average £8,000, however over the last two years there has been a financial spike and the event has raised over £35,000 per show.

Mrs Williams added: “Within two years of taking over, the event has utterly changed in terms of graphics, choreography, lights, staging and costumes. We hope to raise even more funds for the community and local charities.

“Last year I ran the event, however, there has been a dramatic growth in interest therefore I needed some extra support.”

Worcestershire Ambassadors have taken over Strictly this year and will be raising money for mental health charities. The event partners are drp, Andrew Grant, Lowe's Solicitors and Greenworks Solutions.

Mrs Williams said: “Many people experience mental health issues, we all know someone who is affected by it. Our aim is to build awareness surrounding mental health and make people aware there is nothing to be ashamed of.”

This is the first year the contestants have had the opportunity to raise funds for their chosen charity.

Mrs Williams said: “As the contestants put in so much time, money and effort we thought it would be nice for them to raise funds for a charity close to their hearts. It will allow them to feel close to the local community and make a real difference.”

“Strictly is a magical event, from start to finish. The audience love the glitz and glamour and enjoy supporting the dancers who have been working hard for this one night. Through social media, viewers can see the contestant’s journey from the very beginning where they could not dance, to the final night.”

The charity dancing competition is set to take place on May 23 at the Chateau Impney, in Droitwich.

Read more on reporter Grace Walton's Strictly journey as a contestant.