THERE is only seven weeks to go until reporter Grace Walton puts on her dancing shoes for Worcestershire’s charity ballroom competition.

Strictly Worcestershire, returning for its sixth year, will see eight contestant couples battling it out on the dance floor, all in aid of raising funds for charity.

All proceeds from the event will be donated to Worcestershire mental health charities in addition to St Paul’s Hostel. Each couple are also raising funds for their own chosen charity. Grace and her dance partner, Jack Tingle, both aged 22 - the youngest couple to have ever entered the contest - are raising money for Headway Worcestershire – a charity that supports people who has experienced a brain injury.

Due to a personal attachment to the charity, Grace said: “It motivates us to work hard throughout this journey knowing we are raising funds for such a worthy cause.”

The Warndon Hub, a facility ran by Worcester Community Trust, is the couple’s second home between now and the event on May 23.

Grace said: “We are very lucky to be able to use the facilities on offer at Warndon Hub. The extra rehearsal space has allowed us to work on our routines and become more confident dancers.

“Looking back on our training since October, I am pleased to say Jack and I have improved our dance moves considerably, bearing in mind both of us have two left feet.”

Strictly’s dance teacher, Sharon Tilki, has put together the couple’s choreography for both dance routines.

Grace said: “Sharon is absolutely marvellous - not only does she come out with the best anecdotes, she is the most supportive person I have ever met. As you can imagine, being a novice dancer and having to learn two routines can be both mentally and physically exhausting. However, Sharon has this way which makes you want to work harder, despite the temptation to call it a day.”

Grace went to watch ‘Here Come the Girls’ tour to see BBC Strictly Come Dancing stars Chloe Hewitt, Dianne Buswell and Amy Dowden perform in Cheltenham.

She said: “The event was inspiring and it gave me an overview of the sort of buzz expected for Strictly Worcestershire.”

You can visit Grace and Jack's JustGiving page to donate towards Headway Worcestershire.


Get to know more about the Strictly Worcestershire 2019 contestants

Charity ballroom event Strictly Worcestershire continues to grow

Dance teacher, Sharon Tilki, shares her journey on Strictly Worcestershire