Strictly For Charity – B/E Aerospace Takes To The Dance Floor
It will be sequins, stardust, feathers and glamour all the way at the Slieve Donard Resort and Spa in Newcastle as employees from Kilkeel’s B/E Aerospace facility take to the dance floor.
On Friday 4 October twenty-two staff members will be putting on their dancing shoes to compete in a gala Strictly Come Dancing challenge in aid of the company’s nominated charities: Alzheimer’s Society Northern Ireland and Mourne Stimulus.
Ballroom dancing may be a far cry from designing and manufacturing seating and interior products for the world’s airlines, but the 800+ staff have got right behind the venture which was the brainchild of the company’s dynamic Entertainments Committee and it seems that ‘dance fever’ is taking the plant by storm!
The eleven dance couples have been rehearsing under the creative direction of expert choreographer Shane Berger who says he has been ‘amazed’ at both their natural talent and commitment.
Francis Kelly, Acting Vice President and Managing Director of B/E Aerospace (Kilkeel), admits to being surprised too! He saaid: “I always knew we had a talented workforce here in Kilkeel, but, until now, I didn’t realise that those talents extended to the dance floor.
“Most of our dancers started out with absolutely no experience of ballroom dancing and a few even admitted to having ‘two left feet’, but it seems that they have found a whole new creative outlet in the world of dance.”
For weeks they have been attending rehearsals and practicing at home and, just occasionally, we’ve even been treated to a bit of a twirl on the production floor, but the final competition dances are being kept firmly under wraps. We’re all looking forward to seeing our dancers take centre stage on the night and, to judge from the enthusiasm in the company, it will be a great fun-filled fund-raiser benefiting our two superb local charities.”
While employees are looking forward to a great night out, the dancers are beginning to feel just a touch of stage fright as their big moment looms. Billy Heal who will lead out his partner Donna McGreevy for the Charleston, said: “I don’t think Anton Du Beke has anything to fear from me, for I’m still more of a dad dancer than a ballroom star, but I’m certainly up for giving it a go. It’s amazing what expert tuition, hard work and a charming partner can achieve – and it’s all in a good cause!”
Fans of the twinkle-toed B/E Aerospace employees are invited to help raise funds by sponsoring their favourite dance couple, with ticket sales and donations on the night adding to the charity kitty. Some marks will be awarded to the couples who raise most in advance of the dance-off, but this is very much a ‘points makes prizes’ affair and the competition will be intense.
Shane Berger from event organisers, Island Events, added: “Our dancers have put a lot of hard work into their preparation so they will be taking the competition very seriously and I know from my professional experience of such gala events that ‘Strictly’ audiences are often as knowledgeable as they are enthusiastic.
“Our expert judges will be using their expertise to assess technique, stage presence and musicality and, from what I have already seen at rehearsals, I know they will have a difficult task ahead of them. The standards are incredibly high and I think audience and judges alike will be hugely impressed.”
Taking part in this glitz event in Newcastle will be the dancers:
* Damien Quinn & Stephanie McDowell – Cha Cha
* Andrew Hanna & Kendra Dalzell – Viennese Waltz
* Graham Blue & Andrea O’Rourke – Cha Cha
* Billy Heal & Donna McGreevy – Charleston
* Chris Gibson & Breige Leddy – Jive
* William Cranston & Denise Campbell – Argentine Tango
* Steven Campbell & Siobhan McCann – Jitterbug
* John McGlynn & Martina Brannigan – Salsa
* Chris Danks & Kyra McClelland – Cha Cha
* Brendan Daly & Wendy Shields – Paso Doble
* Chris Hogg & Francine Hanna – Jive
If you would like tickets, priced at £10.00, to ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ at the Slieve Donard Hotel, Newcastle at 7.00pmn on Friday 4 October contact Paul McArdle on 07706 422 355, speak to any B/E Aerospace employee or buy from Hanna’s News Agent, Kilkeel.