Strictly success after ‘blood, sweat and tears’

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A PRIMARY school business manager has won the first Strictly by Towcester, helping to raise thousands of pounds for a Towcester based charity.

After weeks of gruelling practice sessions Laura Kerrison, business manager at Nicholas Hawksmoor School, walked away with the winners trophy along with her dance partner Jamie Earl from the Step by Step Dance School.

Together with the other contestants they raised around £5,000 in sponsorship for the Northants Parent and Infant Project NORPIP.

Mrs Kerrison, 39, said: “Everybody there had really put a lot of effort and hard work in to their performances, it could have been anyone of us, so to win was a complete shock. I think we all put in a lot of extra hours, there was blood, sweat and tears, but it was really good fun.

“And the crowd were amazing, really supportive. Although our legs were like jelly, when you got on the dance floor their support really filled you with confidence.”

Mrs Kerrison thanked partner Jamie Earl who she described as ‘tremendous fun,’ as well as Viv Ryhmes from Step by Step for her coaching and support.

NORPIP was founded by south Northants MP Andrea Leadsom and helps families form bonds with new born babies. Mrs Leadsom had hoped to take part herself, but training clashed with her Commons schedule and she nominated her husband Ben to fill her dance shoes.

Mrs Leadsom spoke on the night and afterwards said it had been a superb turnout for her charity and that money raised would make a huge difference in the expansion of its services.

Mrs Leadsom added: “I was really proud of my husband for taking part. He became quite obsessed in the last couple of weeks and was practising dance moves in the kitchen and bathroom which was funny to watch. I know he was grateful for his partner Caroline for putting up with him.”

Viv Rhymes said the Towcester contestents were ‘outstanding’ despite having less practice time than any previous Step by Step Strictly event.