It’s time to ‘keep dancing’ for local good cause Mary Ann Evans Hospice’s ‘Strictly Learn to Dance’ 2018! Once again 11 contestants enter the sparkling world of this Strictly competition to battle it out for the Glitter Ball Trophy & raise money for charity. The novice dancers have a 12 week training programme courtesy of Euphoria Dance Studios, Bedworth, which began back in January, where they have be learning a Sizzling Salsa & Tantalising Tango. 

The event culminates on Saturday 21st April at the Strictly Grand Finale, taking place at Bedworth Civic Hall. Each contestant will strut their stuff in front of a crowd of family, friends and the public to show off what they’ve learnt. Alongside dancing, each contestant is also tasked to raise a minimum of £100 for the hospice and sell at least 10 tickets to the show.

Not only will one couple win the Glitter Ball Trophy, the couple that raises the most sponsorship money will receive photographs signed by professional Ballroom dancers Anton Du Beck and Erin Boag!

Contestants Roz & Kev explain why they joined the team:

None of us know what’s around the corner and our taking part is payback for our own corner. Kev had just turned 50 when he was diagnosed with a bowel cancer. He was lucky. When symptoms manifested themselves, he acted quickly and after almost a year of treatment he came through the other side. 2 years on and still improving, our thoughts turned to those in our community not as fortunate. The opportunity arose through a friend to apply to take part and we jumped at it. At some time most people in this small town will know someone who has need to use the services of the Hospice and we found ourselves in a position to help support it.

It was with nervous trepidation that we walked into Euphoria Dance Studios to begin training but we soon settled into it. We’d been studying all the tips given by the professionals on TV’s Strictly, so took it all in. We’re now moving the furniture at home so we have a little more room to practice and we both have our costumes ready to go!

Looking forward to the Grand Finale. Keep Dancing!”


Louise Smith, another one of our Strictly performers, works very closely with those with a terminal illness. She is a village advisor at Richmond Bede Village in Bedworth which has a 24-hour nursing home specialising in palliative care. The retirement village also provides independent and assisted living, and the Mary Ann Evans Hospice is delighted to have their support.

The couples will be facing a judging panel which includes, Hospice Patron and retired BBC Midlands Today News Presenter, Kay Alexander, Current British Senior Modern Sequence Champion, Janette Fletcher & former competitive ballroom and Latin dancer, Stephanie Warwick. After winning the British Championship in both the Junior and Adult division with the Encore Latin Formation Team Stephanie went on to Represent England at two European Championships, in Germany and Austria. Away from the team and with her partner she was a Finalist at the UK and British Closed Championships in both Ballroom and Latin. In 2012 she was lucky enough to perform in the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics. Since leaving the competitive field Stephanie has worked on many TV and film projects including BBC Great Expectations, ITV The Halcyon, feature film ‪Far from the Madding Crowd and even dancing with a live python in the American TV series DaVinci Demons. More recently Stephanie made her theatre debut in the show ‘Keep Dancing’ with Strictly Come Dancing’s Katya and Neil Jones, Robin Windsor and Olympian Louis Smith. Dance lead to a passion for fitness which resulted in Stephanie creating Signature Workouts, an online platform as well as offering classes locally in dance fitness, Pilates and more.

This year’s event sees Matthew Ford, award- winning vocalist take to the stage as the show’s host. Not only will he be compering he will also be performing throughout the night. Matthew Ford is widely regarded as the finest big band singer in the UK, performing for 5 years with the multi-award winning Syd Lawrence Orchestra. In 2006 Matthew was voted ‘Best UK Male Big Band Vocalist’ and nominated alongside Jamie Cullen in the inaugural Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Awards. As a soloist Matthew makes regular appearances with the RTE and BBC Concert Orchestras, and has also worked with the Northern Sinfonia, City of Birmingham Symphony, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Halle and Philharmonia Orchestras. Matthew has worked under many conductors including John Wilson, Neil Thompson, David Brophy, Robert Ziegler, Richard Balcombe, Steve Bell, Sofi Jeannin and Larry Blank.

Tickets for the event are just £10 and are available now. Please call the Hospice on 024 7686 5436 or book online at to make sure you’ve got the best seat in the house!