Dogfather is learning new tricks while training

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A Northampton dog trainer will be the one learning new tricks as he prepares to take part in the Chron’s annual charity dance contest.

Graeme Hall, who is more accustomed to training pets, will take part in this year’s Strictly Northampton at the Royal & Derngate on November 24.

Mr Hall, who has been nicknamed The Dogfather, is one of the UK’s leading professional dog trainers and a master dog trainer with the Guild Of Dog Trainers.

He has worked with 14,000 dogs of different breeds and his own rottweilers, Axel and Gordon, have appeared in a Hollywood blockbuster.

He said: “I watched Strictly Northampton last year and thought it looked like a lot of fun. I have never danced in my life before but I was enthused by it last year.”

Mr Hall, from Overstone, said: “I want to win, but I’m a bit daunted and scared.

“I think it’s about taking up an opportunity that would never come up again in life and I will learn a new skill.

“I know that some of last year’s competitors are still going to dance classes and that might happen to me.”

The 47-year-old will compete against 15 other couples in the competition and they will perform a cha cha, American Smooth waltz and freestyle number on the night in front of a panel of judges.

He will take part in dance training sessions at the Step By Step Dance School, in Henry Street, Northampton.

Participants will attend weekly three-hour classes at the school under the guidance of dance instructor, Andrzej Mialkowski.

Last year, Strictly Northampton raised thousands of pounds for our appeal and the winners were Northamptonshire county cricketer, Rob White, and his dance partner, Image magazine editor, Ruth Supple.

For more information abouta the show or to buy tickets for Strictly Northampton 2012, call the Royal & Derngate theatre box office on Northampton 624811 or visit the website www.royalandderngate.co.uk