Following in her daughter’s jive steps for Strictly Northampton 2019

Joe Payne and Emily Simpson. Pic by Martin Farmer
Joe Payne and Emily Simpson. Pic by Martin Farmer

It is not an uncommon tradition to follow in your parent’s footsteps but Suzanne  Howson is flipping that tradition on its head and jiving in her daughter’s footsteps as she takes part in Strictly Northampton 2019.

Kirsty Dow, 37, from Northampton, enjoyed the fundraising dance event so much in 2017, she nominated her mother to take part in this year’s challenge.

Participants in rehearsal. Pic by Martin Farmer

Participants in rehearsal. Pic by Martin Farmer

Now 61-year old retired Suzanne Howson, also from the town, said: “I had no idea what my daughter was up to until I received an email inviting me to take part in this year’s dance competition. I have a saying of never giving up an opportunity and decided to give it a go!”

She and the 23 other contestants and their dance partners are four weeks into rehearsals for the show that will take place at the Royal and Derngate theatre on November 23.

And hot on her heels are also Suzanne’s 8-year-old granddaughter and 11-year old grandson who are both taking part in Strictly Northampton Kids this year.

Suzanne said: “Out of all of us, my granddaughter is the most competitive. She can be a little diva - everything has to be just right from her dance dress to how her hair is styled.”

Suzanne Howson and Kirsty Dow

Suzanne Howson and Kirsty Dow

Keeping it in the family too is former winner of Strictly Northampton, area manager of Screwfix, Lee Whitestone.

He has inspired his 21 year- old daughter Chelsea, a plumber from Northampton, to drop her plumb line and slip on dance shoes to take part this year.

“I’m feeling the pressure, he says. “I can’t let my daughter down!”

The full line up of contestants dancing with their professional dance partners this year also includes a dentist, a singer-songwriter and a charge nurse at Cynthia Spencer Hospice.

Aston Dow and Mackenzie Dow

Aston Dow and Mackenzie Dow

They are: Tom Hewer, Samantha Smith, Jamie Wood, Tracy Parmenter, David Hughes, Natalie Allen, Jamie Smith, Katie Oliver, Nick Coulson, Laura Stanton, Emma Hamblin, Craig Dobson, Christopher Lunn, Mairi Watson, Martin Clarke, Suzanne Howson, Arti Shah, Laura Odams, Josh Chamberlain, Dan Kelsey and Sharon Spice.

Charged not only with learning a jive, an American Smooth waltz and a group freestyle dance, this group of contestants are looking to exceed their individual fundraising targets for Cynthia Spencer Hospice.

Last year collectively the show raised nearly £43,000 and this year the organisers are hoping to beat that.

Contestant singer songwriter Joe Payne will be performing an acoustic concert supported by the Northampton Male Voice Choir to boost his fundraising target.

The concert will take place at St Matthews Church, Kingsley, on Thursday November 7.

Organisers of Strictly Northampton now in its 9th year, Andrzej and JoMialkowski this year said: “Every year we are overwhelmed with the commitment and effort the contestants and dancers bring to this event.

"Fundraising is far above where it is traditionally at this point of the rehearsals and this year’s freestyle theme, ‘Dancing through the Decades’ will definitely see the audience up on their feet and singing along. We cannot wait!”

The show is being sponsored by Chelton Brown, Hensmans Hair Salon, She Does Make-Up and Casey Dove Make-Up Artist. All proceeds will go to Cynthia Spencer Hospice, Northampton.

Tickets for the show are available at www.royalanderngate.co.uk and for That Joe Payne’s concert online at

https://www.seetickets.com/event/that-joe-payne-cynthia-spencer-hospice-fundraiser/st-matthew-s-church/1452689