Top dancer teacher praises Strictly contestants

Strictly Northampton 2012 at The Royal & Derngate.
Strictly Northampton 2012 at The Royal & Derngate.
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The dance teacher behind the master footwork for Strictly Northampton praised all of this year’s contestants after the show.

Andrzej Mialkowski, founder of the Step By Step dance school in Henry Street, Northampton, said: “I never choose a winner before the contest because it is all down to how the contestants perform on the night. Everyone was fantastic.

“Training was great and the atmosphere on the night was buzzing.”

John Daly, head coach of Far Cotton Amateur Boxing Club, was crowned the winner of the charity dance contest at the Royal & Derngate on Saturday night.

He said: “It’s been a brilliant night, I never expected to win. There’s some very good dancers in the group.”

Sixteen celebrity contestants, paired with professional dancers, performed a cha cha, an American smooth waltz and a freestyle routine in front of a panel of judges.

Those taking part included ITV Daybreak weather girl, Laura Tobin; Miss Northampton Nadina Knight; Northamptonshire Community Foundation fund development manager, Jessica Pilkington; manager of Outcast Hair Salon, Vicky Panting; owner of Fong Spa Beauty, Yin Jeune; leader of Northampton Borough Council, David Mackintosh; dog trainer, Graeme “The Dogfather” Hall; Assistant Chief Constable of Northamptonshire Police, Andy Frost; founder of Far Cotton Amateur Boxing Club, John Daly; Old Northamptonians Rugby Club player, Edward St John Smythe; Chron reporter Ian Gallagher; Kyle Cherry, who is in the England under-17s badminton team; headteacher at Lings Primary School, Leigh Wolmarans; Barclaycard employee Gary McMahon; owner of The Works Fancy Dress shop, Patricia Coleman; and Royal & Derngate operations manager, Richard Clinton.

Contestants trained for just eight weeks at Step By Step before the show and the winner was decided by text votes from the sell-out audience.

The event raised almost £30,000 for the Chronicle & Echo and Macmillan Cancer Support’s charity appeal, taking the total to £1.45 million.

The campaign is to raise £1.55 million by the end of the year to help fund a new blood cancer unit at Northampton General Hospital.