A COUPLE taking part in Strictly Worcestershire for Primrose Hospice made sure they packed their dancing shoes on a recent snow-filled mini break.
During a recent trip to Finland, Ela Kropornicka and Mark Evans had a novel way of keeping warm even as temperatures dropped to around -11C.
The Aston Fields couple found it was the perfect excuse to practise their dance moves which they plan to dazzle the audience and judges with during the contest which takes place at Chateau Impney in Droitwich on Thursday, May 23.
Normally, the couple will have dance tuition once a week and also a practice once a week but the competitive couple were not going to put that on hold while on holiday.
Ela said: “We were very lucky with the weather in Finland because the week before our arrival and after we left the temperatures apparently were in a range of -30C to -35C.
“Not the best for outdoor activities.
“Training is hard but this is what we expected: learning new steps, holding the posture, thinking about the overall presentation and smiling at the same time is a big challenge.
“Although we’ve danced before, we have never done it at such a big scale event.
“We also never had one-to-one dance tuition. But we know that the final performance and the whole experience is well worth all that “blood, sweat and tears” on the dance floor.”
On the night, they will perform two completely different dances – one ballroom and a showdance which they are keeping top secret at the moment.
They are one of eight pairs of non-professional dancers competing from across Worcestershire who fundraise for their chosen charity.
Ela and Mark chose Primrose Hospice because a friend had been cared for by the charity.
Ela said: “Primrose Hospice is just around the corner from us and it almost completely relies on donations from the public to keep its services free for those who need them.
“It is doing a fantastic job by caring and supporting people with life-limiting conditions and their families.
“Recently one of our friends who sadly passed away was looked after there and I have previously done some fundraising for Primrose such as a tandem skydive and a Facebook birthday fundraising.”
Primrose Hospice provides free services for people with life-limiting conditions and their families in north east Worcestershire.
It must raise over £1.75million per year to keep these services free.
To sponsor Ela and Mark, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/elamarksw6.