Business Come Dancing is our annual fundraiser with Lewis-Manning Hospice to raise money for people living with Parkinson’s and the running of our Bournemouth Parkinson’s Dance class. The next gala event, our summer ball, will take place on Friday, 24 June, in the Bournemouth Pavilion Ballroom.We spoke to last year’s champion, Irish dancer Kate O’Leary.

Had you ever taken part in Business Come Dancing before?

I had never taken part in Business Come Dancing before – 2015 was my first year!

How did you go about starting to work on the routine?

I started rehearsing about two months before. I contacted Callum (Kate’s partner for Business Come Dancing 2015) and invited him to start attending to my Irish Dancing Basic classes at Pavilion Dance so that he could grasp the basics of Irish dancing before we started the 1-2-1s, as it would be easier for him. This also meant he could meet the other class participants and see what Irish dancing was all about, as he had never done it before.

How long did you rehearse for?

We started to have 1-2-1 rehearsals at my house about a month before the competition. Coming up to the night Callum and I were dancing four to five times a week!

What was your favourite part of participating in Business Come Dancing?

The best part about Business Come Dancing, without a doubt, was meeting my lovely dance partner Callum. He was fantastic and we built a great friendship very quickly. Callum soon became one of my best friends and still is to this day!

How did it feel to win?

It was the best feeling ever! Hard work, dedication and passion for dance definitely pays off in the end. I was over the moon! Not just for myself but for Callum as well, as I know how hard he worked for it. He deserved it so much and I was – and still am – extremely proud of him!

What advice would you give to those participating in our summer Business Come Dancing?

 The advice I would give to anyone taking part this year is to dance your socks off – practice really does make perfect! Most of all remember why you’re doing it and have fun!

In our next blog post we’re looking at how well the current participants are following Kate’s advice as we’re checking up on their rehearsal progress!

Tickets for the summer ball are now on sale. Tickets are £45 per person (£40 per person when a table of 10 is booked).



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