Back in March of 2020, Neeta Patel, owner of Rosemary Bookkeeping Northampton was thrilled to announce that she was taking part in Strictly Northampton – a local one-time dance competition based on the TV show Strictly Come Dancing. Unfortunately the competition had to be put on hold due to the pandemic. But, on Friday 12th November the show was able to go ahead, and celebrate its 10th Anniversary in front of an ecstatic crowd. The event, which took place at the Derngate Theatre, was organised by Step by Step Dance School and has managed to raise over £55’000 for a local charity.
Neeta and thirty-one other local superstars were paired up with students from the local Step by Step Dance School. Neeta – who was itching to get on the floor after a long year indoors – trained over an eight week period to learn the jive and American smooth waltz, as well as a group freestyle number.
Although Neeta and partner Duncan weren’t one of the eight couples chosen to progress to the final stages of the competition, she isn’t disheartened, as she hit her fundraising target just minutes before the show started. Posting on her JustGiving page after the event, she said, “Thank you to everyone who donated. The atmosphere was amazing, there was a huge buzz backstage between all the contestants and dancers, and all of the hard work of the last eight weeks training was finally displayed on stage. It was such a fantastic experience and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I can’t believe it’s all over now, but I’m definitely going to keeeeep dancing’.”
The show was in aid of the Cynthia Spencer Hospice, a local charity that provides care for people with life limiting illnesses and their families. They provide inpatient care, outpatient services, wellbeing services, Hospice@Home, lymphoedema service and palliative care clinical nurse specialist service. The impressive £55’000 fundraising total was made by a combination of ticket sales, text votes on the night, and individual fundraising efforts, including approx. £1400 from Neeta through her JustGiving page.
Neeta Patel BA (Hons) ACMA