Get ready for some Strictly magic!

Get ready for some Strictly magic!

Fri 12 November

In the lead up to our Step into Strictly event on 27th November, we want to introduce you to the dancers and give you a sneak peak of what's in store on the night.
8 brave amateur couples have been training for 10 weeks with a local dance teacher, perfecting their Waltz and Cha-cha routines. At The Engine Shed in Wetherby on Saturday 27th November, they'll battle it out in front of our judges (including Head Judge Harry Gration MBE!) for a chance to win the Strictly trophy.

You'll also be treated to some extra special showdances from our guest performers, and can join us after the show for a fun disco celebrating the charity's 18th birthday!

Doors open at 6.30pm and the show starts at 7.30pm.

The Engine Shed will be offering various food & drink deals on the night; to see the menu, click here. You'll need to pre-order your food by 20th November at the latest by emailing, so act fast!

To book your tickets, go to

Meet the dancers

Our 8 couples have begun training with a local dance school, learning a Waltz and a Cha-cha.

All our couples' profiles are now on the website, so click here to read their stories and inspiring reasons for taking part!

Meet the judges & compere

We are pleased to announce our judges for the evening...

Head Judge: Harry Gration MBE

Harry Gration MBE is a former BBC Yorkshire Broadcaster, Conference Presenter and Facilitator. Harry was one of the main presenters on BBC Yorkshire’s regional magazine programme Look North, winning the RTS Best Presenter award in both 2016 and 2017. Harry has also presented South Today, BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Match of the Day and Grandstand.

Judge: Katie Geddes

Katie trained at The Midlands Academy of Dance and Drama where she graduated with a Distinction. Following her training she performed and taught across the UK before establishing her own studio in 2009. The Dance Studio Leeds engages local dancers and artists of all ages, backgrounds and abilities; Katie teaches workshops in Ballet, Jazz, Tap and Musical Theatre.

Judge: Ian Watson

Ian got into dancing via Zumba only eight years ago. He took his first beginner lesson at Rise Dance in January 2014 and entered his first competition in October that year. He won his grade in both Ballroom and Latin at the UKA National at Blackpool Winter Gardens. Since then, he has gone on to win at nationals a total of 12 times.

Compere: Thomas Lillywhite

Thomas Lillywhite is a British actor, singer-songwriter and presenter from Leeds. Thomas made his television debut on ITV's The Royal in 2011, in the role of Tom Ormerod. 2017 saw Thomas make his professional theatre debut in Helena Fox's Bomb Happy. In 2019, Thomas was cast in his first professional concert tour in The Carole King Songbook.

Meet the dance teachers

Five local teachers have kindly given their time for free to help our couples learn a Waltz and a Cha-cha. Thank you all so much for your generosity - without you this event simply couldn't happen!

Melanie King

Melanie King is a dance teacher, choreographer and owner of Expressions dance studio in West Yorkshire. She specialises in wedding first dance choreography. Her dancing has taken her to Tunisia, where she taught Ballroom and Latin for Thompson holidays. Melanie has also taught weather presenter Lisa Gallagher for a BBC Children In Need Strictly Come Dancing special - Lisa went on to lift the glitterball!

Steph Sartin (from Strictly Ballroom)

Steph is a IDTA qualified ballroom and Latin teacher, who owns the Strictly Ballroom dance school. She has danced from a young age and competed in ballroom and Latin. She runs classes for adults at Wetherby Town Hall and Rossett School in Harrogate, as well as organising tea dances, social evenings and first wedding dance classes.

Melanie Earnshaw and Chris Woodhead (from Absolute Ballroom Dance)

Howard Bullock (from Fire House Dance)

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