THE SEARCH for the Dancing with Rotorua Stars contestants is almost complete, with 18 dancers confirmed and just two spots left to be filled.

The contestants represent a wide cross-section of the Rotorua community - from a police officer to a school principal to entertainers and local politicians (see right).

The 10th couple, one male and one female, will be found at public auditions, to be held on April 23 at the Novotel Lakeside Rotorua. No experience is necessary to audition as lessons will be provided.

Rotorua Community Hospice Trust funding manager Jan Morgan said every couple would perform their dance in front of a panel of four judges, who would choose the finalists.

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The final two couples would perform a "dance off" and the audience would decide by vote who would wear the winner's crown, she said.

The contestants would need to learn just one dance, she said.

"It's a community-driven project to help raise much needed funds for Hospice and it has potential to be a huge success." She said Hospice services were partially funded by the Lakes District Health Board.

In the coming year, Rotorua Community Hospice will need to bridge a $900,000 gap, and funds raised from Dancing with Rotorua Stars would help to meet this shortfall, she said.

The event will be held at the Rotorua Energy Events Centre on Saturday, August 13, and will include silent and live auctions.

Jackie Clarke and Tamati Coffey will be the MCs.

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Anyone interested in auditioning to be the 10th couple can collect a registration form from the Rotorua Daily Post at 1143 Hinemoa St, the Hospice Shop at 1134 Eruera St, or Smiths City Rotorua in the Central Mall.

For more information visit www.rotoruahospice.co.nz, Dancing with Rotorua Stars on Facebook, or contact Jan Morgan on 021 900 088 or email pr@rotoruahospice.co.nz.

The public are able to start giving donations to contestants by visiting givealittle.co.nz/org/rotoruahospice.