This Monday was the first practice session for Dancing With Rotorua Stars and it's safe to say there is a bit of work to be done before we are stage ready.

First off we started with a few drinks (this seemed to make everyone a little more comfortable) and sat in a circle for an awkward ice breaker introduction where Brent Park from Volcanic Hills Winery used the old one liner, "Hi I'm Brent and I'm an alcoholic", to lighten the mood.

Among the humorous intros there was a lot of talk about the wonderful work Hospice does and how we were all looking forward to not only having a good time, but having a good time while raising money and awareness for such a good cause.

Soon after we headed to the hall and Shelley Martin our experienced and talented dance instructor took us through the basic steps for the jive and the fox trot.


The jive was fast paced and we all warmed up fairly quickly.

It soon became clear that there were a few stars with better rhythm than others, but Shelley assured us we would all get it eventually (I hope she's right).

The fox trot came a little easier to most of us, even though by that stage I think there was more laughing going on than dancing and I'm pretty sure local police officer Brodie Fowler was awarded "laugh of the year" for his, how should I put it, contagious laugh.

The official pairings will be announced next week and we will begin to master the steps and create a routine for our audience is August.

If you would like to donate towards the cause please head to and don't forget to like the Dancing With Rotorua Stars Facebook page.

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