Tough job to find final two (+video)

By Shauni James

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Judges have a tough job narrowing down the final two people to compete in Rotorua's Dancing with the Rotorua Stars.

Members of the public put on their dancing shoes this weekend at the public auditions for Rotorua Community Hospice's fundraising event.

The auditions were held on Saturday at the Novotel Lakeside Rotorua.

Rotorua Community Hospice Trust funding manager Jan Morgan said there were 20 people who auditioned, which included two couples and a group of three Cuban dancers who danced together.

She said the judging panel was made up of Shelley Martin, the choreographer and dance instructor, Kat Hicks from The Hits, and event contestants with former dance experience Justin Nichols and Tamati Coffey.

Mr Coffey, who would be a host for the event, won the 2009 Dancing With the Stars television show, she said.

"They all had a really tough job as the calibre of people auditioning was pretty incredible," said Ms Morgan.

She said all those who took part were taking it very seriously and were very keen to be a part of the event.

Ms Morgan said the decision was still being finalised and they should have a result by the end of this week, to be announced next weekend.

The event's choreographer and dance instructor Shelley Martin said the turnout was really good.

Those who auditioned had their own parts of choreography and music, she said.

"They were excellent, they all went really well."

She said there was a lot of different talent, genres and ages throughout the auditions.

The current contestants were really excited to get the new people on board, Mrs Martin said.

Money raised will go towards filling the $900,000 funding gap the hospice needs to bridge to operate.

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 for Dancing with the Rotorua Stars.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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