They're responsible for who gets in the final, for who takes to the stage a second time at Harcourts Dancing for Hospice. With paddles numbered from one to 10 four celebrity judges will rate the 10 couples dancing in the major fundraiser for Rotorua Hospice after they perform. Today the Rotorua Daily Post reveals who those judges are.
Four celebrity judges have now been confirmed for Harcourts Dancing for Hospice, Rotorua Hospice's biggest fundraiser of the year.
The four judges are tasked with deciding which of the 10 couples will take out the winning spot on August 10 in front of an audience of 2000 or more.
This year the judging panel includes Colin Mathura-Jeffree, Kristie Williams, Michelle Langstone and Turanga Merito.
This will be Mathura-Jeffree's second stint on the judging panel after being part of it in 2016.
He's an international model, actor, tourism ambassador and television host.
Mathura-Jeffree said there were several reasons he agreed to be involved.
"One, it's incredible to witness, two it's so community-based. Nowhere else in the country does it like Rotorua does it ... There's this incredible community vibe that's really authentic.
"It raises so much money for such a wonderful, kind-hearted, well-needed charity."
Williams is a professional dance instructor who runs Limelight Dance Studios in Auckland and has previously danced with Mathura-Jeffree on television.
Meet the couples Dancing for Hospice: Crispian and Caroline
Less than a month until dancers take to stage for Hospice
She has a local connection with Rotorua through her aunt and uncle who recently moved here to manage Quest Apartments.
Actor and writer Langstone also joins the panel for the first time. She is an advocate for Hospice New Zealand.
I was really thrilled to be asked to be a part of the evening this year. My family dealt very intimately with Totara Hospice in Auckland last year. They looked after my father.
"It was one of the most profoundly special times in our lives and I don't think I'll ever be able to thank them enough."
Langstone said Hospice made a painful situation beautiful.
"When this came up I felt it was my dad patting me on the back saying this is something I can do to say thank you."
Local Merito rounds out the panel. He is currently the head choreographer for Coca-Cola Christmas in the Park and has previously been a back-up dancer for Guy Sebastian, Stan Walker and Jessica Mauboy.
Merito trained in jazz, tap, ballet and contemporary dance at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York.
He said it was his way of giving back.
"It's a personal connection. Not only is it a privilege to give back to the arts community but Hospice who gave my grandmother moments of joy in the last moments of her life."
Merito said he would bring a technical perspective to the judging panel and would be looking for good form and star power.
Rotorua Hospice fundraising and marketing manager Nicola Smallwood said she was thrilled by the judging line-up.
"The judging panel has a professional dancer and a celebrity with dancing experience, a local choreographer and a well-known New Zealand actor that has a close connection and understanding of Hospice.
"They are also all engaging speakers who will bring energy, humour and a whole lot of fun to the event."
Harcourts Dancing for Hospice is being held on August 10 at the Rotorua Energy Events Centre.
All table tickets have sold out but limited general admission tickets are still available from $35 through www.ticketmaster.co.nz or in person at the Energy Events Centre.
Twenty local Rotorua identities have been paired up and are training for the show which is a major fundraiser for Rotorua Hospice and raised $140,000 last year.