It's been a while since he carved up the dance floor at the school disco, but one of the contestants in Dancing with Rotorua Stars is hoping he still has the winning moves.

Meanwhile, Rotorua's mayor is just hoping no one drops her.

To be held at the Rotorua Energy Events Centre on August 13, the fundraiser for Rotorua Hospice will see 20 locals strutting their stuff on the dance floor in front of an expected 1000-strong audience.

It is supported by the Rotorua Daily Post and The Hits.


So far mayor Steve Chadwick, district councillor Tania Tapsell, Rotorua Chamber of Commerce chief executive Darrin Walsh, Rotorua Daily Post reporter Kyra Dawson and The Hits local radio announcer Paul Hickey have been confirmed as dancers.

MCs for the night will be entertainer Jackie Clarke and Tamati Coffey, who won TVNZ's Dancing with the Stars in 2009 - the show on which the event is loosely based.

While he wasn't tempted to don his dancing trousers again - "I've got the trophy, I am good" - Mr Coffey said he was always happy to help the hospice which did such great work in the community.

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"I am looking forward to seeing who steps up ... and out of their comfort zone."

Hospice funding and development manager Jan Morgan said 10 couples would compete.

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The organising committee was working through a list of people to "shoulder tap" but there would also be an opportunity to audition for the show with a spot up for grabs for one couple, she said.

The 20 dancers will have three months' training with dance instructor Shelley Martin, who will choreograph each couple's dance on the evening.

"It's a good chunk out of their lives, about three months hard out training to get it to a level to dance in front of 1000 people," Ms Morgan said.

Miss Dawson jumped at the chance to represent the Rotorua Daily Post in the contest.

"I want to get fit and I need to learn to dance before my wedding next January."

Mr Hickey said he was a long-time supporter of the hospice and was looking forward to doing something a bit different.

"My family say I can't dance so I will try to prove them wrong."

He said he hadn't done much dancing since his school disco days, but reckoned he was "pretty good" back then. He hoped the experience would also improve his fitness, helping with one of his New Year's resolutions. And he had no qualms about the sequins and lycra, saying he was sure he could pull it off.

Mrs Chadwick said the hospice was a marvellous organisation that she was delighted to support.

She said she had done one previous dancing event, paired with Invercargill mayor Tim Shadbolt.

"He dropped me on the floor. I hope whoever I get as a partner doesn't drop me."

- For details contact Jan Morgan on (021) 900 088 or pr@