The wait is over and the couples have been revealed.

Who will dance with whom in the Harcourts Dancing with Rotorua Stars is now out, and their dance instructor says it's going to be all hard work from here.

Shelley Martin, choreographer and dance instructor, said the process had been difficult, but she was happy with the result.

"We had to have a bit of a process of not only considering height, but personalities, ability, who would be strong with someone who is maybe not quite so strong that would be able to help them through, all of those things."


She said at the beginning nothing was obvious.

"I actually thought that I would meet everyone and I'd think 'oh those two will be good', but actually it wasn't like that."

She said they had a bit of trouble with some people not being able to make it in the first few weeks which made it hard.

"We hadn't seen so many people and it wasn't fair to start guessing and I really wanted it to be as strategic as possible.

"I did a plan of what I thought in pencil after the first week and I showed Jan Morgan (Rotorua Community Hospice Trust funding manager) and she wasn't sure. We thought it would change and it never changed at all.

"We did another week, so we saw the dancers another three times and we saw some of them dancing together and we thought their heights looked great and they were having a laugh and we thought they would be okay.

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"So actually my first little pencil guess was what we stuck with."

She said she thought everybody was really happy and she hoped they all looked at it like "this is a fundraiser and this is my partner that I'm going to have fun with, rather than competitively".

"Some of them have that real drive that they want to do well, but my decision for the partnerships wasn't about that, it was about their compatibility."

She said the couples would now move to private lessons with her and Troy Smith, one of her ex-dancing partners.

"From now on it's going to be hard work, it's going to be much more intense to fit everything in that half-hour slot.

"They still have 16 weeks and if we need to do extra then we can."

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

Jackie Clarke and Tamati Coffey will MC the event at the Rotorua Energy Events Centre on Saturday, August 13. It will include silent and live auctions.