Performing in Rotorua's community fundraiser Harcourts Dancing for Hospice has led to a competitive call-up for Polly Delfim.
She and partner Rawiri Bhana won the People's Choice Award last weekend, after taking to the stage twice in front of the crowd of 2100.
The group of participants had their choreography critiqued and videoed by a student of tutor Elly-Ann Pritchard, about a week out from the big night.
After this, 40-year-old Delfim was approached to dance competitively with the man who is also based in the Bay of Plenty.
He has danced for seven years and has been Pritchard's student for four years, but chose to remain out of the spotlight when the Rotorua Daily Post heard about his new partnership with Delfim.
Delfim said she was surprised and proud to be offered the opportunity and promptly said yes.
The pair met yesterday to "have a bit of a boogie" and a drink to get to know each other better.
The competitions they have in mind are coming up at the end of the year.
"I know there will be a lot of practice involved, but when I give something a go, I do not like to do it in a half-pie way. I like doing the best I can."
The pair are not yet sure whether they will focus on ballroom or more modern styles.
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"After performing in front of 2100 people, I have realised I can do a lot more than I think I can. It is not so intimidating," Delfim said.
She was left with such a "buzz" after last weekend's performances, that she didn't get to sleep until 11.30pm the next night.
"Dancing for Hospice has opened a whole new pathway for me and I am keen to see where it goes."
Hospice fundraising and marketing manager Nicola Smallwood said it was "fantastic" Delfim had been noticed.
"We were so excited when we heard the news. She has only been dancing for 15 weeks ... so it is pretty extraordinary."
She said Delfim "gave it her all" in Dancing for Hospice.
"We're really proud of her – we'll certainly be front row at any future performances."
Dance tutor Troy Smith said the competitive dancer "noticed instantly that she [Delfim] stood out from the ladies".
"She definitely has that 'dancer' look about her ... Especially the height. From a ballroom perspective, that is critical. The more height the more volume, in the likes of a waltz."
Smith has been involved in the event for the past four years and said Delfim's call-up was the first he'd seen in that time.
"I think it's a reflection of the calibre of the dancing. It just continues to get better."