Despite some stepping on toes at first, Frank Baker and Rose Stewart are getting well prepared to take to the stage in Harcourts Dancing for Hospice.
This year's event is on August 20 at the Energy Events Centre. Ten dance couples with little-to-no dance experience are practising hard several times a week to be stage ready and raise money for the local hospice.
The goal of the evening is to raise $120,000 to enable Hospice to care for and support more than 420 patients with terminal illnesses each year.
John Paul College sports director Frank Baker said he wanted to give back to Hospice because of the amazing work it did.
He had also just finished being part of the Rotorua Musical Theatre's production of Song Contest – the Almost Eurovision Experience, and wanted to do something else to fill the void.
Baker said practice had been going great and it was a cool experience.
"I've never done dancing like this before. It's a cool learning experience. We've got a quick dance. I think I sweat more in half an hour of dancing than I do in an hour of volleyball."
He said his family and friends were stoked for him when they found out he was taking part this year, and had said they were definitely getting tickets.
"I'm no stranger to the stage, but this will probably be the biggest audience I've ever performed to. I think the maximum of people has been 500 and this is about 2000.
"I always get nervous when I go to perform, but can't wait to show our dance."
He said it was going to be a tough competition and job for the judges and that everyone's dances are looking great.
"We are all very supportive of each other."
Rose Stewart, who works in accounts at Patchell Industries, put up her hand for the challenge because, "it's a good way to give back to our community, push myself out of my comfort zone, make new friends and learn how to dance".
"I've always wanted to do dance, but have always been quite shy, so this is really putting myself out of my comfort zone."
She said with Patchell Industries being a sponsor, an email went out in the office asking if anyone would like to take part. At first she thought no, but the more she thought about it, she realised if someone else took up the opportunity, she would be disappointed.
"They [Hospice] do so much for everybody - not just the people who are unwell or going to pass, but their family and friends as well."
She agreed that practices had been going well, though admitted they had stepped on each other's toes a few times when starting.
Stewart said a highlight of the journey so far had been meeting everyone.
"They are so lovely and we are really close, it's become a dance family."
A challenge was the fitness required as it was quite a big commitment, she said.
She said she had never been to one of the Harcourts Dancing for Hospice shows before, and was excited for the night.
Jessica Meade, Rotorua Community Hospice fundraising and marketing manager, said tickets would soon be on sale to the public. "They are a certain sell-out, with the number of inquiries we are getting."
People can get their updates on the Harcourts Dancing for Hospice Facebook page.