There is now just six weeks until the return of Rotorua's popular night of dancing extravaganza for a great cause.
There are 10 couples competing in Harcourts Dancing for Hospice on August 7.
It is Rotorua Hospice's biggest annual fundraiser and sees amateur dancers paired and taught a dance to perform at a one-night showcase.
Rotorua Community Hospice fundraising and marketing co-ordinator Denise Byrne says after many months of planning, it's excited to be six weeks out from the show.
"We are so proud of all of our dancers who are practising hard and making amazing progress.
"Once again this year, the support of our sponsors and suppliers has been phenomenal. We really couldn't do it without them."
There is a range of emotions flowing through this year's dancers at this halfway point in their preparations.
Tamsyn Petersen says it feels unreal to think it's only been seven weeks since they all met.
"I've definitely been on an emotional roller-coaster filled with excitement, laughs and nerves."
Pete Kingi says the fun part of the process is meeting other couples you have never met before and all the different personalities gathered in one space.
"Also getting to know my dance partner who has literally carried our dance duo, she is amazing."
Miriam Hewson says coming together with a bunch of people you don't know is interesting.
"There is a lot of laughter as we leap outside of our comfort zones, but the way everyone supports each other is second to none."
Miriam says the challenging part is how technical it gets.
"Overall, I can highly recommend it. When else do you meet new people, learn something completely new and get to support such an amazing cause?"
Shannon Eldridge is feeling both anxious and excited – "Keen to show what we've got, but also working hard to make sure it's worth showing".
He says the banter and comedy among the 2021 team has been a highlight, and making sure he's maintaining the correct posture throughout the dance is tricky.
Bernie Dawson says he is starting to get a little on edge as the show is much closer now.
"The dance is progressing well and the remaining time will be used to polish the basics that we have learnt."
Danielle Maguire says being halfway is exciting and scary at the same time, as they still have lots to learn for their dance.
"Practices are the main focus to produce a beautiful show for a great cause and the spectators."
Tracy Lack says she is nervous now knowing they are halfway there, while her dance partner Shane O'Driscoll says he is feeling pretty good to be halfway to show time.
"Tracy and I have our dance routine sorted. We're now working on small improvements."
Melanie Short says learning to dance had been both the fun and challenging part of the process.
"There is a lot to learn and finding time to practice can be challenging – but we are committed!"
Kraig Steiner says he is absolutely terrified, excited and disappointed.
"Terrified of our competitors as they are fabulous! Excited to be a part of this special event, and disappointed that its going so fast! It's been a wonderful experience so far."
Debbie Holmes says it is hard to believe they have all come so far since those "first few awkward steps".
She says the best part of the process is the whanaungatanga and support of all the dancers as a group, and knowing they are doing it all for a great cause.
Kaitlin Hyde says she is trying to focus on the here and now. She's enjoyed meeting an amazing group of people and being able to watch everyone's progress.
She is being pushed out of her comfort zone, not only in the dance moves themselves, but also the outfit she'll be wearing on the night, she says.
Tickets for Harcourts Dancing for Hospice go on sale on June 28 at Ticketmaster, and all updates will be posted on the Harcourts Dancing for Hospice Facebook page.
The 2021 Harcourts Dancing for Hospice couples
Couple 1: Bernie Dawson and Danielle Maguire
Couple 2: Kraig Steiner and Melanie Short
Couple 3: Jonathon Hagger and Debbie Holmes
Couple 4: Tracy Leeke and Shane O'Driscoll
Couple 5: Julie Manktelow and Bryan Graham
Couple 6: Kaitlin Hyde and Liam Rehu
Couple 7: Mahia Keepa-Hale and Fisher Wang
Couple 8: Shannon Eldridge and Miriam Hewson
Couple 9: Nadine Katene and Logan Nathan
Couple 10: Peter Kingi and Tamsyn Peterson