The whirlwind of learning steps and practices has reached the halfway mark for this year's Harcourts Dancing for Hospice dance couples.
Ten dance couples with little-to-no dance experience are practising hard several times a week to be stage ready and to raise money for the local Hospice.
All their dedication and hard work will be on show when they perform at the Energy Events Centre on August 20.
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.
Dance instructor Ellie Smith says the dance couples are going really well.
"Everyone seems to be working really hard. We are nearly done with choreography, we have just locked down all the songs and can start fitting moves around the music.
"We've got another really great group. We are really lucky to have lovely, hard-working people."
She feels really proud of them and says it is satisfying as a teacher to see the improvement.
Ellie says she feels a bit sad they are already halfway through the dancing journey and how quickly it has gone.
"It is such a fun experience. I don't feel stressed, I think everyone is at a good stage."
She says the upcoming weeks of practice will mostly be fine-tuning, and that coming up in a couple of weeks is the sponsors night, which will be interesting.
"These dance couples are doing so well, but it will be their first time in front of an audience. Usually, some thrive and some find it a real challenge - it will be a good indicator on how they are going.
"It will be interesting to see how they are as a performer, with the likes of facial expressions and musicality."
Ellie says Harcourts Dancing for Hospice will be an awesome night out for the community.
"It's got everything you could possibly want - food, drink, great music and wonderful entertainment. The dance couples will all do a wonderful job."
Something that has struck her during the past two years as a dance instructor for the fundraiser is how many people in the dance groups have received support from Hospice before.
Dance instructor Troy Smith says he is excited by the dance couples' progress.
"They are doing really well and are definitely on par with years gone past. They are looking promising and we are going to have a great show again this year."
Jessica Meade, Rotorua Community Hospice fundraising and marketing manager, says time sure is flying, and they have been so impressed with the dancers' commitment.
"They give up so much of their time and energy to create an incredible show, we are so grateful for their and their families' generosity."
Jessica says the dancers are progressing more than they could expect at the halfway mark.
"They are all really excited for the show, they are so focused and committed to doing their best performance on the night."
She says tickets will soon be on sale to the public - "they are a certain sellout, with the number of inquiries we are getting".
"We're also going to be focused on our auction and confirming some exciting items this year, including a 2022 Kia Stonic from Ebbett Motors."
If any businesses or individuals would like to donate to the silent or live auction, they would love to hear from them, she says.
"Harcourts Dancing for Hospice is the highlight of the Rotorua social calendar, it's not to be missed.
"Everyone buzzes for weeks after the event, it's such a great night out for a wonderful cause."
She says all proceeds from the event go towards ensuring Rotorua Community Hospice can continue to provide exceptional care and support for anyone in Rotorua with a life-limiting illness, free of charge.
People can get all their updates on the Harcourts Dancing for Hospice Facebook page.