After a one-year hiatus because of Covid-19, Harcourts Dancing for Hospice returns on August 7. All 20 dancers have been announced and the Rotorua Daily Post is profiling each pair to see what motivated them to take part and how their preparations are going.
Harcourts Dancing for Hospice is creeping closer and for one pair of participants, learning to dance and making new friends are just bonuses on top of supporting the cause.
With only two weeks until the big dance, Kraig Steiner and Melanie Short are putting the finishing touches on their performance.
Steiner said learning to dance was an "outrageous" experience.
"From the first day we turned up, what we were embarking on was totally different to what we thought and it has just gotten better and better," he said.
"Every time we've turned up, we've enjoyed it. [The partnership] has been fantastic, I think the tutors have done really well in the way they've paired people up.
"For us, we knew each other coming into this, but not as well as we do now. You would think Mel has experience in dancing but we are very raw."
Short was signed up last year before the event was cancelled because of Covid-19, but said this year made more sense as turning 50 gave her a new perspective on life.
"It's a pretty cool year and I have just said yes to everything, I've decided you have to live life to the full," she said.
"I've had my moments, well a moment, but it was really grounding and just kind of reminded us of why we're doing it."
"We've got through our full routine now so the next layer is just a bit of fine-tuning."
Steiner, whose company Steiners, Interiors by Reputation is a long-time sponsor of the event, had been asked to dance previously but having a young family he said it was all about timing.
"I've always put my family first and this time we have some great support around us which has made it an easier decision. My wife actually said yes before I'd had a chance to say or think yes.
"I'd always come away from the event excited for all the dancers on there. I think the competition side of things is what initially drove me to do it, but as we've gone, the competition doesn't actually have a lot to do with it.
"It's far greater than that. It's about the service Hospice provides, the awareness and definitely, the money raised - that's a major motivation."
Short has had close ones supported by Hospice so knew full well how important the service was.
"My father-in-law passed away in Hospice care coming up two years ago. That for me is really important, that aspect of it.
"Just recently I've found out a friend, a former colleague, is in Hospice care. That's what really grounded me earlier this week and I thought 'it's cool we've learned to dance and made new friends, but it really is all about supporting Hospice."
• Harcourts Dancing for Hospice is on August 7 at the Energy Events Centre. For more information and updates go to 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: Lexie Stewart and Fisher Wang
Couple 8: Shannon Eldridge and Miriam Hewson
Couple 9: Nadine Katene and Logan Nathan
Couple 10: Peter Kingi and Tamsyn Peters