After a one-year hiatus due to Covid-19, Harcourts Dancing for Hospice returns on August 7. With all 20 dancers officially announced, the Rotorua Daily Post is profiling each pair to see what motivated them to take part and how their preparations are going.
A performance is only ever as good as the sum of its parts but when it comes to compatibility, Tracy Leeke and Shane O'Driscoll are on to a winner.
While some Harcourts Dancing for Hospice participants take some persuading, this pair were equally enthusiastic about taking part.
O'Driscoll, a production supervisor at Kilwell Fibretube, said he was approached to take part by the late Don Gunn, who was often involved in Hospice fundraisers, about three or four years ago.
"He was fundraising for Hospice outside Pak'nSave at the time," he said.
"I knew him from the tourism scene. Since then Don had passed away and at the last Dancing for Hospice two years ago I put my name down, so here I am."
Although he danced Ceroc with his wife about 16 years ago, O'Driscoll said the dance he and Leeke were learning for this event, which remains a secret until the night, was a whole new kettle of fish.
"We're doing all right, humour comes into it a lot. The teachers are awesome, we video the new parts they teach us each week and just practise as much as possible.
"We have quite a lot of our dance already. It's going to be an awesome night. We really appreciate the support from our sponsor Kilwell and Harcourts who sponsor the whole thing every year."
Leeke, a safety and wellbeing adviser at Rotorua Lakes Council, said she had attended the event multiple times as a spectator and was eager to get on stage herself.
"It's definitely about supporting Hospice and it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," she said.
"I've done musical theatre, so I've been on stage and I quite like being on stage. I've done tap dancing and a little bit of jazz but nothing that involves dancing with another person.
"It was really awkward at first because I don't like being that close to people. It's been okay though because we get on really well and both have a sense of humour."
She said both were enthusiastic and eager to produce their best on stage.
"I'm really hard on myself, we want to look our best and give the audience a really good show."
Tickets for Harcourts Dancing for Hospice go on sale in mid-June, 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