After a year-long 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.
Teenagers Liam Rehu and Kaitlin Hyde may be one of the youngest pairs in this year's Harcourts Dancing for Hospice, but they are not letting their relative youth hold them back.
Hyde is no stranger to being on stage, she was second runner-up in the Miss Rotorua 2020 pageant, but ballroom dancing is a whole new challenge.
Meanwhile, just being on stage will be a new experience for Rehu. However, he has watched both his parents participate in Harcourts Dancing for Hospice - his dad Warren in 2017 and mum Sharon in 2018.
Despite this, Rehu said, for the most part his parents were taking a back seat and letting him enjoy the experience for himself.
"It's going really well," Rehu said.
"We just need to finish off a few bits, then fine-tune it and we're good to go. This will be my first time on the big stage. I'm nervous, but really excited.
"My parents have let me go out and experience it how I want to, figure it out for myself."
Hyde said learning to dance with a stranger was "testing at times", but the pair were enjoying themselves.
"We're getting on with the dance and it's exciting," she said.
"The tutors have been amazing, they're the best."
Both were enthusiastic about supporting Rotorua Community Hospice.
"It's very good to be part of such a big fundraiser for such a good cause," Rehu said.
"All the families out there that are in need, can't really get it without Hospice. Without them, a lot of families would suffer.
"We've learned a lot about Hospice, it's been really eye-opening, how much they do for people."
Hyde said she had recently seen first hand how valuable the service Hospice provided was.
"Before I entered into this, I hadn't had a personal experience with Hospice but just after I signed the contract I found out an aunty had just been admitted to Hospice," she said.
"Also, on the first night all the dancers got together, it was amazing to hear the stories. Everyone had a story to do with Hospice and it's an honour to be able to support a cause like this."
The dancers are now halfway through the process with about six weeks left until the big dance on August 7.
Hyde and Rehu agreed that while they were feeling the pressure a little, remembering the cause and the fact they were all there to support Hospice made it easier.
"I try not to think too much into [the performance] because I get too inside my own head, so I'm just trying to roll with it," Hyde said.
"I try to enjoy it as much as I can, make her laugh every now and then," Rehu said.
"You've got to have fun and we get along well."
Tickets for Harcourts Dancing for Hospice go on sale on June 28 and will be available via Ticketmaster. 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: 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 Peterson