This year's Harcourts Dancing for Hospice stars are stepping in to their first week of action.
They may be dancing novices now but the 10 to-be-paired couples have until August 20 to perfect their performances in time for the big night.
Now in its sixth year, Rotorua Hospice fundraising and marketing manager Jessica Meade said about 2100 people would be able to attend the event this year at the Rotorua Energy Events Centre.
The goal of the evening is to raise $120,000 to enable Hospice to care for and support more than 420 patients with a terminal illness each year.
"It is one of the most glamourous, spectacular events of the year."
The Rotorua Daily Post can reveal Annemarie Gallagher as the first contestant to be named, while the rest of her fellow competitors will be announced in a week's time.
Gallagher said she had originally been asked to dance in 2020, but the event had been cancelled due to the pandemic.
At the time she was the marathon convener at Lakes City Athletic Club and in 2020 partnered with Athletics New Zealand for the Kia Tū, Kia Ora marathon clinic.
There were about 80 runners training for the Rotorua Marathon and as part of that, she wanted to incorporate a fundraising element.
"We chose Rotorua Hospice because they are local . . . our runners raised over $25,000 for Hospice."
Now, she "finally" had the opportunity to dance, and was very excited, she said.
"I'm looking forward to the challenge, it's something I've never done before."
For her, Hospice was the centre of the community.
"Everybody needs Hospice at some point in their lives with loved ones. It's just really important to support it and look after it and keep it going."
The participants would meet for the first time this week, before being set up with their dance partners.
The instructors will get to see everyone dancing together and will pair them off with who they think work well together.
Tickets will be on sale in July.
Follow Harcourts Dancing for Hospice on Facebook or check out www.rotoruahospice.co.nz for all the latest updates.