Contestants to the Dancefloor Please!

Strictly Ballroom September - Alyson's Experience

Friday 30th September 2016

2016 saw the return of Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation’s annual Strictly Ballroom evenings.

After we were inundated with entry forms for this year’s events, Alyson Fadil was selected as one of the 10 hot-steppers to take the floor in September’s evening, along with professional dancer Mark Garrity from Liverpool’s Fusion Ballroom Dance Academy.

After tirelessly fund-raising and completing her journey to the floor, here’s Alyson’s take on her Strictly Ballroom experience:

In the great words of psychologist Susan Jeffers:
Feel the fear and do it anyway.

Taking ourselves out of our comfort zone is something that many want to do but struggle. The fear of failure, or worse, being hurt or looking stupid certainly plays on the mind.

Having never danced before, with a partner I had never met before- filled me with excitement and anticipation. The plan was after ten dance lessons with my professional dance partner Mark Garrity, I would take to the dance floor in front of three hundred people and perform the Tango.

Rehearsing, I found the Tango really hard technically, leading to moments of great frustration. The routine just wouldn’t stick. I left one of the earlier sessions feeling anxious, annoyed with myself and totally deflated.

Never one to give up or let anyone down, particularly Mark and my supporters who had donated to Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, I became determined to get it right.

Obsessively, I watched the recording of the routine over and over. Waking up in the night to go through my dance steps. Hearing The Police shouting “Roxanne” became almost unbearable.

I tackled the final lessons and finally the routine finally started to take shape.

Before long, performance day had arrived. I knew I was in safe hands, Mark was the total professional he’d been throughout our journey. That didn’t stop my head filling with apprehension.  We took to the floor; “No going back now.” The music began.

On Saturday 10th September, I certainly felt the fear.

One step, two steps. A new found confidence emerged. I was totally smitten- I was finally dancing! In the final moments of the dramatic ending I felt exhilarated, proud that I had done it anyway.

Hours later as the adrenalin dispersed, I felt totally exhausted. Every bone in my body aching. “Roxanne’ bounced around my head like a sledge hammer.

What I wasn’t expecting was the realisation that through this process, I had felt really vulnerable. I learnt a lot about myself, it had tested my resilience, ability to focus and determination. This journey had given me so much more in personal development than I had ever expected, while raising essential funds to support those living with lung cancer.

My strictly experience has enabled me to be a better version of myself and I would totally recommend that you feel fear, and do it anyway.

Alyson Fadil

It wasn’t just Alyson that Fox-Trotted to fundraise either:

What an incredible, unforgettable experience! It has been a real privilege to be part of something that has helped raise money for such an incredibly worthy cause- I’ve made some lifelong friends along the way.” 
Helene Law            

“Thank you for putting on a great event- it was so much fun! I will treasure the experience.”
Rob Monks                                                                                                  

And the winner of the evening was the spectacular Laura:

I want to say a massive thank you for such an amazing experience - I’m still having flash backs from Saturday, the whole night went at such speed. The icing on the cake was winning it and I can’t wait to see the film!”
Laura Kent  

Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation would like to thank all those that took part for making the night one of our best yet- your determination to make a difference means we’re one Cha-Cha closer to killing cancer.

November 26th will see 10 more would be Salsa-superstars take the floor and look to wow our judges. Check back for more updates and clips from the evenings soon!

For further information and for tickets to the next Strictly Ballroom events, please contact or ring 0333 323 7200.

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