TWELVE couples danced up a storm in the Strictly St Leonard’s final in Tadcaster.

A crowd of 300 people watched in awe at the Riley-Smith Hall on Saturday as the couples took to the floor to perform a selection of dances including the Jive, the Waltz and the Viennese Waltz.

The contestants had spent the previous six weeks in the hands of British Amateur Latin Sequence Dance Champion, Chris Robinson learning a group dance as well as individual dances.

On the evening,

The panel, made up of Chris Robinson, journalist and broadcaster Harry Gration, and senior lecturer of Dance at York St John University Nicola Forshaw, selected winners in three categories. The award of ‘Top Fundraisers’ went to nurses Ben Rennison and Gill Wilson who raised more than £3,500 for St Leonard’s.

Most improved dancers were mother and daughter duo Julie and Emma Weston and the most improved individual was announced as Jake Broadbent of Tadcaster, who won the hearts of the audience who gave him and partner Shannen Midgley a standing ovation.

However, it was dentists Claire and Peter Nixon from Copmanthorpe who flossed their way to a win.

A St Leonard's spokesman said: “It was amazing to see the transformation of the couples over the six week period and they all did so fantastically well on the night in front of a supportive audience of family, friends and colleagues. It was an amazing night and money is still being counted and sponsorship money is still coming in but it is expected that the event will have raised over £21,000 for St Leonard’s Hospice."

If you’re interested in taking part next year phone 01904 777 777.