Sunday, 21 April 2024
Sunday, 21 April 2024

Hospice staff member Gio lifts the Glitter Ball trophy

GIO Castro and Beth Williams have been crowned the winners of the first-ever Strictly Francis House.

Hospice care team member Gio performed like a pro with a confident Jive, thrilling the audience of 150 enthusiastic families, friends and colleagues.

Performing with competitive dancer Beth, Gio’s characterisation of Hairspray’s ‘You can’t stop the beat’, wowed the judges who scored it a perfect 40.

Hospice staff member Gio lifts the Glitter Ball trophy
Strictly line up of the ten amateur dancers and their competitive dance partners.

The event at Shrigley Hall, saw the ten intrepid dance pairs take to the floor, to put into practice six weeks of dance lessons from Topaz Dance in Stretford.

Fellow competitors included Sharon Doodson and Angela Doyle of Francis House, Lucy Hart of Sinclair Law, Vicci Coffey of Champions Accountants, Lisa Rigby and Aimee Simms of San Carlo, Adi Steel, Jeremy Engineer and Joseph Butcher, and between them, they raised a glittering £8,080 plus Gift Aid for Francis House.

Hospice staff member Gio lifts the Glitter Ball trophy
Gio Castro performing his winning Jive with competitive dance partner Beth Williams.

Gio said:

“On the night we were all very nervous and excited at the same time. You could feel the energy and the love from everybody.

“I definitely enjoyed my Jive. Of course, it wasn’t technically perfect, but I gave it my all because I knew that I wasn’t just doing it for myself, I was dancing for my family and friends, most importantly, for all the Francis House families and supporters.

“To be announced as the first ever Strictly Francis House winner was unbelievable. I am very happy, and I feel really proud about my dance. To be called a winner was truly awesome.

“Lifting that glitter ball trophy not only acknowledged me winning, but also the success of every other participant who gave 100 per cent in every dance practice and during their performance that night.”

“Big thanks to my partner Chris, to all my friends and colleagues and to Topaz Dance, Pat, Tony, Zoe and my amazing dance partner Beth, the judges who gave me the straight tens and to everyone who donated.”

Hospice staff member Gio lifts the Glitter Ball trophy
Strictly Francis House judges left to right: Eamonn O’Neal, Helen Hughes, Sally Carman and Lewis Crowder.

The judging panel included actor Sally Carman who plays Abi Franklin in Coronation Street; Eamonn O’Neal, BBC radio presenter, TV presenter and Deputy Lieutenant of Greater Manchester; Helen Hughes, a professional IDTA dance teacher and Lewis Crowder, a competitive dancer for more than 15 years.

Pat Savage from Topaz Dance in Stretford said on the night:

“Topaz Dance were delighted to be involved in the Strictly event for Francis House. The standard of dancing and showmanship acquired by the competitors, in such a short period of training was fantastic and truly reflected their commitment and passion for fundraising for such an amazing cause.”


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