Dance event one of the first at revamped Assembly Rooms

Dancers promoting Strictly Come Prancing recreate Jack Vettriano's The Singing Butler
Dancers promoting Strictly Come Prancing recreate Jack Vettriano's The Singing Butler
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IT is the charity contest which will ensure Edinburgh keeps dancing.

Charity Aberlour Child Care Trust is set to host a new fundraising event, cheekily named Strictly Come Prancing, at the Assembly Rooms next September and will follow the style of the popular BBC TV show.

A total of 12 couples will be put through their paces when they take part in weekly ballroom dancing training before showing off their moves at the glittering event in the ballroom of the Assembly Rooms.

The George Street venue is currently being refurbished, with Strictly Come Prancing planned to be one of the official venue relaunch events.

Previous Strictly Come Prancing events have taken place at The Marcliffe Hotel in Aberdeen, which raised £15,000 for the children’s charity, and at Ayr Racecourse, which raised £20,000.

Senior fundraising and marketing executive for Aberlour Child Care Trust, Marie-Claire Jones, said: “Strictly Come Prancing at the Assembly Rooms is set to be the biggest yet, and the money raised will represent a significant difference to the lives of some of Scotland’s most vulnerable youngsters.”

Couples who would like to take part in the event, which will be held on the evening of September 15, must be ready to begin weekly rehearsals from early June next year.

When the show gets under way, dancers will take to the floor to compete in front of judges – who have yet to be confirmed – before facing an audience vote in a bid to take home the winning trophy.

Councillor Deidre Brock, the city’s culture and leisure leader, said: “This certainly sounds like a brilliant fundraising event, especially when the nation is in the grip of Strictly fever.

“The Assembly Rooms is currently undergoing a painstaking restoration so that it can resume its rightful place as one of the country’s premier events and performance venues.

“The Assembly Rooms has a long and proud heritage as the cultural hub of George Street. We can’t wait to welcome everyone back for a packed, year-round programme of events.”

Microsoft Scotland is sponsoring the Edinburgh event and hopes to encourage its corporate partners to take part by either putting forward a couple to compete, or taking a table.

Aberlour supports more than 6000 vulnerable children, young people and their families every year, helping them to overcome obstacles including disability, family breakdown and parental drug and alcohol misuse.

Guests will pay £50 per ticket, which includes a drinks reception and dinner.

To nominate a couple to dance, e-mail marie-claire.jones@aberlour.org.uk