Radlett friends' success in dance-off competition

PUBLISHED: 11:56 10 February 2010 | UPDATED: 14:53 06 May 2010

Michelle Newman and partner - photo by Yakir Zur

Michelle Newman and partner - photo by Yakir Zur

TWO friends from Radlett put on their dancing shoes to take part in a competition in aid of an international humanitarian organisation. Michelle Newman and Alex Pomerance were among six novices who teamed up with professional dancers for the Strictly Come

TWO friends from Radlett put on their dancing shoes to take part in a competition in aid of an international humanitarian organisation.

Michelle Newman and Alex Pomerance were among six novices who teamed up with professional dancers for the Strictly Come Dancing-style contest to raise money for World Jewish Relief (WJR).

It was the fifth time that the charity had hosted the Kiss Come Dancing competition, which saw the amateurs start rehearsing with their dancing partners back in September and take to the stage at the end of last month.

Although Michelle, 46, from The Grove, did ballet and tap as a three-year-old, she had not danced until she teamed up with professional Matthew Hearn to learn the jive.

The pair performed the dance to the song Do You Love Me from the film Dirty Dancing - the theme of this year's event.

Alex, 48, from Folly Close, was the only man in the competition and he did the jive to Johnny Be Good with dancing partner Kimberley Mitchell, complete with two lifts.

Both dancers won praise from the judging panel but Michelle, a mother-of-three, got through to the final three in the competition before narrowly missing out on the crown.

She said: "It has been amazing. I've loved every second of it even though I'm absolutely terrible! It has just been a really good laugh."

Alex, a father-of-three, said: "The competition was the first time I did all the steps in the right order without stopping, I kept in time and my arm position.

"I was the only man dancing so I think every guy in the room was on my side!"

"When I first started going to rehearsals I thought it was the biggest mistake I had ever made. I thought I could do a bit of dancing but it was more difficult than I thought."

The competition has also got Michelle involved with the North London-based WJR, which is dedicated to fighting human suffering and supporting those at risk or in crisis around the world. She said: "I hadn't had any involvement with the charity at the beginning but I've been doing a lot of research and it's fantastic. I've been up to their factory to pack clothes into boxes for the Ukraine and I'm also planning to go on one of their missions.

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