Members of the Cancer Council team, along with charity volunteers and consultants, joined the twelve Stars - local business and community leaders - for the announcement of the dance categories they will be assigned for the competition finale.
In the tradition of Strictly Ballroom and Dancing with the Stars, the local heroes will be paired with professional dancers from Tempo Red Academy of Performing Arts and Arthur Murray Dance Centres, both located in Brookvale. These dynamic duos will be tasked with learning a routine in a style that has been randomly chosen for them. Dance genres include Contemporary, Jazz, Cha Cha, West Coast Swing, Freestyle, Foxtrot and brand new category for 2018, Country.
Once assigned their dance styles, the Stars will begin eight weeks of rigorous training and fundraising, ultimately leading to a performance of their routines on Saturday 14th of April, for the Charity Gala Dinner atMiramare Gardens, Terrey Hills.
The Stars for 2018 - local community and business leaders from the Northern Beaches will dance their way to fund-raising success (photo credit Carlos Velasco c/o- Cancer Council NSW)
Luke Cameron, Partner & Head of Franchise, Stone Real Estate - Country
Merryn McLachlan, Founder of Soul Safaris, Writer and Mum - Contemporary
Andrew Daubney, Director & Head Practitioner, Rebound Health - Foxtrot
Vanessa Moskal, Former Councilor at Warringah Council - Swing
Ann Doughan, Director, Patioland - Samba
Dave Selwood, Club Manager & Exercise Scientist at Anytime Fitness Narrabeen - Cha Cha
Daniela Mills, Personal Assistant to Stephen Crawford at Col Crawford - West Coast Swing
Nicole Gama, Editor at Northern Beaches Mums - Jazz
Luisa Mastroianni, Owner of LM hair - Cabaret
From left to right - Nicole Gama, Editor at Northern Beaches Mums, Daniela Mills, PA at Col Crawford, Diana Sakaris, Owner of Tempo Red Academy of Performing Arts and 2018 Judge, and Amelia Sakaris, Dance Teacher (photo credit Carlos Velasco c/o- Cancer Council NSW)
Dancing aside, Stars of the Beaches and Cancer Council NSW's sister event, Stars of the North, are fundamentally about community. The common ground uniting everyone involved, is an experience with cancer, either in the Star's own lives, or those of friends and family. 2017 Judge's Choice and Highest Fundraiser, Brett Luhrmann (CEO, Luhrmann Group), spoke inspirationally of the importance of using the event platform to devote every effort to raising funds for Cancer Council NSW. With $82,000 raised last year, the 2018 Stars have their work cut out for them, and while early nerves were evident at the launch, enthusiasm for the cause was the over-riding tone of the proceedings.
With 1 in 2 Australians diagnosed with cancer by the age of 85, never before has the money raised from such an event been so important. Funds from Stars of the Beaches will go towards cancer research, prevention programs, advocacy, and support services to help those affected by cancer. That's certainly something to dance about.
From left to right, Michael Regan, Northern Beaches Mayor (and 2018 Judge) and 2018 Star Cameron Merchant, professional cricket player (photo credit Carlos Velasco c/o- Cancer Council NSW)
You can also support the event by sponsoring a contestant anytime prior to the grand finale, or donating money on the night, in support of your favourite local hero. All contestants will be vying to win the People's Choice, the Judge's Choice and the Highest Fundraiser awards. The friendly competition is sure to heat up, making things only more interesting and entertaining for the crowd.
I attended a Cancer Council NSW Stars event in 2017 and had a ball. The contestants excelled and donations surpassed all expectations. I heartily recommend you grab a group of friends, book a table and support this fun event and brilliant cause.