With just over a week to go, it is coming down to perfecting the fine details for seven local celebrities appearing in the second annual Dancing with the Richmond Stars charity fundraiser.
The dancers have been paired with instructors since January and have been busy honing their three-minute routines.
And, on March 2 at the The Grand Ballroom in Ironwood, they will put it all on the line in front of about 250 onlookers in support of the Richmond Hospice Association.
Karina Laplame, manager of human resources at the City of Richmond. said she has been making steady progress under the guidance of her instructor Alexandr Cherdanstev to learn the samba, but has had to be reminded about correct posture to give the dance its crowning, elegant touches.
"I think I have been battling 40 years of poor posture," she said, adding a cut toe last week did not slow her down. "Somehow I managed to cut my toe without wearing ice skates," said Lapalme who was once a figure skater.
Meanwhile, Air Canada pilot Terry David said the opportunity to dance has given him the chance to force himself out of his comfort zone.
"For what I do as a living, I'm kind of a left brain type of guy," he said. "This really pushes me into some new territory."
Because of that, and the demands of his work schedule which takes him out of the country on a regular basis, David was given some "homework" by his instructor Debbie Wong to perfect portions of the quick step dance they will perform.
"That's left me practising dance steps alone in a basketball court or poolside of a hotel, much to the delight of some guests," David quipped.
Wong said she chose the quick step because David told her he wanted a dance that exuded energy.
For fellow celebrity dancer Fanny Ng, a social medical worker at Richmond Hospital, said her choice of dance was determined by her background in traditional Chinese group dances.
Her instructor Michel Guimond had Ng send him music from some of her performances and choreographed the routine from that. Since Ng is used to dancing as part of a group she said the toughest part has been learning to have a partner.
"I have to keep telling her 'wait for me.'" Guimond said. "But that's okay. If we make a mistake I said just keep smiling more."
Keeping her up nights has been the jive routine for Georgina Patko of Georgian Patko & Associates where she works as a management consultant for the non-profit industry.
"I wake up all night long thinking of what comes next in different parts of my dream," she said.
Like the others, with just a short time left it's the little things such as hand positioning and posture to put on the final touches her instructor Zillion Wong is emphasizing.
Facing a unique challenge is the husband and wife team of Lynda and Richard Terborg. They will e dancing together and will not ave the "hands-on" contact from an instructor when they take to the floor.
Coaching them is dance instructor Gilles Bettner.
"So why did I agree to do this challenging event," asked Terborg, a prominent local realtor. "In one word, fear. Dancing in front of a room full of people will be a fearful experience."
But it's one she and Richard are meeting head on to support a good cause.
"I realized this was the most important community resource we have that has truly stepped up to help us all face our biggest fear, the fear of dying," she said. "Ourselves or a loved one. Hospice provides a quality, end-of-life care with dignity and respect."
Rounding out the field is Edgewater Casino's Rick Duff and instructor Linda Chen who are going to perform the cha cha.
While the days are rapidly counting down for the competitors, so is time to buy a ticket to the March 2 event. Tickets for the dinner and dance are $125 ($50/ticket is a tax deduction) and can be purchased on the Richmond Hospice Association website at www.richmondhospiceassociation.com/dancingwithstars.
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