Keep dancing with Ballywillan Drama Group’s ‘Strictly’ event

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Strictly Come Dancing has become a firm family favourite as part of weekend telly viewing and last year Ballywillan Drama Group brought their very own version of the hit show to life at The Lodge Hotel... and this year it’s back again bigger and better!

The theme this year is the movies and features a host of local talent from around the area: some of whom you may have seen grace the stage previously and some who have been persuaded to step out from behind the scenes to step into the limelight.

The judging panel will feature dance instructor Victoria Lagan, X-Factor and The Voice contestant Roger Boyd, TV personality Sarah Travers and Richard Mairs, the Craig Revel Horwood of Ballywillan.

Richard said: “I hope the standard is better this year than last year as it bored me to tears and quite simply, the only good thing about last year’s show was ME!”

Hosting the evening are Alan McClarty and Una Culkin - BDG’s very own Bruce Forsythe and Tess Daly - both of whom are award winning actors in the world of amateur dramatics. This will be Alan’s second year as host and he couldn’t resist being part of the event again. Alan has had a sneak preview of rehearsals and commented that an amazing night is guaranteed with lots of salsas, sambas, singing and surprises.

Music for each couple will be provided on the night by a house band featuring Ian Hannah, Niamh Rogers and Gillian Brown. And if that wasn’t enough of a musical treat, fresh from performing on stage with West End sensation Rachel Tucker will be Jasmine Gardiner.

BDG is also delighted to welcome back Helen Wilkinson who will be performing a number of tracks on the evening. There will also be a special performance from members of the award-winning VLDD dance company, many of whom are also members of BDG.

So, who is dancing?

Reigning champions Adam Goudy and Kim Kelly are back to defend their title. Other couples are Martin Groves and Lindsay Nelson, Connor Smyth and Laura Fisher, Leon Woods and Alix Hull, Jim Everett and Kellyann McKillen, Paul Mallon and Natasha Calvin and husband-and-wife duo Ally and Vicky Hogg.

Vicky was also a competitor last year but this year she has taken it to a whole new level by convincing her husband Ally, who is usually found behind the scenes, to take part.

Tickets, priced at £10, are selling fast with special VIP Tables nearly sold out. Tickets are available online, from RLA Mortgages based in McAfee Properties, Coleraine or from members of the BDG Committee Members and the dancers.