It’s the foxtrot for our newshound!

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THE Gazette’s news editor Victoria West will be putting on her dancing shoes this Sunday as she and her dance partner, Bovingdon-based Michael Carillo, kick off their training in preparation for the Hospice of St Francis’ Strictly Learn Dance Competition.

Next month they’ll be going head to head with other participants as they don the sequins and twirl around the dance floor for charity.

News editor Victoria West and Michael Carillo are competing in Strictly Learn Dancing in aid of Berkhamsted's Strictly Learn Dancing competition.

News editor Victoria West and Michael Carillo are competing in Strictly Learn Dancing in aid of Berkhamsted's Strictly Learn Dancing competition.

Journalist Vicky did ballet, tap and modern as a child but as a boxer the only dancing Michael has ever done is around a ring.

Vicky said: “I’m really looking forward to learning some new dance moves, having some fun and, most importantly, helping a fantastic cause.”

Michael is a more reticent participant but by February perhaps he too will have fallen for the magic of dance.

After all, the hospice’s inaugural competition held at the end of 2010 prompted previous competitors to talk of reigniting relationships, getting fit, losing weight, and continuing to dance long after the grand finale ended.

So who knows what hidden benefits the new batch of competitors may discover?

This year’s training will once again be undertaken by the wonderful Shirley and Brian Cusworth from the Baila-Cusworth Dance School in Hemel, although the novice dancers will be learning to waltz and jive instead of the 2010 tango and cha cha cha.

The venue also moves from the cavernous Hemel Hempstead Sportspace, which was packed to the rafters with an 800-strong audience for the first competition, to the Centenary Hall in Berkhamsted.

The dancers will each receive six weeks’ tuition before getting the chance to show off their skills at the Grand Finale Spectacular on Saturday, February 25.

For further information about the competition please contact Fran Martin by email at fran.martin@stfrancis.org.uk or call the fundraising team on 01442 869555.

And don’t forget to watch out for weekly training updates from our news editor and potential jive genius Vicky.

You can also sponsor her at www.justgiving.com/victoriaandmichael