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Oh, What a Night!

posted 9 Mar 2015, 02:42 by Jarlath McCann
Strictly Ballyhegan 2015
Saturday 28th February
Armagh City Hotel


An eager crowd of appox 500 packed into the Armagh City Hotel on Saturday 28th February to see Strictly Ballyhegan 2015.

Eight brave couples have been practicing and fundraising enthusiastically in their spare time since early November with choreographer Linda May to ensure everyone in the crowd were treated to the best show possible. Our cast featured players from both our senior mens and ladies teams, Club members and non-members of the Club from outside the community who committed to take part and fitted in and were made welcome like they had been around the Club their whole lives.

As the dancers arrived at the Armagh City Hotel they were blown away by the set-up. The huge stage, extravagant lights and sound system did not deter them however.

The night got underway with our two hosts for the evening – Sheena Kelly and Gerry Cunningham – taking the stage to welcome everyone and introduce each couple to the crowd. As the dancers left the stage to prepare to come out for the opening group dance, the crowd were treated to a wonderful performance from some of the kids from Ballyhegan who put on a fantastic group dance routine to get the crowd in the mood and also raise the bar for the main dancers who were due to take the stage next!

The guys performed a brilliant routine to open the show and really got the audience cheering. Sheena and Gerry once more took to the stage to introduce our judges for the night as the couples went off to prepare for their first dance. The judging panel of Louise Fahey (Choreographer), Justin McNulty (SDLP Parliamentary candidate and former Armagh All-Ireland winning footballer) and Fr. Oliver Brennan (Parish Priest of Stonebridge/Mullavilly) said they were looking forward to a great night’s entertainment and dancing.   

One by one our couples stood under the spotlight to perform their Salsa dance. Colleen & Tony first followed by Eimear & Connor, Eve and Shane, Gemma & Chris, Roisin & Plunkett, Bronagh & Philip, Ciara & Jarlath and lastly Moya & Paul. All three judges commented briefly after each dance and not a negative word was said – a tribute to the effort and performance of all the dancers.

After a short interval the judges took their seats once more as each couple, in the same order as before, came out to perform their second dance – a freestyle which meant they could do anything they wanted!

By the reaction of the audience they were certainly impressed as they witnessed everything from Tarzan & Jane to Barbie and Ken, 1920’s Charleston to 1970’s Disco, movie inspired routines from the Full Monty to Titanic and medleys featuring hip-hop music, Queen and even the YMCA!! It’s safe to say every taste was catered for. Despite all the gravity defying lifts involved there were no incidents or injuries thankfully…well maybe a wee kick to the head (you know who are!!)

Our judges voted for the winner of the Salsa dance and the Freestyle dance was decided by the audience as they voted for their favourite but putting money (£1 per vote) into each couple’s bucket as it circulated the room.

Once all the votes had been counted Sheena & Gerry, along with Club Chairman Seamus McCann took to the stage to present the winners trophies for the Salsa to Gemma McCourt & Chris Grimley and the Freestyle winners’ trophies to Eve Lavery & Shane Morgan. Congratulations to the winners but really every couple won going by the reactions they received from the crowd.

Huge thanks to everyone who made the night happen, to everyone who turned up on the night and finally to our dancers – the stars of the show!
**Keep an eye out this week on the Club Facebook page for some great pictures from the night.**