RJAH Professor crowned Strictly Shropshire ballroom champion

Release Date: 11/12/2019

RJAH Professor crowned Strictly Shropshire ballroom champion

A Professor at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital (RJAH) has been crowned the inaugural winner of ballroom dancing competition, Strictly Shropshire – alongside her husband.

Professor Tracey Willis, Consultant Paediatric Neurologist at RJAH; and husband, Professor Derek Willis, who works at Severn Hospice – and also with the Trust’s Neuromuscular team – took home both glitter ball trophies at the first Strictly Shropshire dance competition – one for them being named as the overall winners and the other for being voted the audience’s winner.

The competition, which took place at the Lion Quays Hotel in Oswestry, was held in a bid to raise funds for Hope House Children's Hospice.

So far, more than £10,000 has been raised, as a result of the competition.

Tracey was one of 12 beginner dancers, who rigorously trained and undertook dance lessons ahead of the competition. She was the only competitor to dance without a professional dance partner.

She and Derek were chosen to dance the Charleston.

Other than her spell as a ballet dancer as a child and the couple having one dance lesson prior to training for the competition under their belt – which they won in a raffle – the plucky couple had no other dance experience.

Tracey said: “We were absolutely amazed and blown away to have won the competition. It really did come as a complete surprise to us both, particularly given our limited dance experience.

“We had a fantastic time taking part and in the lead-up to the competition. The Charleston was a brilliant dance to learn, it was hilarious learning it together.

“Above all though, it was brilliant to be doing something fun, that’s raising money for such an important cause. Many of our patients and their families use Hope House’s services, which is a big reason why we decided to put ourselves forward for Strictly Shropshire.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone, who has supported Derek and I, whether that was through coming along on the night to cheer us on, donating or even offering us encouragement, it’s been really appreciated.”

Another RJAH staff member to take part in the competition was Karen Price, Midland Centre for Spinal Injuries (MCSI) Outpatient Receptionist, who danced the Paso Doble, with professional dancer Ross Millar.

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