Strictly Air Ambulance returned to Charter Hall in Colchester on Saturday evening, raising £19,430 for Essex & Herts Air Ambulance.
Hosted for the first time by EHAAT’s Celebrity Ambassador, Lisa Snowdon, alongside ITV Presenter David Whiteley, over 800 people gathered to watch five contestants and their professional partners give it their all on the dance floor.
To add to the glitz and glamour, the spectacular evening saw performances from celebrity professional dancers Pasha Kovalev and Chloe Hewitt from the famous Strictly Come Dancing TV show. Pasha and Chloe also formed part of the judging panel, joining EHAAT CEO, Jane Gurney, Pro Latin dancer, Ben Milan Vega, and head judge Phil Meacham of Chelmsford Dance Centre.
Sponsored by TC Group and Roomes Furniture, the show followed the same familiar format as the popular TV show with each couple performing a Latin and Ballroom routine.
The friendly competition saw a high level of dancing from all the couples taking part, and the winners lifting the glitter ball trophy and the title of Strictly Air Ambulance Champions 2023, were PGA Professional at Ipswich Golf Club, Ryan Wingate, and qualified teaching professional, Crystal Main, who owns Feather Steps Dance Academy.
Ryan was delighted to win the Judges’ vote and said: “If anybody gets a chance to take part in this event then they should as it’s a fantastic thing to be a part of. I have hugely enjoyed the experience and I am really going to miss dancing with Crystal, who has been an amazing teacher and dancing partner.”
Crystal added: “As a professional, I’ve always wanted to be able to lift the glitter ball trophy and I got to do it with Ryan for this amazing charity and event. He has been the model student from start to finish and was an absolute pleasure to teach and I’m glad that my Strictly Air Ambulance experience was with him.”
EHAAT’s CEO, Jane Gurney, who opened the show dancing with choreographer and fellow judge, Ben Milan Vega, said: “As one of our highest profile events, Strictly Air Ambulance is an important fundraiser for us. So far we have raised an impressive £19,430, however the overall total is still increasing as people continue to donate, which we are very grateful for”.
“It costs £750,000 a month to keep us flying, providing life-saving pre-hospital emergency care to our local communities 24/7. Our service is provided free of charge, but the charity receives limited direct funding from the Government, so we rely heavily on the generosity of the people and businesses of Essex and Hertfordshire.”
To read the contestants stories, and to donate, please visit www.ehaat.org/events/strictly.