And finally… ballroom blitz

And finally... ballroom blitz

A construction worker is undertaking a 24-hour ballroom dancing marathon to raise money for Diabetes UK.

Lee Marsh has been taking lessons for three months in preparation for the fundraiser, in which he aims to do around 300 dances.

The challenge starts today at Boldre War Memorial Hall, Boldre in Hampshire at 6pm and ends at the same time tomorrow.

Lee told the New Milton Advertiser & Lymington Times: “I have been doing charity challenges for the last 13 years and this is by far the hardest I’ve faced. I had never ballroom danced before taking the lessons – even though my wife Sharon, who is a dancer, has been begging me to take it up for the 33 years we have been married!

“My oldest daughter Natalie is also a dancer so both of them will be partnering me at various times during the marathon. It is the challenge of remembering the steps as much as keeping on my feet for such a long time that is the tricky part.”

Lee (56), from Lymington, is one of the founder members of The Musketeers fundraising group, which has carried out charity challenges over the last 13 years.

He said: “It started as pub talk really when two close friends and an aunt were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and me and some pals decided we wanted to do something to help them.

“We undertook a fundraising event that year and it has developed since. Last year we drove Minis round the coast of Britain without sat nav and raised £11,500 for Great Ormond Street.”

Lee, a construction consultant who is used to working on building sites, said the “biggest reaction” he has had to his latest venture has been from co-workers.

“They all think I am mad,” he said.

He has learnt six dances for the marathon – the waltz, tango, social fox, rumba, salsa, and cha-cha. Lee has been taking ballroom lessons with Michelle Chap, of MLC Dance in Southbourne.

Lee said: “She is very pleased with me and says I have picked up dancing very quickly.”

His fundraiser will be taking place at Boldre Memorial Hall, with anyone welcome to come and join in.

“They can either partner me or come down and have a dance themselves,” he said.

“I will be taking comfort breaks but aim to dance as much as I can. I did a three-hour practice run the other day and managed 48 dances. All I am worried about is my legs holding out.”

There will also be a raffle to raise money for the charity. Join the fundraising here.

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