'Strictly' dancers limber up for sold-out charity extravaganza
THEY'VE suffered broken bones and torn ligaments but the show will go on for a dozen celebrity dancers as they prepare for the final showdown of the Strictly Against Breast Cancer charity dance extravaganza.
Hobbling in on a pair of crutches after tearing the ligaments in his leg doing the Charleston, Dublin North TD Finian McGrath showed up to support his ballroom dance colleagues at their final rehearsals.
The countdown is now on to the sold-out charity event for Breast Cancer Ireland at the Dublin Convention Centre next Saturday.
"I'm genuinely upset that I missed it again," Mr McGrath said as he was forced to sit on the sidelines during the bi-weekly rehearsals as 24 volunteer dancers, including cancer survivors, prepare for the competition modelled after 'Strictly Come Dancing'.
But he wasn't the only casualty as the dancers, including celebrity chef Nick Munier, 'Dragons' Den' entrepreneur Bobby Kerr and former Miss Ireland Lynn Kelly, perfected their moves under the guidance of choregraphers.
Accountant and father-of-five Damien Gallagher (55), from Sutton, refused to let the broken thumb on his right hand stop him from perfecting his 'Dirty Dancing' routine with writer Emma Hannigan, who is battling cancer for the eighth time.
"The show will go on, I guarantee," he said despite the cast on his hand.
Ms Hannigan (41), from Bray, Co Wicklow, who discovered she carried the high-risk BRCA gene in 2005, is refusing to let her latest cancer scare keep her down.
"What Breast Cancer Ireland is trying to achieve is turning cancer from a potentially deadly illness to a chronic illness that can be managed," she said.