HIP-HOPPERS Richard Hamer and Virginia Jeeves stole the show at Saturday night’s Edge Realty Dancing with the Stars, wowing the judges and the audience with their energy and powerful stage presence.

THIS year’s winning couple at the Edge Realty Dancing With the Stars, Virginia Jeeves and Richard Hamer, wowed the judges with their hip-hop dance moves.

The judges said the couple – one of 10 contesting the event at the Whakatane War Memorial Centre on Saturday night – “nailed” it with their style and energy and the dance was “good enough to watch again”.

“You drove the audience wild,” former ACT party leader and one of the four judges David Seymour said.

The audience was so enthralled by the couple, they also voted them winners People’s Choice Award.

Mrs Jeeves said when she was asked to participate in the event she was hesitant at first.

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“I thought should I do it, do I really fit that mould?” she said.

“I also thought if I didn’t do it, I would regret it so why not give it my best shot.”

She said the success had a lot to do with the on-stage presence she and partner Mr Hamer shared.

“I have a big personality and Richard has a big personality,” she said.

Mrs Jeeves was especially proud that she was able to help a worthy cause and was thankful for the support from family and friends.

“It was fun, and it was great to raise money for the Life Education Trust,” she said.

Mr Hamer, Whakatane’s Bluelight co-ordinator, said his life plan did not include becoming a performer.

“I’ve never planned on dancing on stage in my life. I get up in front of young people all the time but preparing for something and being judged was completely out of my comfort zone,” he said.

He said as nerve wracking as it might have been at times, it was well worth the effort and he would recommend giving it a try.

“I would say definitely do it, especially if it puts you outside your comfort zone,” he said.

“Just believe in yourself and push yourself beyond your own barriers.”

Monica Julian and Simon Kolo’ofa’i were awarded “Overall Best” for their disco-themed medley and Kelly Dench and Troy Baker received the “Best Costume Award” for their 1950s rock ‘n’ roll outfits.

Event organiser and benefactor Life Education Trust EBOP chairman John Spring said the effort put into the night resulted in a first-class experience for all involved.

“We had a fantastic night. The dancers put on a brilliant show, and the crowd went wild. Our project manager Jo Finlay, with her team, did an amazing job. It was a really high standard event,” he said.

He said he wanted to show his appreciation to the people behind the scenes who dedicated their time for a worthy cause.

“Thanks to all our sponsors for their support, especially Edge Realty. We hope to make at least $60,000 to help run the Life Education Trust programme for our children in 2019.”

mark.rieder@thebeacon.co.nz