Richard Fuller’s monthly column

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The Bedford & Kempston MP writes for BedfordToday and the Times & Citizen

The crowd booed the judges and the judges provoked them back whether with a crowdpleasing 10 or an ego-crushing 4.

This was Strictly Bedford and what an outstanding two nights it proved to be.

The original intent of Strictly Bedford - inspired, organised and hosted by Reg Challinor and Cheryl Sutton of the Court School Of Dancing – was to celebrate the fun of dance, and to raise money for some worthwhile charities selected by the amateur participants.

Certainly there was a lot of fun; talking with people after their dance floor exertions, you could see there was a strong, fun team spirit. And there are plenty of happy faces at the charities too, with well over £15,000 being raised. Congratulations to everyone involved and I hope this will become an annual event.

Now, I describe my own dance style as being like that of a goat: Not pretty, and with limited sense of rhythm. So I was really impressed by the capabilities and achievements of Kerry Dennehy and Accursio Romeo, two of the judges who are local talents in dancing that have risen to international prominence.

Both Kerry and Accursio, with their respective partners devote hours of training – and incur significant cost – in pursuit of their passion.

Dance matters. It is a fun pastime for many, as well as a serious endeavour for the talented. It can bring fun and exercise to the youngest as well as the oldest in our community. It is full of international flavours that complement the diverse nature of our home town. Dance provides an insight to the subtleties of different cultures. It requires discipline and attention to detail.

Is Bedford a town that loves to dance? In these tough economic times, can events like Strictly Bedford, give us a laugh and take our mind off our troubles for an evening? I thought so. Hats off to Reg, Cheryl and to all those pairs of sore feet!