Article: Strictly duo to star at WDSA showcase

Kevin and Karen. Photo by Adam James Photography

Kevin and Karen. Photo by Adam James Photography

Strictly Come Dancing’s Karen Hauer and Kevin Clifton will be the special guests at the Wheelchair Dance Sport Association (WDSA) showcase event at The Auction House on Friday, June 19.

The aim of the event is to promote the opportunities sport can offer in the community and paralympic sport.

Mary Holding, marketing and social media intern for WDSA UK, said: “We want to showcase all of the things we do at the WDSA.

“A lot of people who use wheelchairs do not have the confidence to dance, we hope to change that and show them that they can dance again.

“Dancing helps both physically and mentally, and it helps people socialise and make new friends, it can also help with physiotherapy.”

There will be a number of different dancers showcasing their moves on the dance floor and WDSA Patrons Kevin and Karen will be joining them.

Karen said: “Kevin and I have always believed that dance can touch the hearts of everyone and no one should be excluded from the joy of moving to music in whatever capacity that may be.

“We are thrilled to continue our support as Patrons of the WDSA (UK), and attend the Showcase Dinner and Dance event in June.

“This evening will show that Wheelchair Dance Sport is a great way of having fun, being active and engaging everyone.

“We look forward to continue, playing an active part in helping the charity achieve its objectives and making this a night people will never forget.”

Guests will also enjoy a three course dinner and a silent auction.

Mary added: “We are hoping it will be a great event, there will be a lot of dancing.”

To buy tickets, visit: http://www.wdsauk.co.uk/showcase

Source: Luton Today

Article: ‘Grimsby is the real world’ – Guy Martin and other stars of film on why Grimsby is Great

Kevin Clifton & Karen Hauer

Keith and Judy Clifton

“TOGETHER the ports of Grimsby and Immingham are the busiest in the UK,” says Grimsby dance star and film narrator Joanne Clifton.

And so she kicks off the Great Grimsby film created by former Labour MP Austin Mitchell, his wife Linda McDougall and their son Jonathan, a 27-minute picture designed to showcase the best of our great town.

As reported, the idea for the film was conceived as a reaction to the negative publicity Grimsby has received in recent months, first in Channel 4’s controversial second series of documentary Skint, as well as the upcoming Sacha Baron Cohen film Grimsby.

It shows Strictly Come Dancing professional Kevin Clifton and fiancee Karen Hauer enjoying a stroll along the beach at Cleethorpes.

The latter describes it as her “home away from home”.

“The whole place is beautiful,” Kevin tells her.

The film then takes the audience on a journey through the town’s fishing heritage, and right up to the flourishing wind energy sector.

Martyn Boyers, chief executive of Grimsby Fish Market, tells how the town plays a vital role in feeding the nation.

“More white fish is bought, sold, processed, packed and dispatched from Grimsby than anywhere else in Europe,” the narrator says.

Local actress Patricia Hodge then recalls how the skippers would come off the trawlers with “their pockets stuffed with cash” before enjoying the fruits of their labour.

“It is a very honest town and that is what I have always loved about it,” she says.

Renowned local firms like Icelandic Seachill are “changing the pace” in the seafood industry, explains Simon Smith, chief executive.

“The knowledge and expertise in Grimsby in filleting is the best that there is,” he says.

It is then onto the high seas with CatZero, the Humber training scheme and locally financed charity which reaches out to people without jobs or training.

Sean Cahill, of CatZero, explains how young people in the area have to have the self belief and motivation and strive for jobs in the emerging industries.

Training partnership Catch is also celebrated for its work with young people, while small business owner Alex Scales explains how Grimsby is “fantastic”.

“I have been here all my life,” she says.

“We love Grimsby.”

David Hampson, CEO of the Tollbar Multi Academy Trust, tells the film: “The greatest problem is raising aspirations in young people, it is encouraging them to believe they can be successful and that has taken a lot of time and energy.

“We have overcome that and this is now one of the most successful schools in the country with students going to Oxford, Cambridge, medical school and the like.”

Sue Middlehurst, principal at Grimsby Institute, said: “I think Grimsby is a fantastic place.

“There are so many opportunities and there is such great positivity about this town for the future.”

Champion dancers Keith and Judy Clifton are shown teaching dance skills before we see a glimpse of a young Kevin and Joanne Clifton practising their moves. Keith tells us: “There is talent all over the area and that’s why we have got a really nice dance school and the teachers to nurture that talent.

“That has manifested itself in our own children being at the top of their dancing careers.”

TV presenter Guy Martin is seen at his place of work in Grimsby, where he is a lorry mechanic.

He says: “I like Grimsby, it’s the real world isn’t it?

“There is no one trying to be anything they are not. My whole life has revolved around Grimsby. I just like it because it is home. There isn’t a better explanation than that.

“I am not famous, I am a normal bloke with a normal job that has done a few different things.”

The thriving Grimsby renewables industry then gets a nod, with the huge operations and maintenance contracts worth millions bringing a huge number of jobs for the local area.

John Fitzgerald, director of Humber Ports, says: “For us this is a real watershed. We have invested in a new river terminal and there is huge investment.

“Hundreds of millions of pounds is being invested in this river that will keep Britain powered, create a lot of jobs and give lots of prosperity in the future.”

The film ends, fittingly, with the Clifton family tucking into a plate each of fish and chips at Steels restaurant in Cleethorpes.

Source: Grimsby Telegraph

Pictures: An Evening With Karen And Kevin From Grimsby

An Evening With Karen And Kevin From Grimsby, included a host of exciting special guests, including sister Joanne Clifton, 2013 Strictly Come Dancing winner Aljaz Skorjanec, who partnered Abby Clancy to lift the glitter ball, Janette Manrara, TV astrologer and former contestant Russell Grant, Strictly choreographer Patrick Helm and new Strictly pro Giovanni Pernice.

Photo credits: Duncan Young

Source: Grimsby Telegraph

Article: Six Strictly Come Dancing stars perform at Grimsby Auditorium spectacular [Updated]

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All the stars of the show, from left, Keith and Judy Clifton, Aljaz Skorjanec, Janette Manrara, Kevin Clifton, Karen Hauer, Russell Grant, Joanne Clifton, Patrick Helm, duo Alleviate and Giovanni Pernice.

THE stars of the Strictly Come Dancing world – including Grimsby’s very own Clifton siblings – gave rousing performances at their home-coming show.

The show, An Evening With Karen And Kevin From Grimsby, included a host of exciting special guests, including sister Joanne Clifton, 2013 Strictly Come Dancing winner Aljaz Skorjanec, who partnered Abby Clancy to lift the glitter ball, Janette Manrara, TV astrologer and former contestant Russell Grant, Strictly choreographer Patrick Helm and new Strictly pro Giovanni Pernice.

“Kevin from Grimsby”, as he has become affectionately known, and his fiancée Karen Hauer, replicated the format of the hugely successful show which appeared at the same venue for the first time last year after Flash Mob, a show they were due to appear in, was cancelled at the last minute.

Speaking to the Grimsby Telegraph before the event, Kevin said: “We’ve been looking forward to this ever since we finished the show last year.

“We’re really happy with the cast and it’s great to have so many professional dancers. It’s a real treat for the fans.”

Karen added: “I’m really excited to be back. This year we really went above and beyond to get as many of our Strictly friends involved as possible.

“We really love coming here and putting on a show and it’s really nice to have everyone with us.

“Last year was great so we’ll have to go some to top that.”

The Venezuelan dancer also revealed the happy couple will be marrying in London on July 11.

Following the pair’s joint popularity on Strictly Come Dancing last year, 2015 has kicked off with a bang, seeing the couple juggle the Strictly Live Tour, their own dancing gigs, various charity activities across the country as well as planning their summer wedding.

Meanwhile, Kevin’s sister Joanne mesmerised with her dance partners, Broadway and West End dancer Patrick Helm, and Strictly’s assistant choreographer and new Strictly professional Giovanni Pernice, who made his debut UK performance here in Grimsby before he appears on the TV show.

Joanne said: “I’m really excited, it’s always good to come back and perform in my home town.

“I was here to dance in my parents’ show and here I am on Kevin and Karen’s, maybe I should start up my own.”

She also performed a special dance with celebrity astrologer Russell Grant, who she danced with on last year’s Strictly Christmas special.

Russell said: “I’m surrounded by friends tonight so I’m not feeling nervous at all, I’m feeling fine.

“It was a pleasure to be asked to come and perform with Joanne in her home town. It’s been 30 years since I’ve been here.”

Strictly’s Aljaz Skorjanec and Janette Manrara were also special guests.

“It’s always good to come back to Grimsby,” Aljaz said.

“I heard so much about it and it was my first visit last year, so I just had to come back and support Kevin and Karen.”

Three lucky competitors performed on the show with three of the Strictly dancers in a mini Strictly-style contest, hosted by the entertaining Russell Grant.

The dance novices performed a routine in front of the expectant audience after being paired with Kevin, Karen and Joanne, judged by an expert panel of Aljaz, Janette, Patrick and Giovanni.

Helen Urquhart, 43, from Waltham, convincingly took home the glitter fish trophy after her performance with Kevin wowed the sell-out crowd.

There were also performances from contemporary act Alleviate and young stars from Clifton’s Dance Academy.

Source: Grimsby Telegraph

Snippet: Whispers From The Top (Kevin and Karen talk about buying a house)

Kevin Clifton and Karen Hauer

Kevin Clifton and Karen Hauer are set to get married in July
They can waltz, tango and jive with ease, but Strictly Come Dancing lovebirds Kevin Clifton and Karen Hauer are struggling to get their dainty feet on the Capital’s property ladder.

“It is just so expensive,” laments Grimsby-born Kevin.

“I could probably buy a whole street back home for the price of a flat in London.

We cannot afford a place at the moment so we are renting in Southfields.”

Kevin, 30, who reached the final of Strictly two years ago when he partnered Susanna Reid, is marrying Karen in July but says there is “zero chance” of buying a home before then.

Source: Sunday Express