July 18th 2014


A Royal Navy Reservist, who lives in Northampton, is swapping his military uniform for dance attire to take part in an annual charity dance contest.

Able Seaman Steve Dunkley, aged 32, is currently serving with HMS Sherwood, the East Midlands’ only Royal Navy Reserve (RNR) unit, as well as working full-time as a Cleansing Manager at Wellingborough Norse Ltd, a partnership company of Wellingborough Council.

The dance contest hopes to raise thousands of pounds for Cynthia Spencer Hospice in Northamptonshire and has been organised by the Northampton Chronicle and Echo, BBC Radio Northampton, Image magazine and Step By Step Dance School.

Explaining why he decided to take part in the competition Steve said: “This is a great opportunity for me to help raise the profile of HMS Sherwood in Northamptonshire. Each of the contestants, including me, will be paired with a professional dancer throughout the process which is lucky as my only real dancing experience is on nights out and using ‘Just Dance’ on my Wii!

“Taking part in a dance contest is not something I have ever considered before but the competition is for a great charity which is bigger and more significant than my own apprehension. This is also an opportunity for a new experience that doesn’t come along every day.”

This year’s Strictly Northampton is being officially launched at Aspers Casino in Northampton on Thursday 17 July and training will begin in October.

The contestants are set to dance their way towards the winner’s trophy on 22 November at the Royal and Derngate Theatre in Northampton.

Steve continued: “I’m planning to set up a Just Giving web-page so that my friends and family can support me in raising money for charity. Tickets are on sale now for our performance. I’m quite nervous as there could be up to 1,300 people in the audience, but hopefully some of my colleagues from HMS Sherwood will come along to cheer me on.”