Gio lifts the Strictly Francis House glitter ball trophy

Gio Castro and Beth Williams have been crowned the winners of the first ever Strictly Francis House.

Person holding trophy in the air with other person holding flowers after winning a dance competition

Gio Castro lifts the glitter ball trophy after winning Strictly Francis House with dance partner Beth Williams


Hospice care team member Gio, performed like a pro with a confident Jive, thrilling the audience of 150 enthusiastic families, friends and colleagues.

Performing with competitive dancer Beth, Gio’s characterisation of Hairspray’s ‘You can’t stop the beat’, wowed the judges who scored it a perfect 40.

The event at Shrigley Hall, saw the ten intrepid dance pairs take to the floor, to put into practice six weeks of dance lessons from Topaz Dance in Stretford.

Fellow competitors included Sharon Doodson and Angela Doyle of Francis House, Lucy Hart of Sinclair Law, Vicci Coffey of Champions Accountants, Lisa Rigby and Aimee Simms of San Carlo, Adi Steel, Jeremy Engineer and Joseph Butcher, and between them they raised a glittering £8,080 plus Gift Aid for Francis House.

Two people dancing on a dance floor

Strictly winning performance with Gio and Beth

Gio said: “On the night we were all very nervous and excited at the same time. You could feel the energy and the love from everybody.

“I definitely enjoyed my Jive. Of course it wasn’t technically perfect but I gave it my all because I knew that I wasn’t just doing it for myself, I was dancing for my family and friends, most importantly, for all the Francis House families and supporters.

“To be announced as the first ever Strictly Francis House winner was unbelievable. I am very happy and I feel really proud about my dance. To be called a winner was truly awesome.

“Lifting that glitter ball trophy not only acknowledged me winning, but also the success of every other participant who gave 100 per cent in every dance practice and during their performance that night.”

“Big thanks to my partner Chris, to all my friends and colleagues and to Topaz Dance, Pat, Tony, Zoe and my amazing dance partner Beth, the judges who gave me the straight tens and to everyone who donated.”

The judging panel included actor Sally Carman who plays Abi Franklin in Coronation Street, Eamonn O’Neal, BBC radio presenter, TV presenter and Deputy Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, Helen Hughes, a professional IDTA dance teacher and Lewis Crowder, a competitive dancer for more than 15 years.

How the judges voted

Dancers and danceScore
Gio and Beth, dancing the Jive 40
Joe and Melissa, dancing the Cha Cha39
Vicci and Elliot, dancing the Samba 37
Aimee and Amelia, dancing the Jive 36
Sharon and Cameron, dancing the Viennese Waltz 35
Lisa and Sam, dancing the Mambo 34
Jeremy and Alex, dancing the Tango 33
Angela and Chris, dancing the Cha Cha 32
Lucy and Gregory, dancing the quickstep 32
Adi and Holly, dancing the Rumba 29

“Topaz Dance were delighted to be involved in the Strictly event for Francis House. The standard of dancing and showmanship acquired by the competitors, in such a short period of training was fantastic and truly reflected their commitment and passion for fundraising for such an amazing cause.”

Pat Savage from Topaz Dance


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