Blackpool Tower Ballroom is famous for being the home of dance, but what about the top of the tower?
A team of women, who all attend Wendy Holland’s Fitness Studio in Thornton, performed a Cancer Slam at the top of the tower to promote the forthcoming Race for Life on Blackpool Promenade.
The Race for Life Cancer Slam was a special dance created to capture the energy and spirit of Race for Life, with the message ‘Cancer, we’re coming to get you.’
The Cancer Slam will also be performed by thousands of women as part of a rousing warm-up at more than 230 Race for Life events around the UK this summer.
The team – dubbed the WHF Warriors – included women of all ages from children to pensioners and was led by fitness instructor and choreographer Wendy Barratt, who will also be leading thousands in the warm-up prior to the Blackpool Race for Life next month.
Wendy, 37, said: “Lots of my members took part in Race for Life last year, but this time we decided to join forces as a team, and we’re all really looking forward to raising lots of money for a very worthwhile cause.
“Some of the women who attend my classes have either survived cancer or have family members who are battling the disease, so it gave us all the more reason to join forces and sign up to Race for Life.
“Taking part in the Cancer Slam at the top of Blackpool Tower was great fun.”
The team performed in tribute to the courage of one of their members, Angela Smith, from Thornton.
Angela said: “I was 39 when I was diagnosed with cancer. I was completely devastated, I couldn’t believe it was happening to me. At the time I thought, cancer is what other people get, not me.”
Civil servant Angela first found a lump on her left breast in 2010.
The mum-of-two was referred for tests at Blackpool Victoria Hospital and in September 2010, Angela, her husband Sean and sons Edward, 23 and Thomas, 16, were given the devastating news she had breast cancer.
The 41-year-old underwent a lumpectomy, as well as chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment, which ended in May 2011, and is now doing well.
She said: “It was a very difficult time for me, but I now feel really well and healthy. A big part of my recovery was doing exercise and getting my fitness back and that’s why I joined Wendy’s classes which have been fantastic.
“When you have cancer, you don’t feel in control of what’s happening to your body – but by getting fit again you feel as though you are taking that control back.
“I really enjoy taking part in Race for Life and am so thankful for the research, which helped me.
“Now I want to help others by raising vital funds for Cancer Research UK.”
Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life, in partnership with Tesco, is a women-only 5k walk or run, which nationally raises millions of pounds every year to fund life-saving research.
Liz Booth, Cancer Research UK’s Blackpool events manager, said: “Come on ladies, please join us and play your part by entering Race for Life in Blackpool today. Together, we can hit cancer where it hurts.
“There are more than 200 cancers and we won’t give up until we find cures for them all. It’s fighting talk and we mean every word we say.”
Last year, 2,418 women took part in Race for Life in Blackpool. This year, organisers need 2,500 women and girls to stride out to help raise £110,000 for vital research.
A video showing how to do to dance steps for the Cancer Slam is available online, so participants can practice ahead of the event.
For details, click raceforlife.cancerresearchuk.org