Best foot forward as Philip hits the floor for charity
Glasgow dentist’s ballroom dancing raises £24,000 for Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice
Implant dentist Philip Friel put on his best dancing shoes to compete in a ‘Strictly Come Dancing’-style charity event the Glasgow Hilton in March and helped to raise £100,000 for The Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice.
Philip, clinic director at Philip Friel Advanced Dentistry, was one of seven ‘non-dancer’ contestants chosen by the hospice to take part in the event and to raise sponsorship.
He started his rumba training with professional dancing coach Kerry Montgomery in January after recovering from a leg injury sustained in a five-a-side football match, training up to three times a week in the run-up to event.
Philip admitted to being “just a tad nervous – but with good nerves” when he hit the dance floor but said: “Such a worthwhile cause made it easier for me to decide to potentially subject myself to much taunting and ridicule from friends and family when I turned out to perform.
“Kerry was a great teacher and her focus and enthusiasm made sure I trained as hard as I could. “
Each contestant was challenged to raise £3,000 of sponsorship, but Philip’s support nearly reached £24,000. He said: “The response from patients, friends, family and clinic associates was incredible and I’m so grateful for the support. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and learning to ballroom dance is another ticked off the bucket list!”
The 600-capacity sell-out event was hosted by Carol Smillie and David Farrell, and BBC Strictly show stars Oti Mabuse and Giovanni Pernice were special guests and judges who also performed a series of show dances for the audience.
Philip and Kerry impressed the judges enough to get through to the dance-off but in the end were pipped by Jean Bonner and Federico Ribeiro whose samba performance lifted the glitterball trophy.
One of Philip’s dental hygienist colleagues, Clare French, won the prize draw for a dance with Giovanni – an experience she described as “super fun”.