09 December 2016

By trainee solicitor Olivia Ward

On 1 December 2016, six sassy couples and four fearless groups took part in Burges Salmon’s biennial Strictly Legal dancing event which raises money for the firm’s charity of the year, Julian House.

This year’s theme was movie night which saw a wide range of films from Ghostbusters, Flashdance and Pulp Fiction to Goldeneye and The Great Gatsby. The trainees were given the opportunity to form a team that would perform on the atrium dance floor. Our team consisted of three first year trainees, Sakshi Buttoo, Lucy Metcalfe and Stephen Stringer, and two second year trainees, Oliver Bourchier and me – collectively known as The Trainee Dance Group.

Raising money for Julian House

In order to raise money for Julian House, each couple had a fundraising target of £2,000, whilst the groups aimed to raise £1,000 each. This saw various fundraising efforts, from bake sales and the promise of leg waxing to quiz nights and ice bucket challenges – the fundraising efforts were almost as amusing as the dance routines! On top of this, the organising committee held a raffle and promise auction with some fantastic lots, including lunch with Stephen Fry, a Manchester United match package and a Mulberry bag.

Austin Powers and Dr. Evil

In the week leading up to the event, we were practising regularly which involved choreographing our own routine, editing the music and putting together our outfits. The movie we chose was Austin Powers, with one member in our group dressing as Austin Powers, and another as Dr. Evil! As with the other groups and couples involved in the dance competition, we updated our JustGiving page with hints of what we were getting up to, as well as a video diary of one of our rehearsals.

On the night

On the afternoon of the event, there was some serious preparation that went into making sure the event ran smoothly. Professional hairdressers were brought in, makeup sessions were held and Oscars statues were put in place. The Trainee Dance Group were first to perform and we were scored on our dance (which was obviously great) as well as the money we had raised. What followed was a fantastic evening of performances from the other groups and couples, as well as further dancing and singing from the audience.

In total, Burges Salmon raised over £40,000 for Julian House which is a local charity offering direct support to the homeless. It was a fantastic evening which was great fun and raised an unbelievable amount for such a worthwhile cause.

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Strictly Legal: The Trainee Dance Group

The Trainee Dance Group were first to perform and we were scored on our dance (which was obviously great).
Olivia Ward, Trainee Solicitor

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