YOU could become a record breaker alongside TV star Mark Benton by taking part in the world’s largest waltz in Saltburn-by-the-Sea in May.
Age UK Teesside has organised the waltz to celebrate “loving later life” and to ultimately raise awareness of the social isolation and loneliness felt by many of the elderly population.
Guisborough-born actor Mark Benton, who famously took part in BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, is putting his best foot forward for the project and will be there on the day waltzing on Saltburn promenade where the challenge will take place.
The attempt to break the world record will be on Friday 19 May at 2pm. There will be a host of other activities taking place in Saltburn Valley Gardens between 10am and 4pm to encourage people of all ages to take part.
Guinness Book of Records regulation requires there to be more than 2,000 couples waltzing simultaneously for five minutes and 20 seconds. Each couple must waltz to a set route which will be available on YouTube for those wishing to take part.
If successful, Saltburn would take the current title from Bosnia, which it has held since 2007 when 1,510 couples waltzed to victory.
Mark Benton said: “I am totally delighted to help Age UK Teesside by supporting this fabulous event. Having been a participant on Strictly myself, I know that dancing is for everyone and no matter what your age or ability, everyone can give it a go! I can’t wait to see Saltburn Promenade filled with people waltzing for this World Record Breaker.”
Anne Sykes, CEO at Age UK Teesside, said: “We wanted an event that would literally celebrate living life to the full and getting more people active in a fun way and we’re delighted to receive Big Lottery Celebrate Funding to help us launch the event.
“We have a host of activities running alongside this Guinness World Record Breaker, with a marquee in Valley Gardens providing an opportunity to develop new skills – you can even take part in Tribal Belly Dancing! The local farmers’ market will be open with hotels and businesses pulling out the stops to showcase the spirit of Teesside.
“The highlight of the day is definitely the World Record Breaker, we hope to rally people far and wide to give it a go and be a world record breaker – something they can talk about all of their lives.
“The event is open to all age groups so don’t be shy, log onto Eventbrite and sign up to join with us on the day.”
Local musician Jeremy McMurray has composed ‘The Teesside Waltz’ for the routine which is played by Jeremy and The Pocket Orchestra.
Councillor Sue Jeffrey, leader of Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council, said: “This is a great project, and I look forward to being a part of it. I am learning my steps and will be there dancing on the day.”
Councillor David Walsh, cabinet member for adults at Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council said: “Research from Age UK has shown that group activities are particularly useful in helping older people out of loneliness and isolation, so I welcome this project to Redcar and Cleveland wholeheartedly. This will be a great event to get people engaged and active, and an opportunity to make friends.”
Councillor Carl Quartermain, cabinet member for jobs, skills and leisure at the council said: “We are delighted to be hosting a high scale event such as this in Saltburn, which will highlight such a worthy cause but also show the beauty of the area.
“I wish the best of luck to all the dancers taking part, and hope we break that world record!”
If you want to be a world record breaker, and help Age UK Teesside secure the title, please visitwww.eventbrite.co.uk and search for ‘World’s Largest Waltz’. For further information, please firstname.lastname@example.org or if you would have difficulty using the online system, please call 01642 805 500.