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Talented musician aims to be a hit on dancefloor at Strictly Inverness

By Andrew Dixon

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Kenna Ross was joined by Highland Hospice mascot Bobby the Bee.
Kenna Ross was joined by Highland Hospice mascot Bobby the Bee.

A musician and piano tutor is stepping out from behind the instruments to go centre stage at Strictly Inverness.

Kenna Ross, who is a member of at least three local bands, has had her eyes on the annual charity event for some time, given her love of the hit BBC show.

The 27-year-old, from Nairn, is among the 32 rookie dancers who are training ahead of showtime in May, while also fundraising for organisers and hosts Highland Hospice and Inverness Ice Centre.

"I've been brought up knowing the importance of the Highland Hospice," she said. "As a child I took part in a number of their fundraisers with my family including the Highland Hospice 5K and as an adult have continued to support fundraisers for them.

"Sadly, I lost my aunty Brenda to cancer when I was a teenager. It was a really hard time for the whole family, I really see the importance of allowing someone at the end of their life to be cared for in the best way possible. All I hear about the hospice is positive things.

"For a number of years I've thought about Strictly as I am a big fan of the TV show, this year I had more time to dedicate to fundraising and training, applying was just the right thing to do and I was delighted to get the email to be accepted. I'm having a great time, dancing with my partner Shaun Rose.

"The support from the ice centre has been amazing, as a piano tutor I have a few students who use the ice rink regularly through curling and ice skating, as well as being able to perform as member of bands that have played there. We can't lose another larger venue."

Kenna Ross and Shaun Rose. Picture: Callum Mackay..
Kenna Ross and Shaun Rose. Picture: Callum Mackay..

Alongside Shaun, from Maryburgh, they are learning a foxtrot and a lyrical number, as well as a team dance with seven other couples who are performing on the Thursday evening of the contest.

Earlier this month, Kenna was invited by some Nairn wild swimmers to have a dip in the sea and was able to collect some donations.

"It was a pretty cold day already, we all went in together and raised over £230 with teas and coffees served by friends," she said. "I'm not sure I will be swimming in the sea in February again but I'm so glad we did it."

Kenna Ross went for a dip in the sea.
Kenna Ross went for a dip in the sea.

She has a few fundraising events in the pipeline.

"The first is with Jan Barclay, who lost her daughter Lorraine to cancer a few months ago," Kenna said. "Jan is hosting a Soundbath in Balloch Hall on March 17.

"On March 23, the Ness Walk Hotel is hosting an afternoon tea, where Dylan James Tierney will be playing/singing and I'll be playing my piano. I play keys in Dylan's band.

Kenna Ross with supporters.
Kenna Ross with supporters.

"I'm also organising a talent show for children in Culloden-Balloch Baptist Church on March 30 and Torridon are going to be judging. Anyone is very welcome to come along to watch and support. Entry is via donation on the day.

"My sister Morna has been planning a quiz at the Westerlea Hotel in Nairn on March 22. She loves a quiz! We also have some smaller fundraisers on the go – it's a very busy time. My partner Shaun and I have a couple of ideas for something exciting too, so look out for that, plus I’ve been given a really exciting prize from my corporate sponsor LCC Live so watch this space."

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