Boxing coach and former teacher Paul Hampton remembers Chrissy Gillespie as a young pupil showing off her dance trophies in class.
Now, the tables have turned and she is the one teaching him.
Paul, better known as the man behind Victory Boxing, is one of eight local personalities taking part in Dancing for a Cause.
The May 26 event is a major fundraiser for Nelson Tasman Hospice.
Paul is partnered with Chrissy, who he taught in Year Six about 15 years ago.
“She used to come in with her little dance trophies to Show and Tell,” he says.
Now she’s his partner in a two-minute jive, a Latin dance style with a quick beat.
Dance instructor Emma Silke-French, who is teaching all eight contestants their various dances, said Hampton was making good progress.
“I’ve told him a few times that what he’s showing me now is what I would have expected to get on show day, so I’m very impressed.”
Paul was dancing in Cuban heels but had to find some lower heels after “nearly breaking my ankle”.
After the second run-through of his routine at one of his weekly lessons, he is puffed.
“At the gym, I wave my arms around a lot telling the guys what to do, but I don’t actually do it myself,” he says.
Emma says dancing requires more fitness than most people realised.
Paul says he agreed to take part in the contest as hospice was such a good cause.
“I”ve had two friends with cancer and hospice is an amazing service.”
“I get quite nervous [dancing] but thinking about that puts it into perspective.”
The seven other contestants, each of whom is learning a different dance, are: Mayor Rachel Reese, peanut butter business-man Pic Picot, politician Rachel Boyack, Surgeon Ros Pochin, restauranteur Matt Bouterey, councillor Matt Lawrey, and osteopath and Youth Theatre founder Richard Carruthers.
Dancing for a Cause will take place at the Trafalgar Centre on May 26. Tickets are available through TicketDirect or by emailing [email protected]