Todd Gibbs and Trish Morris
Sponsor: MTF Whakatane
Teacher: Karen Saul, Whakatane Rock’n’Roll Club
Style: Rock’n’Roll

What have you enjoyed about the Edge Realty Dancing With The Stars journey to date?
Todd: Meeting new people and learning some new skills.  The banter on the Facebook page has been a laugh too.
Trish: Doing Rock n Roll has opened my eyes to a great bunch of people who are the local Whakatane RnR club.  They have supported us in learning the moves and had us up dancing with them. A lot have many years’ experience so it is good to learn from the masters.  Karen our boss tutor has kept us on task not allowing bad habits to form and been sooo kind. Her helpers are so patient with us and so encouraging.

What have you found difficult?
Todd: Getting the timing right in our routine.  We’ve got the routine sorted now so it’s just a matter of practicing so everything flows properly.
Trish: Going from moves learnt to putting it in with the beat of the music.  Once I felt comfortable with the move, then hearing the beat becomes easier.

Any injuries or challenges faced to date?
Todd: I had a fairly hefty back injury a month ago that had me on crutches for a week due to my bad positioning for one of our “lifts”.  I thought it might actually end my dancing days but Ben at Eastern Bay Chiropractic has been a magician and I’m back in training now.
Trish: Not having a stable place to practice means being very flexible about possible training times.  With Todd off injured it meant ‘keep calm and carry on”

Tell us about your dance style, partner and how training has been going?
Todd: I’m part of team Rock n Roll which is quite fast so it’s been a bit of a shock to my hefty carcass, but my partner, Trish Morris, has been outstanding (and really patient) with me so I think we’re gelling quite well.  Training has been great, but is has been limited over the last month due to injury. I’m fighting fit now, so onwards and upwards
Trish: Todd is so patient with me and just grins at my moves or possible choreography options?  Our aim is to entertain and go fast.

How are you feeling about the big event?
Todd: I’ve not really thought about actually being on stage in front of Whakatanes finest – ask me again on the day and I’m sure you’ll get a different answer.  Someone will probably have to stop me from loading up on Dutch Courage!
Trish:  Just a Saturday night and a great excuse to dress up.  Shame our tutors won’t be there to see us shine.

Any other comments, funny stories, things you’d like to share?
Todd: Most of our training sessions have had some great laughs in them.  We’ve had great people around us – Karen Saul, our coach has been fantastic and we’ve also had the help of McKenzie and Natasha Smith-Bateson who have been putting us through our paces as well.  Being able to do this alongside Trish and also Troy Baker and Kelly Dench has been amazing too.
Trish:  First week:  needed three feet to get the move right.  Week 2: Acquired a pair of RnR shoes and on the first spin nearly spun off the floor as the shoes were so smooth.   Otherwise keep away from the chairs that we tend to gravitate towards.