Plasterer Garry Griffiths wins Stars of Eurobodalla with death drop, Dirty Dancing lift

IN TRAINING: Surf Beach plasterer Garry Griffiths with dance partner Claire Lassau before the Stars of Eurobodalla perforance at Batemans Bay Soldiers Club on Saturday.
IN TRAINING: Surf Beach plasterer Garry Griffiths with dance partner Claire Lassau before the Stars of Eurobodalla perforance at Batemans Bay Soldiers Club on Saturday.

Who would have thought plastering walls was a handy skill to have when throwing your dance partner over your head.

Surf Beach tradie Garry Griffiths dazzled a packed-out Soldiers Club audience with a death drop, a Dirty Dancing move and Charleston lifts and spins at Cancer Council's Stars of Eurobodalla on Saturday, August 10.

Mr Griffiths, who had no dancing experience until he began rehearsals with instructor Claire Lassau, won the overall Judge's Choice Award and was highest fundraiser with over $8400.

He said he raised funds through connections in the building industry, family and friends via a lot of phone calls, texts and emails.

Determination came from a commitment to support cancer treatment services, and the experience of friends and family affected by cancer.

He said he was very nervous before the show, and the hardest part was the fitness, balance and keeping up with the music.

"I was probably most nervous about not sticking to the dance," he said.

Garry Griffiths performs a Charleston remix dance with instructor Claire Lassau

He said his dancing partner and instructor, Claire Lassau, of Stepz South Coast Dance Academy, had faith in him, despite his lack of experience.

"She is the kindest person you could ever come across, a real kind, genuine person," he said.

"I said to her from the beginning, 'I'll never drop you' ... she had a lot of faith and a lot of trust."

The dancing pair won the overall Judge's Choice award and most-fundraised for Cancer Council.

The dancing pair won the overall Judge's Choice award and most-fundraised for Cancer Council.

Ms Lassau said Mr Griffith's strength was just that: his sheer strength.

"It's an awkward moment saying, 'I'm going to jump on you and you're going to catch me'," she said.

"You couldn't do those things for the first time without total trust.

"I could not have been more proud of what we achieved.

"Hats off to him for being willing to give it his all."

This year's show was Ms Lassau's third Stars of Eurobodalla performance.

She said dancing had a powerful effect.

"Dance is such a magical thing, and to be able to include it in such a special event, it's a winning thing," she said.

She thanked the Cancer Council for the passion, ideas and dedication to the event.

The couple rehearsed two or three times a week for about 12 weeks leading up to the performance.

I said, 'I'll never drop you' ... she had a lot of faith and a lot of trust. - Garry Griffiths "It's an awkward moment saying, 'I'm going to jump on you and you're going to catch me'. - teacher Claire Lassau

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