Xavier Mardling would have to be Maddi Bullock’s tallest dance partner yet – lucky she has no problem wearing stilettos.
The Border Mail editor and Ms Bullock are one of 10 pairs tackling the 2017 Stars of the Border Dance for Cancer and the only pair tasked with a jazz routine.
They will have athletic competition in the likes of Albury Thunder forward Jon Huggett, the Bandits’ Jack Duck, Albury Tigers netballer Olivia Aughton and Wodonga Raiders' Steve Jolliffe.
Riley-Rose Harper, Brittany Evans-Gould, Tiago Neves, Amy Van de Ven and Melinda Fawcett round out the line-up.
Mr Mardling said he has eight weeks to get in shape – and he’ll need every minute.
“I’ve got no experience … (the last time I danced) was my wedding night, and that was more a shuffle than a dance,” he said.
“Last month I got the call to see if I would do it.
“I was very keen to be involved as Mum has been through breast cancer, then we have (Border Mail photographer) Elenor (Tedenborg) going through it now and one of my first editors at The Border Mail, Cameron Thompson, died of cancer.
“They say everyone’s been touched by it and it’s true.
“While I know I’m going to make a fool of myself dancing, I’m definitely keen to hopefully provide some entertainment for a good cause.”
The cause was also close to Ms Bullock, who has been with the Border Dancework Company for seven years and a medical student for five.
“I’ve unfortunately lost all of my grandparents to cancer; my nan died of cancer in the middle of last year,” she said.
“It’s a really big thrill, the way everyone comes together to support each other. I did Dance for Cancer last year with Geoffrey Michael and he did really well.
“It’s a lot of work, but it’s good fun.”
More than $50,000 was raised for Cancer Council NSW at last year’s event, won by Thunder player Tommy Gemmell and teacher Angela Jones.
Ms Bullock said her number with Geoffrey Michael in 2016 was a crowd-pleaser, but her piece with Mr Mardling would be just as show-stopping.
“Jazz is probably my favourite style, so it will be good,” she said.
“It can be hard as you can’t use as many contemporary songs, but we’ll pull out something entertaining. We’re going to bring the big guns.”
Tickets for the fourth event will go on sale in April, with each pair working to a fundraising target of $2500.
Details on how to donate will soon be made available – follow Stars of the Border Dance For Cancer on Facebook for information.