IN THE MIDST of the Stars of Tamworth Dance for Cancer amateurs lies a charlatan.
A masquerader, a phony, a ringer.
This person has flair.
With 10 years professional ballroom, new vogue and modern dance experience, this competitor is set to blow the judges away.
And, it's not who you'd expect.
Tamworth City Dance Academy has been busy training the entrants for the last few months for the Cancer Council's much-loved fundraiser Stars of Tamworth Dance For Cancer, under the watchful eye of principal Kellie Singh.
"When I first saw this person I just thought, 'How am I going to make them move?' I showed them the beginning of the dance, told them to take up their position and they went straight into ballroom 101," she said.
"We have a dark horse, I think people will be super surprised by the elegance."
It's the fifth year that TCDA has offered up its elite squad to partner with brave members of the community to learn a new style and raise much-needed funds for cancer research.
Even Tamworth Regional Council staff are involved.
In a break from roads and infrastructure, Murray Russell's own cancer scare inspired him to take centre stage partnered with his own son.
Just last year Mr Russell was diagnosed with melanoma after his wife noticed an unusual spot on his head.
"Just by coincidence I had a doctor's appointment booked for the following Tuesday, we took a biopsy and it turned out to be melanoma," he said.
"I went down to see a specialist in Sydney very quickly after that."
Melanoma is a very aggressive and extremely dangerous form of skin cancer, but it's almost 99 per cent treatable provided it's caught in the early stages.
Not naturally a put-himself-out-there kind of person, Mr Russell had the strength to get on stage knowing his son Billy would be beside him.
"I'm very nervous," he said.
"As a dad that's pretty cool, it's a big deal for me that once in my lifetime I'll be able to see what he does.
"He's an amazing dancer and I'll be up on stage with him, so hopefully he'll make me look good."
Almost everyone has been touched by cancer in some way, or know someone who has.
Rock and Roll dancer Toscha Malcolm's own mother was diagnosed with breast and cervical cancer and is finally on the other side of it.
For the last 18 months she's been hitting the dance floor with partner Garry Coote and started social dancing at the Kootingal Bowling Club.
Every week a teacher from Inverell travels hours on the highway just to teach the locals how to move, Ms Malcolm said.
"It's quite close to my heart," she said.
"Hopefully it means someone like my mum won't have to go through what she's been through because we can get to the cancer sooner.
"She had radiation and chemotherapy for a good 12 months, it's a lot of emotional stress because you don't know whether at the end of it all everything will be okay or they will find something else."
Known for his perfectly kept moustache but even more so for the pink shirt, Tradies Support the Ladies founder Gary Sinclair will take to the stage this year.
His own wife has been diagnosed with breast cancer and still faces her battle.
Two years ago he started Tradies Support the Ladies, an initiative that sees even the blokiest of blokes chuck on a pink shirt every Friday to raise awareness for the disease.
"I've been touched by the bad side of it," he said.
"I'm in for anything, I don't hold back and I'm very passionate about cancer and trying to kick it in its ass.
"This is a bit of fun, I'm pretty sure I'll break mine and my partner's leg but it gives me the opportunity to start a conversation."
Breast cancer is the most common type in Australian women but if it's limited to the breast, 96 per cent of patients will be alive five years after diagnosis.
When Sophie Schumann-Maude was approached to take part in Stars of Tamworth, her first reaction was visceral.
"I'm usually a bubbly and out there colourful person but the idea of performing terrifies me," she said.
More Nikki Minaj than Broadway, Ms Schumann-Maude has had to swap her exceptional twerking skills for something a little more Gene Kelly.
"I have zero experience, people who know me know that my experience extends to twerking but I'm expanding my wheelhouse here and learning actual steps," she said.
"Obviously you have to be in peak physical condition so I've toned it down to three scoops of icecream instead of five a night.
"The world is a stage and that's how I live my life, but now I'm actually going to get on a stage and be judged by my peers so that will be interesting."
There's nothing remotely casual about Ms Schumann-Maude and this journalist pegs the Sydney-born dancer who's first answer to the offer to take part was a "hard no", as one to watch.
The same goes for quietly-spoken Sarah Job.
Ms Job started out as a volunteer for the Cancer Council and has been for six years, this year she's decided to move out from behind the scenes into a stunning Kath and Kel routine.
Her dance experience extends to "pre-kids drunk on the dance floor", but it's been fun to learn something different, she said.
"I actually volunteered myself," she said.
"Kath and Kel was my choice because I thought if I stuffed up nobody would recognise it.
"I've had friends and family members die of the disease, the Cancer Council is a good organisation, it's deep in my heart and now there's a better survival rate - cancer touches everyone."
Stars of Tamworth Dance for Cancer is on June 22 at Tamworth Town Hall and tickets are available online. To make a donation to one of the jazzy stars visit everydayhero.com.au/event/starsoftamworth2019.