At this time of year people will often start to look at what they are thankful for and to try and give back to the community. SAP Colleagues are encouraged to partner with underprivileged beneficiaries in our local communities and actively participate in supporting charities and causes through employee volunteering activities. And while this takes place throughout the year, but even more so during the dedicated Month of Service, each October.
After just seven weeks of training, on Friday 28th October, 28 Dublin SAP employees took to the stage in the biggest fundraising event ever in SAP Ireland, Strictly SAP, or as it might be known a SAP version of Dancing with the Stars. And among that 28, were two very nervous Startup Focus Programme team members based in Dublin, Gary Parnell, Director of Onboarding and Engagement and Frances Roche, Global Startup Forums.
Early in September all the dancers were assessed by the trained choreographers and then partnered off – no professional dancers, only a mix of colleagues!! Each pair were assigned a dance style and music and spent the next 7 weeks learning to waltz, salsa, tango or samba, but all 28 had to learn a group dance to get the evening started.
By the time the event rolled round, it was totally sold out and the nerves started to kick in! The opening number to “Dance” by Justin Timberlake, from the new movie Trolls performed by all the dancers had the 900 strong audience on their feet from start to finish and then it was on to the main event!
Unfortunately, our duo were not partnered together and instead had to compete against each other for the coveted Glitter Ball Trophy.
Gary looking extremely suave in his tails, performed a show stopping American Smooth to Shirley Bassey’s “Big Spender” with his partner Aine, and brought the house down with his Fred Astaire like elegance. The talented pair even scored full marks from the judging panel.
With her partner Alexi, Frances took to the floor to dance the Argentine Tango to Tina Turner’s “Goldeneye” including a very ambitious lift midway – which thankfully landed safely. And while most other dancers were encouraged to smile throughout the performance, keeping in character throughout the dance, earned high praise from the judges.
Although the top prize on the night went to another couple who danced a very energetic Charleston – both Gary & Frances were delighted to have taken part in such a fantastic event. Money was raised from a mixture of sponsorship, ticket sales and audience votes on the night, and of course was the most important element of the night – with a fantastic donation of €42,372 being made to the Irish Charity Aware which works with people suffering from depression and mental health problems.