Practice Makes Perfect is the mantra for this year’s Dancing Strictly stars, who are working round the clock to hone their fancy footwork ready for next month’s showdown.

Nine couples are being put through their paces by professional teachers determined to get them dancing like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in time for next month’s North London Hospice competition at Millfield Theatre in Edmonton.

All proceeds raised by the contest will go to the hospice which supports people with life-limiting illnesses.

Over the next three weeks the Times and Independent Series will profile each dancing duo to find out how they are coping with their routines and what it means to them to be taking part.