Dialog Box

Ellen Jackson


raised so far


of $10,000 goal

Later this year I'll celebrate my 'Half Century' and 10 years as a Ballarat resident. What better way to mark these milestones than to do something way outside my comfort zone, very publicly?

On 25 June I will join nine other brave Ballaratians and our wonderful, far more experienced dance partners, to compete for the title of Dancing With Our Stars Champion 2022.

It's all for an excellent cause, raising funds for The Ballarat Foundation.

The Ballarat Foundation enables philanthropic solutions to social problems in our community. Ballarat is a beautiful and exciting place to live but many of our residents face challenges such as homelessness, and food insecurity. Others need assistance with early learning and literacy and youth support services.

Recent achievements of the Foundation include:

- Helping children to build a love of books and reading, with more than 2800 books delivered through Dolly Parton's Imagination Library program;

- Distributing $17,000 in vouchers to ensure some of our most vulnerable families have what their children need for school;

- Supporting 27 young drivers to graduate through the L2P program, obtaining a licence, with the guiding help of more than 90 volunteer mentors.

- Supporting the volunteering sector through promotion and building capability of more than 50 volunteer agencies.

I have been tasked with raising $10,000 to aid The Ballarat Foundation in their continued great work. Any donation you make helps me to help our community!

(Keep checking in for all of the behind the scenes action - with lots of laughs!)

Bronze Sponsor - Committee for Ballarat

My Updates

23 Jun 2022

Two days to go and preparations are hitting fever pitch. For the girls there are spray tans and hair and makeup appointments booked. For the men, not so much, but costumes are prepped, final lessons have been had and we'll gather at The Mercure Ballarat for our full dress rehearsal tomorrow night.
It's been an incredible 11 weeks with so much learning, a little bit of stress and anxiety and a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to the big night - and a long rest afterwards ;-)

17 Jun 2022

Covid got me in late May and my dance partner Brent had a well-earned holiday, but we're back with only days to go until the big night!
The dance is coming together and we're working on our performance. As Shelley, our extraordinary teacher says, everything is EXTRA in ballroom dancing. 'Extra' doesn't come naturally to me so I'm well outside my comfort zone but that, and raising funds for the Ballarat Foundation, is what it's about!
P.S. I'm now the proud owner of ballroom dancing shoes!

20 May 2022

The dancing continues! With five weeks to go we're putting our moves to music and adding the 'performance' elements. There is still so much to learn and remember from each lesson to the next but when I look back at the videos from my early lesson I can see the progress.
A note from this week: No matter how frazzled my brain or full my task load, I come out of each lesson feeling calmer and more able to cope. That;s the magic of a mindful, physical and social activity. So good!

29 Apr 2022

Second dancing lesson. Thought I was doing okay learning the new steps and many technical details involved in ballroom dancing (head, hips, arm position, weight distribution, heel or toe first? 😲) Then my dance partner Brent demonstrated just how quickly we'll be doing this dance. It seems my slow plod won't quite cut it! #keepgoing

11 Apr 2022

My first dancing lesson today (first in 35 years!) It was great fun. Learned a lot. Ballroom dancing is much more technical than I imagined. My lovely partner Brent was very patient and Shelley Ross, our teacher and owner of The Dance Studio does a fabulous job of explaining the 'why' of the technique so that I can figure out the 'how'.

We have 22 lessons to get our dance right before 25 June. I'm going to need every one of those! Now to practice at our campsite over the Easter break...

08 Apr 2022

It's Launch day! After weeks of keeping secrets, today we get to tell the world what we've signed ourselves up for ;-)

Big props to Marisa, Ricci, Andrew and the team at The Ballarat Foundation for making us feel so welcome!