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Dancing with Santa

MARNIE HALLAHAN
Last updated 05:00 07/11/2012
Nerida
SANTA'S GIRLS: Nerida Cortese and her dancers will be performing at Christmas in the Park.

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Ballroom dancing star Nerida Cortese says there's nothing like the rush of being up on stage at Coca-Cola Christmas in the Park.

"No matter how many time you do it you get such a rush from the 200-odd thousand people in front of you," Mrs Cortese says.

The former Dancing with the Stars regular will perform with six of her ballroom dancing girls in a special number with Santa.

"We're used to dancing with partners so it will be a bit different dancing around Santa. We've had some fun with the choreography," she says.

"But that's what makes it really enjoyable, every year is completely different."

Mrs Cortese runs her own dance school, First Dance, where she teaches Latin, ballroom and specialises in getting wedding couples ready for their first dance.

"I really enjoy the challenge," Mrs Cortese says. "And the couples are all so happy once they've pulled it off.

"The rush you get from the first time you perform is unforgettable, you just want to stand up on the stage and do it again."

But thoughts of doing it all again if there was another Dancing with the Stars are on hold while she spends time with her son Kees, 5, and new baby Jett, 1.

"I have a love-hate relationship with Dancing with the Stars," she says.

"Taking someone from being a complete beginner and doing the live shows, it's all so much fun, but having too much time away from my family I just hate it."

Her husband, actor Shane Cortese, and sons will be coming to watch her on stage at Christmas in the Park and for the rest of the holiday season she'll be hanging out with them.

"We don't always do the same thing ever year but Christmas time is family time," she says.

DETAILS When: December 8 frpm 7.30pm Where: Auckland Domain Proudly supported by:The North Shore Times as part of Suburban Newspapers and the Fairfax Media Mighty A Network.

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