TRIPPING the light fantastic while at the same time being prepared to roll his sleeves up and get stuck in are key ingredients Toni Franchitti applies to each part of his daily life.
Family man Toni. 52, believes that one follows the other and his decision to take up his beloved ballroom dancing five years ago coincided with his involvement in organising one of the mainstay village events The Bramhall Festival.
“I had been dancing since the age of four, but due to working in the corporate world of insurance I had not done it for 20 years before I went back to it five years ago.
“And after having returned to it I find that doing it four or five times a week totally de-stresses me.”
Toni, who was born near Glasgow, the son of an Italian father and Scottish mother, said that while his friends went for the traditional kilt clad dancing, he went for the more classical ballroom dancing as a youngster.
His involvement in life in Bramhall includes his own business network The Chambers Partnership and running Italian cafeteria and ice cream parlour Indulgence.
But not to put too fine a point on it, his dancing with partner Jessica, has turned the eyes of the dancing world, after two top five finishes in the national dancing championships held at Blackpool’s Tower Ballroom in April.
However, as far as Toni is concerned, It has been as chairman of the Bramhall Business Community, which organises the festival, where Toni has come into his own.
He explained: “When I first became involved it was quite time consuming but now we have such an amazing committee that to a large extent, the festival seems to run without too many hitches these days.”
“Last year’s event saw 7,000 people attending, but I think we broke all the records this year with even more visitors attending. It was brilliant and just seems to go from strength to strength.”
And while Toni is now making preparations for next year’s festival on the third week in June, his eyes are also firmly fixed on his next ballroom competition being held in October in Blackpool.
He adds: “Dancing helps keep me fit and it takes away all the stress of events I am involved with in Bramhall, it also keeps that competitive edge going and also knowing there is no greater thrill than appearing in front of thousands of people in the final of a dance competition at the Winter Gardens.”