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From Dissident To Dancer For Jim Cassidy

Three years after celebrating his 104th and final Group 1 win on Dissident in the All-Aged Stakes, legendary Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Jim Cassidy is preparing to pursue a new vocation – as a hip-swivelling, toe-tapping dancer.

From Dissident To Dancer For Jim Cassidy

Three years after celebrating his 104th and final Group 1 win on Dissident in the All-Aged Stakes, legendary Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Jim Cassidy is preparing to pursue a new vocation – as a hip-swivelling, toe-tapping dancer.

“The Pumper” – as Cassidy is widely known – is the headline act among eight local heroes who are taking to the dance floor for charity. The 55-year-old will contest the “Stars Of Parramatta – Dance For Cancer” on July 7 at Novotel Sydney Parramatta to raise money for the Cancer Council, Australia’s peak independent cancer authority.


It is a cause that is close to Cassidy’s heart; his father Arthur died in 2016 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

“I wanted to do this as a tribute to my father, as well as to my many friends who have been through their own cancer battles,” said the New Zealand native. “It will be a bit of fun, but with a serious message too. I’ve been in many memorable contests on the racetrack, so hopefully that helps in our quest to win Stars Of Parramatta.”

Cassidy, who won the Melbourne Cup on Kiwi in 1983 and Might And Power in 1997, has been partnered with dance mentor Michelle Smith. A breast cancer survivor herself, Smith is the principal of the Hills District-based Constant Groove Dance Studio and has already taught Cassidy’s daughter Piper.

“Jim may be a ‘Kiwi’ known for his ‘Might And Power’ in the saddle, but he is as much of a larrikin as any Aussie,” Smith said. “We will try to prepare a dance for him that can bring out the best of that spirit. We have had a couple of rehearsals already and I hope we have the crowd laughing along with us.”

Take a look here at Jim strutting his stuff on the dance floor.

Other local heroes who will participate in the inaugural Stars Of Parramatta include Dr Geoff Lee, the state MP for Parramatta; the City Of Parramatta’s Deputy Lord Mayor Michelle Garrard; DMC Advertising Group CEO Stephanie Dale; and Novotel Sydney Parramatta representative April Diego.

The eight stars were officially paired with their partners – dance professionals from the Parramatta area representing a wide variety of styles, including samba, Bollywood, hip-hop, Latin ballroom, musical theatre and tap – at an event at Novotel Sydney Parramatta on April 13.

‘Stars’ events have already raised over $3 million for the Cancer Council across New South Wales.

Tickets are $120 each, or $800 for a table of eight. Each ticket includes a welcome drink, canapes, a two-course dinner and a bottle each of red and white wine per table, as well as a cash bar to purchase additional beverages.

Tickets go on sale April 27.

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