Strictly Come Dancing could inspire Wearsiders to try ballroom

Diane Whitehead with her dance partner George Mooney is expecting a new interest in ballroom dancing with the start of the latest series of Strictly Come Dancing.

Diane Whitehead with her dance partner George Mooney is expecting a new interest in ballroom dancing with the start of the latest series of Strictly Come Dancing.

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BALLROOM is back and one dance teacher is urging Wearsiders to step up.

The popularity of TV show Strictly Come Dancing, which is back on our screens this month, has sparked huge interest in dance classes.

Dance teacher Diane Whitehead is helping aspiring Flavias and Artems get on the dance floor, with classes ranging from salsa, ballroom to sequence.

Diane, 48, has been dancing since she was a child and has been teaching dance for the last five years, putting on classes in Sonny’s Bar and Restaurant in Grangetown, Holy Rosary Parish Centre, in Farringdon, and Easington Social Welfare.

Diane, from Houghton, said: “There are lots of benefits. Obviously exercise is one, but there’s also the social side. It’s a great way to make new friends and it’s something nice to do with your partner.

“It’s loads of fun and a lovely hobby to have.”

Diane has noticed a rise in the popularity of dancing since shows such as Strictly have burst on to our screens.

“It’s definitely made it more acceptable to do things like ballroom, especially for younger men,” said Diane.

“They always start out quite hesitant about coming in, but then after a few lessons they become more competitive than the women. They come in on their own to get better.”

Diane is also eager to point out that ballroom isn’t just for the older generation.

She said: “We play lots of contemporary music rather than just old-fashioned stuff. It’s not just for fuddy duddies, it’s fun.”

Diane is already hooked on the new series of Strictly.

“I’m glued to it,” she said. “I think Holly Valance looks like she could be a good competitor. You can see by the way she moves that she is very rhythmical and co-ordinated.

“Jason Donovan could be good as well. They have that advantage of training in entertainment.”

Diane offers ballroom, sequence and salsa lessons, Dancemix social nights, tea dances, private tuition as well as first wedding dance tuition.

For more details call Diane on 07853 064147.

Twitter: @Sunderlandecho