Aspiring Sunderland dancers are being urged to put their best foot forward.
Ballroom dancing sessions for beginners will take place at The Alexandra, in Queen Alexandra Road, Grangetown, in the new year, encouraging fans of popular BBC show Strictly Come Dancing to get sign up.
Sessions will be taught by qualified instructor Diane Daglish, who expects them to be hugely popular following the growing success of Strictly.
“I teach one class for improvers on a Tuesday night from 8pm to 9pm, and we are starting a new class in January for beginners on a Wednesday night,” Diane said. “I think it will be popular because Christmas is coming up and Strictly is everywhere at the moment, so it would be a good present for wives and partners.
“Strictly has made dancing more accessible to everyone and encourages people to get on the floor.
“There is such an emphasis on drinking and eating, so this is a great way of keeping fit and socialising.
“It is also good for mental health as you use your brain a lot so it combats a lot of things.”
The former civil servant competed in her teens in dancing competitions across the country and has been a teacher for about eight years. She said the hobby is also very social.
“We have people in their 20s and their 60s taking part in classes,” Diane added.
“The beginners class is for people who want to learn the basics in ballroom dancing, who don’t have any other experience in dancing at all.
“ We also run social nights. The next one is on December 4, from 7.30pm to 11pm, for ballroom and sequence.”
The beginner classes will run every Wednesday from January 13, from 7pm to 8pm. Dancers can pay per lesson, £6 per hour, or sign up for a five-week course for £25.