By James Trueman, Simon Byrne, Joe Vaughan-Birch and Paul Irving
MANCHESTER dance schools have seen a surge in popularity in the wake of TV shows, such as ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ and ‘Strictly Come Dancing’.
They have also led to changes in the typical demographic, with people of all ages now signing up for classes.
‘Strictly Come Dancing’ has renewed interest in ballroom and Latin dance among older people, whereas the success of ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ winners, Diversity, have inspired a whole new generation to put on their dancing shoes.
It is no longer seen as a largely female preserve, with more men signing up for classes.
Junior Time, head of Manchester Dance Centre, said: “A few years ago, dancers were predominantly female, but since the release of films such Step Up 2 and acts such as Diversity and George Sampson winning Britain’s Got Talent, the amount of males both young and old coming through our doors has risen.”
Junior also thinks that reality dance shows have made the rewards for good dancers more obvious, with the chance of fame increasing the amount of people taking classes.
In contrast, Sunshine Dance Studio’s instructor, Michelle Koffman, believes that there has always been a big interest in dance and that it’s just the styles that have changed.
Manchester’s Sunshine Dance Studios runs over 150 classes a week and boasts alumni including ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ winner George Sampson.
Michelle said: “We see all kinds of people come through the doors, from four year olds to people in their sixties. It’s never too late.”
Even in a recession the industry has continued to thrive.
Alison Johnson of Bolton School of Dance said: “There will always be a core of people attending classes, whatever the state of the economy.”
She added: “Parents don’t want to deny their children the opportunity.”
Sunshine Dance Studios are running an Easter dance school from Monday 5th to Friday 9th April.
For information about this and other courses, email [email protected] or call 03330883328.