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British dance show sparks ballroom dancing craze

UPI News Service, 12/11/2004 

The British TV show "Strictly Come Dancing" -- featuring celebrities dancing -- has sparked a ballroom dancing craze in the United Kingdom.

It's estimated the number of people taking dance lessons in Britain has risen from 175,000 to at least 260,000, since the show began, reported the Daily Telegraph Saturday.

One of the judges on "Strictly Come Dancing," Len Goodman, who operates dance schools, described the public response to ballroom dancing as "overwhelming."

"I run two dance schools and we've had an increase in business of around 40 percent since 'Strictly Come Dancing' started," he told the Telegraph. "Friends with dance schools tell me their numbers have gone up by as much as 80 percent."

Unlike many of today's niche music tastes, the new dance recruits range from age 17 to nearly 70. The favorite dance is the jive, although ballroom and Latin are very popular, according to the dance schools.

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Copyright 2004 by United Press International

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