Strictly Come Dancing inspires Scarborough dancers

Record crowds are expected to head to the Scarborough Dance Festival this year thanks to TV shows like Strictly Come Dancing which have sparked a revival of the pastime.

Scarborough Dance Festival with Host Philip Wylie and Christine Parsons, and below, people enjoying getting involved.

Scarborough Dance Festival with Host Philip Wylie and Christine Parsons, and below, people enjoying getting involved.

The six-day event, which is in its 15th year, waltzed into town on Tuesday and saw the Spa’s Ocean Room packed with couples gliding across the dancefloor.

Presented, organised and hosted by Philip Wylie of Holiday and Dance, together with Christine Parsons of Going Dancing, the festival features a programme of modern and Latin dancing plus daily ‘learn and improve’ sessions and workshops.

East Londoner Mr Wylie, a former amateur and professional championship dance competitor, said: “With Strictly regularly on our TV screens it has only done good for ballroom dancing and all forms of dancing, particularly in the sense it has recognised the fitness required. It has given dancing a much wider audience. Dance studios up and down the country have enjoyed a much increased volume of those who want to learn to dance.”

Young dance stars and the UK 10 Dance Champions, Richard Still and Morgan Hemphill, will lead a series of demonstrations during the event. Daily tea and coffee dances will also take place.

Spa Dance Festival ,showing some great moves.Picture Richard Ponter 124520c.

Spa Dance Festival ,showing some great moves.Picture Richard Ponter 124520c.

This year sees the introduction of Friday and Saturday Sequence Gala evenings in the Grand Hall.

And on Saturday night the festival will welcome back Ross Mitchell his Band and Singers for the Gala Dance Night, which will feature the Scarborough Open Waltz Competition.

Mr Wylie said: “Scarborough is a lovely place to come to and we have very much built up an enthusiastic and regular following from this area and the north generally.

“It’s very nice and very friendly which is what dancing provides that makes it so enjoyable. It’s not about how good you are, it’s about how much fun you have.

Spa Dance Festival ,enjoying the dance styles .Picture Richard Ponter 124520b.

Spa Dance Festival ,enjoying the dance styles .Picture Richard Ponter 124520b.

“With the recent takeover of the Spa, it is likely to lead to further opportunities for the development of the festival and dancing in the Spa generally.”

The festival closes on Sunday with a Modern and Latin Competition Day.