The glitz, the glamour, the wiggles, the giggles – yes, Strictly Come Dancing has returned to our TV screens to the delight of millions, sitting there last night, wearing enormous smiles and eyes on stilts.
It’s not just the lure of watching famous faces strut their stuff around the dance floor.
It’s not just the awe of the good (hello Thom Evans, Simon Webbe and Sunetra Sarker), the cringe at the bad (sorry Jennifer Gibney, Steve Backshall and Judy Murray) or the guffaw of the ugly (Tim Wonnacott – those innuendoes are already making me want to spit out my wine).
It’s also the fact that it makes you want to get up and dance around the living room. Which is brilliant, because dancing is brilliant; and here’s why…
You’ll shed pounds
Just look at Letitia Dean and Lisa Riley – when they were on Strictly, their bodies slinked right down.
Dancing is a brilliant fat burner – around 600 calories an hour - which increases your aerobic fitness, as well as your muscle tone and strength. It’s a great way to firm up those wobbly bits while having a whole heap of fun.
You can stave off dementia
By blending cognitive and cerebral thought processes, dancing can make your brain work in a new (and brilliant) way.
Exercise improves circulation, which helps prevent oxygen starvation to the brain, and trying to remember dance steps stimulates the working memory.
Research in the USA has shown that dancing is the best form of physical activity for keeping the brain active.
It’ll keep you healthy
The British Heart Foundation agrees dancing is a great way to keep fit (or get fit!). Strut your stuff regularly and you can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and cancer.
Keep depression at bay
You only have to watch Strictly to know how infectious dancing is. And that means it can make you happy.
Exercise lifts your mood by releasing those all-important endorphins and helps reduce the risk of depression.
And as it’s such a giggle, you might just find you’re happier, fitter and more confident than ever!
You’ll make friends for life
What happens on the dance floor stays on the dance floor. It’s an unwritten rule in classes that you’ll find a lot of laughs with classmates.
So if you can’t drag your other half along to some lessons, go on your own. You’ll make new friends, bond over your lack of ability and encourage one another as you improve.
Before you know it, you’ll be storming the dance floor at any wedding you might get an invite to – and loving every second.