From September to Christmas we are all glued to our TVs as Tangos, Jives, Waltzes and Rumbas light up our screens as we enjoy BBCs Strictly Come Dancing. We watch in awe, wishing we could dance so gracefully or with such a world class professional dancer.

And whilst none of us are likely to practice for hours with a champion dance partner or face live national TV and the judges’ abuse (as who would want to face Craig’s critique), the fact is dancing is for everyone and it is a great way to get fit.

Did you know that dancing can improve your stamina, endurance, strength and general fitness levels? Plus regular dancing can increase your lung capacity, improve your cardiovascular system, tone muscles and much more.

In fact there are so many benefits of dancing, here are just a few:

• It safely strengthens bones and muscles.
• It tones your entire body.
• It increases your spatial orientation, balance and peripheral vision.
• It reduces stress and aids positive mental health.
• It improves general health and coordination.
• It lowers the risk of coronary diseases and high blood pressure.
• Improved flexibility if you dance regularly.

You will reap the benefits of greater self-confidence, self-esteem, trust and reduced feeling of isolation and exclusion. Plus far from the tedium of the treadmill at your local gym, dancing gives you opportunity to meet new people.

You don’t need any fancy gear or a specific space to dance: there’s no need to pack for a dance class. Just come as you are! No fancy clothes, expensive gear or bulky accessories are necessary; you can dance in your regular clothes and shoes.

If you aren’t a dancer, or it’s been years since you danced, learning about the amazing health benefits of dancing may be just the inspiration you need to get out on the dance floor!

My advice for beginners:

• Look for a good teacher who emphasises what you can do, not your limits

• Don’t be a perfectionist.

• Don’t worry about your size.

Leave your inner critic at the door and don’t beat yourself up if you get it wrong – we’ve all been a beginner once so we know what it’s like.

And remember that anyone can dance

There really is no such thing as ‘two left feet’!

Find a style of dance that interests you whether that’s ballroom, swing, Bollywood, Hip Hop or Salsa. Keep trying different classes and genres until you find the one that does it for you.

Dancing really is for everyone – all ages, shapes, sizes and backgrounds!

Don’t worry, don’t be embarrassed; just jump in!

Our School Principal Terri Bodell is also a qualified CBT Psychotherapist and been researching into the benefits of dance both mentally and physically and has created a series of articles in regards to her findings.