A nationwide survey carried out for Dance Proms reveals that just over 1 in 5 British adults (21 per cent) have become more interested in dancing as a result of TV dance shows such as Strictly Come Dancing.

Roughly the same number of adults (1 in 5 – 20per cent) currently participate in some form of dance – covering a huge range of styles from ballet to ballroom and street to salsa – and just over 1 in 8 adults (13 per cent) have taken part in a dance class in the last five years.

The survey was conducted by YouGov, who interviewed 2058 UK adults (aged 18+) between 28 and 31 October 2011.

The first ever Dance Proms features 24 acts, selected from a competition held earlier this year to find the UK’s most talented dance students and representing all genres of dance. Dance Proms, a celebration of dance in all its forms, is organised by UK’s leading dance organisations: the International Dance Teachers’ Association (IDTA), Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD); and the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) in association with the Royal Albert Hall.

Luke Rittner, chief executive at the Royal Academy of Dance commented: “All lovers of dance will be delighted with the findings of this survey. They are a wonderful curtain raiser to the Dance Proms festival which will bring together thousands of enthusiasts to watch an evening of dance – a sugar rush of delights for the eyes.”

Patron for Dance Proms, Wayne Sleep OBE adds: “Dance Proms is a wonderful idea because it brings schools together from all over the United Kingdom. You can see what kind of technique they’ve learnt, you can be inspired by one of the choreographers from a different school and it unites everybody and encourages them to discuss the art of dance. It promotes dance; it makes it more popular and that’s what we’re here to do; get more people interested in dance.”

Further findings from the Dance Proms poll included:

  • The most popular form of dance to take part in is social dancing (13 per cent) followed by dancing in fitness classes, for example Zumba (5 per cent), the latest dance craze to sweep the US and Europe, and favoured among many celebrities including Wayne Rooney, Madonna and Jennifer Lopez.
  • Of those who have participated in a dance class in the last five years, 66per cent said they did it to have fun, with fitness coming a close second (63 per cent). The social aspect is also important with over a fifth (21per cent) taking dance classes to meet people.
  • Fred Astaire topped the poll as the respondents’ favourite dancer with 17per cent of respondents citing him as one of their favourites. Although he was most popular with the over 55s (28 per cent) a surprising 1 in ten (10 per cent) of 18 to 24 year olds voted for him. Michael Jackson was second (14 per cent) followed by: Ginger Rogers and Michael Flatley who were joint third (13 per cent).

Dance Proms takes place at the Royal Albert Hall at 7pm on Sunday 13 November and is open to the public. Tickets start from £10 and are now on sale through the Royal Albert Hall Box Office on 0845 401 5045 or online at www.royalalberthall.com.