Groups like Diversity have helped a danceward trend
By Caroline Briggs
Arts reporter, BBC News
As BBC One's So You Think You Can Dance? crowns Charlie its winner, it seems everyone in the UK is strapping on their dancing shoes.
The UK's fastest-growing art form has TV programmes like Strictly Come Dancing and Britain's Got Talent to thank for thrusting it into the mainstream.
But as well as drawing the audiences to their sofas, acts like Britain's Got Talent winners Diversity have also got them moving.
For Diversity leader Ashley Banjo, who is also a judge on Sky 1's Got To Dance, it was only a matter of time.
"Dancing has always been cool to us", he said.
"What we did by winning Britain's Got Talent was push the kind of dancing we do, and dancing with a crew, into the mainstream.
Fusty church halls
"We're the first dance crew to really make it and that's what the public have responded to.
"Now I just hope there's more people to follow, because there's a big underground scene of dance out there."
So You Think You Can Dance has proved a ratings hit
And following they are.
Choreographer Jeanefer Jean-Charles has witnessed more dance groups coming together and thinking big about what they can achieve since dance took over TV screens.
"Groups like Diversity have shown many dance groups out there what is possible," she said. "They've proved that if you work hard it can pay off.
"When someone comes to me and says 'I'm from a dance group', they say it with pride.
"People seem to be getting their act together a bit more, tightening their act, thinking 'it could be us next.' Just thinking bigger about dance."
But it's not necessarily about fame and fortune. Many people are foxtrotting in fusty church halls as a way of spending time with their partners, or simply to meet new friends.
And gyms across the land now offer a range of dance-based classes, from belly dancing to burlesque and street to salsa.
"Dance has always been there, but, with the latest TV programmes, what you are getting is more information to the public," Ms Jean-Charles added.
"It is saying to people 'you know that little dance you usually do in your bedroom, well actually there are a lot of people like you who are coming out and revealing themselves'."
Tamara Rojo, a principal dancer with the Royal Ballet, may be a dancer at the top of her game, but she still recognises the benefits for all.
Ghidda is an energetic and colourful dance from South Asia
"I started dancing for pleasure when I started out. I certainly didn't expect to become a professional but that's the beauty of this art form.
"You can do it to the intensity you choose to do - you can do it for pleasure, you can do it for heath, you can do it as a social thing to get to know people from different backgrounds, or you can do it for a job, or just enjoy watching other people. Dance is all-inclusive."
'On a roll'
It's the cultural aspect of dance that is increasingly being recognised as an important part of the art form.
Rojo added: "Dance has no boundaries, cultural, or social, or linguistic, so it is open to everyone.
"Britain is such a multi-cultural society, and dance helps people to get to know each other and really enjoy being part of that society."
Alistair Spalding, the artistic director of Sadler's Wells, believes that while TV shows have had some impact on getting people moving, the appeal of dancing has a wider cultural meaning.
"Our whole culture is changing, moving towards information that is more visually based," he said.
"London, in particular, has now completely changed its dynamic. There are people from all sorts of different cultures here, and cultures where dance is already important.
"Increasingly, where western Europe needs to engage with other cultures, dance is going to be more important in that dialogue.
Billy Elliott showed what could be achieved with a passion for dance
"I can see, for example, what's happening economically in China and India, one of the ways we are going to connect with those regions is through culture, particularly with dance, because you can immediately communicate with it."
Sareena Sanger, of the Sheik Community Care project, in Redbridge, is just one of thousands of people across the UK who take part in recreational dance.
She runs dance classes at the project, including a traditional South Asian folk dance called Giddha, an energetic dance performed in rich, colourful clothes.
On one level, for her dancing is a good form of exercise, as well as a way of expressing emotions, but she also grasps the deeper meaning for her community.
"Giddha is originally is from Punjab, and they used to do a lot of this dancing in the villages," she explained.
"It is a very traditional dance, so it is a way of bringing the culture of the villages into the cities we are living in today, and that is incredibly important."
It is that cultural side of dance being targeted by Big Dance 2010, the pan-London celebration of the art form, later this year.
Jacqueline Rose is organising the event which will see nine days of dance performed in unusual places. She is hopeful it is something the whole city can participate in.
"Three hundred languages are spoken on a daily basis in London, and I believe we have 300 dance styles in this city, and I am determined to find out what they are!"
But it is not just classes seeing an increase in participation. The millions of people who tune in to watch dance on their TV sets are also venturing out to theatres, swapping their sofas for high culture.
Sadler's Wells - the home of dance in London - has seen its audience increase by 56% in five years.
"Dance is able to be fleet of foot and be flexible and attract a cross-cultural audience," added Mr Spalding.
"It is on a roll and I don't see that stopping."