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Last Updated: Tuesday February 24 2009 16:27 GMT

Strictly dancers teach Maddy!

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Maddy's Strictly dance lesson

Fancy swapping your football boots for some sparkly shoes? Or ditching your netball skirt for sequins and feathers?

Loads of schools around the country are now teaching ballroom dancing in PE lessons!

Strictly Come Dancing stars Darren Bennett and Lilia Kopylova, are trying to get even more kids involved.

They reckon it's a great way to get fit. So we asked them to give Maddy a quick lesson...


"I used to have ballet, tap and jazz lessons when I was at school, but I've always found the idea of dancing with a partner really scary.

What if I tread on their toes, trip them up or just embarrass myself by getting the steps wrong?

So you can imagine how nervous I was when I found out I was going to be dancing with Strictly's Darren Bennett! And that all of you would be watching it on Newsround!

Thankfully he was really friendly. He showed me how to stand. You need to start with your legs together, shoulders back, and head held high.

Cheeky dance!

Maddy in action with Darren on the dance floor, or should that be gym floor?
Lilia was hand to offer Maddy advice
I put one hand on his shoulder and another round his waist. We're both short so it felt comfortable. So far, so good. But could I actually dance with one of my favourite Strictly celebs without messing things up?!

Lilia was on hand to give me some expert tips. She taught me the basics of the Cha Cha Cha. It's a version of a dance from Cuba in Latin America, and it's supposed to be a cheeky dance with lots of bum and leg action!

I felt a bit wooden and I couldn't quite relax at first. But after a couple of minutes I was loving it!

Fun exercise

Ballroom dancing definitely feels like a good workout. I reckon it's a really fun way to exercise with your friends, too.

At the end of my lesson Darren joked that he wants me to be his next partner on Strictly Come Dancing! That would be a dream come true!"