The recent craze for TV celebrity dance shows may be taking its toll on the bodies of audiences and stars alike.
The recent craze for TV celebrity dance shows may be taking its toll on the bodies of audiences and stars alike. Programmes like the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing have influenced a surge in the number of people taking dance classes (see note 3) and the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) wants to make sure people aren’t unprepared and heading for injury.
Celebrities are always looking for new ways to boost their profile and these shows present a novel opportunity, but ballroom dancing is very different from being in a TV studio and outside of most celebs’ usual remit.
The intensive training and complex moves needed to perform and compete in front of the nation is leading to some celebrities developing painful conditions. In the current series alone, actress Stephanie Beacham has been reported as having back pain and GMTV presenter Kate Garraway is said to be suffering from tendonitis.
Physiotherapists support the new popularity of ballroom dancing as it is an effective and fun way to stay fit, increase stamina and flexibility, strengthen and tone muscles, and help weight loss. But physios are keen to raise awareness that people who are not used to the physical demands may be at risk of an injury.
Sammy Margo, chartered physiotherapist and spokesperson for the CSP, says: “Ballroom dancing is a great way to get fit. Sometimes you don’t even realise you’re having a workout because it’s so much fun. Physios would encourage people to take it up as an enjoyable way to exercise and lose weight.
“Anyone who wants to start dancing needs to do so gradually and build up their repertoire of moves. The celebrities may make it look easy, but starting a new form of exercise pushes the body to learn unfamiliar movements. This can be especially difficult for older people, whose tissues are less resilient and tend to recover from injury more slowly. Physios can advise on how to prepare the body for a new pastime. If you do acquire an injury, see a chartered physiotherapist as soon as possible.”
Notes to editors
1. For more information, please call the CSP press office on 020 7306 6616/6628/6163. Out of hours please call Louise Fitzsimons on 07786 332197, Becky Darke on 07900 160349 or Prabh Salaman on 07795 564240.
2. The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy is the professional, educational and trade union body for the UK's 49,000 chartered physiotherapists, physiotherapy students and assistants. For previous releases visit www.csp.org.uk
3. It was estimated in 2004, when Strictly Come Dancing hit television screens, that the number of people taking dance classes had risen from 175,000 to at least 260,000. (The Daily Telegraph, ‘Ballroom boom led by BBC's celebrity dance show’, 11/12/04).