Arlene Phillips vows to get the nation dancing

Ex-Strictly Come Dancing judge will help the nation get fit through dance

Arlene Phillips, the 66-year-old choreographer and former judge on BBC1’s Strictly Come Dancing, has been appointed ‘Dance Tsar’ by the government.

Health Secretary Andy Burnham said the UK must move from ‘relegation candidates to play-off contenders’ when it comes to taking exercise.’ Arlene will front a dance champions group that will try to improve the nation’s fitness levels in the run-up to the 2012 London Olympics.

She will join former Strictly contestants including Lisa Snowdon in promoting mass open-air dances. Speaking about her appointment, Arlene said: ‘In China, where in open spaces people join in and take tai chi with the masses, it’s there, it’s available. What I am hoping is that we are going to find enough accessible and open spaces for people to take classes and make it free and make it accessible.

‘People will do things if they are there and they are easy, like brushing your teeth. We have to set up centres, we have to find places where people can just walk to get where they can dance. We have to make it free, we have to make it fun and we have to make it part of people’s daily lives.’

Dancing is a great way to boost fitness, improve posture and relieve stress. Studies have shown regular dancing can help prevent the onset of dementure, reduce the risk of osteoporosis and increase happiness levels in the brain.


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