CORRECTION: The audio version of this story incorrectly identified the network of “Dancing With the Stars.” The show is broadcast on ABC.
If you’re channel flipping tonight, you will inevitably come across at least one reality TV show involving a dance competition. And it turns out that people aren’t just watching shows like “Dancing with the Stars” and “So you Think you can Dance?” They are actually enrolling in dance classes, which has led to an unexpected boon for dance studios.
According to Barry Hughson, director of the Boston Ballet, home to the largest ballet school in North America, one benefit of the dance show craze is that people who wouldn’t normally enroll in a dance class see common people on screen learning to dance “and suddenly it seems accessible and possible to become a dancer at a later point in life. ” Hughson adds that his adult enrollment has doubled to 2,000 over the last three years.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean those numbers will continue to rise. Vincent Bator who works at Fred Astaire Dance Studios, which has over a hundred locations around the country, says it’s tough to get adults who have never danced to stick with a class.
“The dropout rate is pretty high especially in a franchise dance studio,” he says.
And sticking around could be a problem for dance show viewers as well. “Dancing with the Stars” ratings continued to drop last week, reaching their all time low.
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