Why is Warsaw walzing? Summer sees a rush on the dance schools

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What is the best time to learn how to dance or to upgrade your dancing skills? Most people would say - in the run-up to the carnival season - and they are probably right but if one made a round of Warsaw's dance schools at this time of year the answer would be little bit different. It appears that the summer months witness an unprecedented upsurge in the popularity of dance classes.

'We start with the warm up. Let's do small circles...and the big circles... with your hips. Let's now shimmy with your hips.. shimmy, small shimmy, slow and faster, faster, faster....'

Belly dance classes are among the most popular in Polish dance schools, all of which are delighted with the fast-growing number of students. In Warsaw alone, some fifteen thousand people have enrolled for summer courses. There's a lot to choose from: salsa and samba, hip-hop, flamenco, ballroom dances, special classes for couples who want to impress their guests at their wedding party and two-week resident courses in holiday resorts. Justyna Razna, who runs the school tancerze.pl, explains why the summer is a time of good business for her school.

"The dance classes are very popular during the summer because there are many people working in Warsaw and they don't get a chance to get out of the city. They're looking for some entertainment and these dance classes, especially exotic dances and Latin dances remind them of vacation time, of travelling to various countries. It's a very nice way to spend the time, to meet people and feel happy - even in Warsaw."

Dance student: 'We have a lot of fun here. We've been coming here for one and a half year.

- So by now you're quite an experienced dancer?

- No, I'm afraid I can't say so.

- Do you practice at home after these classes?

- -We used to but now we have such steps that they don't fit into the rooms any more, they need much more space, so we practice here, also during the weekends.'

"It's a kind of hobby. It's very nice to know ballroom dancing and practice it. You're never bored, during each class you learn something new. There are some people who start learning ballroom dancing at 60 or 70. It's very good to meet new people with the same interests. You don't have to be a professional."

Polish dances, we have to admit, are not popular but Sylwia Razna thinks this is pity.

"Polish dances, the krakowiak, the mazur - all of them are very energetic, the outfits are very colourful, they're interesting dances, it's interesting music, interesting culture and I think we should get to know it more."

The vivacious krakowiak indeed requires formidable skills; small wonder perhaps that other types of dances are more popular these days.

"as fast as you can, don't be ashamed, now stretch, stretch out......."