New Figures Show Street Dance Is More Popular Than Ballet, As Arlene Phillips Launches The Barbie Dance Stars Contest

UK parents may love to send their little girls to ballet classes but according to new research carried out by Barbie, ballet is being overtaken in popularity by funkier dance styles like street and hip hop. A survey of over 500 little girls aged 6-11 found that while ballet is still well loved by girls, street and hip hop styles are over two and a half times more popular.

According to Graham Vernon, Company Secretary of the UK Alliance of Professional Teachers of Dancing, hip hop and street classes are proving so popular that teachers are having to turn away students. Graham said:
“We have seen a massive rise in the number of boys and girls taking up street. We haven’t seen a dance craze of this magnitude since the 70s with the influx of disco.”

Urban dance acts like the Black Eyed Peas are inspiring almost 40 per cent of young children to take up street and hip hop as they try to emulate their favourite stars. Street dance and hip hop allow kids to increase their flexibility, stamina and overall fitness but in a fun way that is relevant to their lifestyles.

Recently Barbie has joined with top choreographer and Strictly Come Dancing star Arlene Phillips to launch the Barbie Dance Stars contest, which will encourage and inspire children to take up any form of dancing – including street and hip hop.

The overall winner of the contest, which will be judged by Arlene Phillips, will receive a bursary to support their dance training over the coming year. Arlene said: “It’s so important to get children dancing and it doesn’t matter what style of dance they prefer just so long as they get out there and give it a go.”

Mattel Girls Marketing Manager Kirsty Bullen said: “Barbie has a rich history in encouraging children to dance and the latest Barbie movie, Barbie In The 12 Dancing Princesses will introduce dance to whole new generation of Barbie fans. The appeal of urban dance bands and popular TV shows like Strictly Dance Fever and Strictly Come Dancing has also helped to energise interest in the different genres. Today’s girls love dancing and the Barbie Dance Star contest will encourage children to dream big and achieve their dreams.”

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