THE sequins, the salsa and the acrobatic lifts ...

is anyone else pining for Strictly Come Dancing?

It may not be seen as the edgiest TV show - there's certainly no sign of any aloof Skandi detectives or Boardwalk Empire-style shoot outs.

But there's nothing else that makes such compelling viewing on a Saturday night. Except, maybe, the dating game caper Take Me Out, however, that's watchable for the wrong reasons.

Dancing is infectious. It makes people beam.

Newsreader Susanna Reid was worlds apart from the stuffy BBC Breakfast sofa, as she showed off mesmerising moves on the ballroom floor during the last series.

Even I warmed to model Abbey Clancy, who I had previously dismissed as a lifeless gossip magazine face, as she foxtrotted her way to victory on the show.

It's the reason why Dirty Dancing is such a success.

Patrick Swayze teaching Baby how to have the Time Of Her Life at a Butlins-type holiday camp? I'd take that over a week in Spain any day. Such feelgood factor.

Oh, and did I mention how great Saturday Night Fever is, too? And Grease? And Flashdance?

Give me dancing people - even the ones who could be in the running for the nastiest characters in Hollywood history (Tony Manero in SNF, I'm looking at you) -and I'll give you happy faces.

It is the best thing ever. And no, Dancing On Ice, which is the latest reality celeb show to be reeled out, doesn't count.

Ice skating, although fun in a nostalgic Torvill and Dean type of way, is no ballroom dancing. Not that I've ever been trained in any kind of dance form myself, you understand. A ballet class when I was four ended in a strop because I didn't like being told what to do. Admittedly, nothing has changed. But I'm ready to rein in the diva-like behaviour and embrace it.

At the weekend I limbered up for my first Northern soul night. As soon as we arrived at Tailor Made, the club night dedicated to the mod scene in Glasgow, my gaze was locked on the movements on the dance floor. This is dancing that could double-up as an aerobics workout thanks to its over energetic moves.

Despite watching intently I only managed to vaguely copy their experienced steps. It was more important to just get lost in the fantastic tunes they played.

I certainly didn't attempt any of the splits...that could have ended in Accident and Emergency. It sounds corny but watching the joy, and concentration in some cases, on their faces as the beats were pumped out by the DJs, I wanted to be a part of it.

So this week I've been getting in touch with city dance clubs to try and find some poor soul to help me find my inner Northern soul.

Learning a few dance steps will be the key to banishing January blues. I've had no luck in finding a teacher yet. But I'm keeping the faith.