I know a few younger dancers since I volunteer to help at University ballroom clubs, and I can tell you, they LOVE it.
I consider myself to be just out the "younger dancer" group and I agree - it's popular. I like it when it's a parody, same as reverse role dances. It's fun to watch a guy do the lady's parts in rumba, and watch a girl "jerk" the guy around in tango. I think of SS dances as "fun" and not to be taken seriously. I'm not too hip on them being a part of the official competitive world, though.
I love to reverse roles - and I'm pretty good at it (I think I shocked exDP once or twice
) so I am DEFINITELY not against it and am happy to support SS couples and competitions. Still, like you it I still feel it takes something away from what ballroom is to me. Maybe its something more in a different direction and maybe SS couples feel exactly the opposite - indeed, I think thats more than likely. .... I knew this would be a hot potato (still