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Home arrow Nutrition arrow Weight Management arrow Does Dance Help You Lose Weight? A Look Into Dancing for Weight Loss

Does Dance Help You Lose Weight? A Look Into Dancing for Weight Loss

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: September 23, 2022
8 min read 1485 Views 0 Comments
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Dancing is perhaps one of the most fun and universal activities, but can you lose weight by dancing? Find out all the answers in this article.

Does dance help you lose weight

Dancing is a universal form of expression known to bring people together. However, the health benefits of dancing are rarely discussed. Any movement that involves shifting your body in coordinated steps with music involves dancing.

But does dance help you lose weight? Generally, people turn to training or dieting for weight loss, and while they are effective, they can be very tedious and unappealing.

Dancing can be a great way to get in shape. It is a fun activity that will help you burn calories and build muscle, all while having a good time. If you’re trying to lose weight, dancing can help you shed some pounds, especially around your middle section. 

That being said, you need to know what type of dance will help you achieve your goals. Find out more about dancing for weight loss below.

Does Dance Help You Lose Weight?

Dancing can help you lose weight. Being an aerobic exercise, it is a great way to burn calories and tone up your body. Dancing to shed a few pounds is interesting because it is a fun activity that helps you achieve various goals at once.

Dance workouts help with weight loss by relieving stress and increasing blood circulation. This will improve metabolism, which means your body burns more calories while exercising than if you were just lounging on the couch watching TV.

It also increases muscle mass by strengthening your legs, hips, and trunk bones through repetitive movements such as squats or lunges.

Dance helps improve cardiovascular health by increasing strength in both arms and legs simultaneously, two things that are important when trying out new types of dance classes like ballet, salsa, pole dancing, hip hop, ballroom dance, and more.

How Many Calories Does Dancing Burn?

Calories burned from an hour-long dance session range between 200 to 600 calories. High-intensity dance moves can burn even more calories in a shorter period. However, fast or ballet dancing will also help you manage your body weight.

The number of calories you burn while dancing is determined by the type of dance you are doing. You burn a different number of calories with different exercises based on the speed and vigor of the exercise. The same case applies to dancing.

Ballet dancing, disco or ballroom dancing, and other forms of slow dance workouts will burn fewer calories than faster dances like hip hop dancing, salsa, Zumba, belly dancing, and others. Slow dancing has the same intensity as fast or ballet dancing, which will burn fewer calories despite the duration of the dance.

How long do you have to dance to lose weight?

The short answer to this question is that dancing depends on various things. First, is dancing your primary workout routine? How long are you dancing in a day or a week? What type of dance are you engaging in? The department of health and human services recommends at least 2 hours of moderate dancing or an hour of high-intensity dancing a week.

As mentioned, you can burn up to 200 calories per hour, which is dictated by the above questions. If you are doing belly dance moves or salsa, you will automatically burn more calories in a shorter time than taking a walk around the neighborhood, ballroom dancing, ballet dancing, classical dance, and other forms of slow dancing.

However, if your goal is to shed weight by exercising regularly and adding some dance into your routine each week or month, then yes, dancing can help. According to a study, one hour of aerobic exercise like dancing burns about 200 calories. And if you want even greater results from your workout, try adding some aerobics classes into your schedule.

It is crucial to remember that to lose weight, there needs to be a calorie deficit. This means that the number of calories you burn while dancing or doing other activities needs to be more than your calorie intake.

Is Dancing a Good Workout?

Dancing is a great way to get in shape, improve balance and coordination, and have fun. If you’re looking for an effective full-body workout that won’t break the bank or leave you sore all over after just one class but still has enough variety to keep things interesting, dancing could be perfect for you.

Dance can be used by anyone of any age who wants to lose weight or stay fit and healthy. It doesn’t matter if someone has never danced before; all that matters is that they are willing to put in the effort required by this type of activity, which isn’t always easy.

Is dancing cardio exercise?

You may be wondering if dancing is actually cardio. The answer is yes, it can be. Dancers burn more calories than most people think. Dancing for just 3 minutes burns more calories than a low-intensity workout regimen. This, however, is still determined by the type of dance you do. 

Dancing counts as cardio exercise and has many health benefits for the body besides weight loss. It helps get your breathing rate and heart pumping, pushing your body through the higher-intensity dance moves. It doesn’t matter whether you ballroom dance, enlist the help of a dance partner, or join a dance program – any form of dance for weight loss will help you.

Does Dancing Build Muscle?

Yes, dancing can build muscle. It’s a low-impact activity requiring the same effort and energy as running or walking. This means it’s safe for those recovering from an injury or with a limited range of motion in their limbs.

It also builds up your core muscles, which are responsible for stability and balance, even when you’re not dancing. Aerobic activity helps you build lean muscle mass and increase muscle strength, motor fitness, and tone.

Benefits of Dancing for Weight Loss 

Dancing is a great way to exercise and lose weight and has multiple benefits for your health. When you are dancing, you involve your whole body in movement, meaning you’re not only focusing on one part of the body. You target your back, glutes, arms, legs, and more.

As an activity that is suitable for people of all ages, dancing is a safe go-to for both entertainment and weight loss. The benefits of dancing include:

#1 Improved mood

Dancing can encourage you to be more active in general. The music helps create a good mood, which will help you stick with it longer when exercising or doing other activities that need motivation. Losing weight requires a lot of motivation, and dancing combines fun and activity. An improved mood is also really good for your physical and mental health.

#2 Increased flexibility and agility

While most people think about physical fitness as being able to run fast or lift heavy weights without pain or injury, dancing requires flexibility in all areas of one’s body. You need flexible joints such as hips, legs, and ankles, which are often forgotten when trying new routines. 

This type of workout is especially helpful if you have been inactive for a while because it strengthens muscles and improves aerobic fitness.

#3 Effective calorie burning

Dancing makes it possible to burn calories; however, the number of calories burned is determined by the intensity of the dance moves and the amount of time you spend dancing. 

Since different dancing styles have unique pacing, choosing the best dance style to suit your needs is crucial, especially if you want to lose weight faster.

#4 Enhanced cardiovascular health

Dancing is a form of cardio that is good for your heart. Moderate-intensity dancing is better for heart health than walking and protects people from cardiovascular disease.

#5 Better endurance

Much like other forms of exercise, dancing helps you build endurance. It is important to start with low-intensity dance sessions and build your way up to high-intensity sessions once your body has adequately adjusted.

#6 Boosted self-confidence

Positive body image is a big struggle for many people. Dancing is a fun activity that will also help tone your body, increasing your physical confidence.

#7 Improved balance and coordination

Dancing improves balance and coordination. As you age, your balance and coordination deteriorate, but dancing stabilizes your body by improving your coordination.

Options for Dancing and Weight Loss

There are many types of dance, from waltzing to ballroom dancing, break dance classes, freestyle, hip hop dance, and more. Therefore, take your time to choose the right dance form. The following are some of the options for dance classes you can take to lose weight effectively.

#1 Hip hop

The main benefit of a hip hop dance workout is that it helps strengthen your body, especially if you do it regularly over time. It will increase your heart rate and help burn energy faster than other forms of cardio like running or cycling.

#2 Zumba

A Zumba dance class is an excellent way for beginners to learn how to work out without having any previous experience in fitness or dance lessons. Zumba classes combine Latin dances, hip hop moves, ballet movements, and other styles from around the world and incorporate cardiovascular exercises like aerobics into their routine so that everyone gets an awesome workout no matter what level they’re at. You can sign up for a Zumba class at your local gym or use online videos for at-home workouts.

#3 Pole dancing

Pole dancing is an excellent way to lose weight, tone your muscles, and improve your balance. You don’t need to be a professional dancer to start dancing; you just need guidance.

It is an intense workout that can help you burn calories faster than walking or jogging on the treadmill. It also helps tone muscles in the legs while improving flexibility and balance. One of the most common ways people use pole dance as part of their fitness routine is by taking a dance class in person at a dance studio.

#4 Salsa

Salsa dancing is a great way to get in shape, lose weight, and have fun. It’s also an excellent form of exercise that can help burn calories and improve cardiovascular health.

Salsa helps you burn fat by increasing your heart rate so that you burn more calories while taking part in the dance. The increased activity will also help improve your metabolism, meaning it will take longer for you to regain those lost pounds when it comes time to exercise again.

A Word From a Personal Trainer

For the most part, dancing is considered a form of entertainment for night-outs with friends or during events. However, dancing is an incredible way to lose weight, burn calories, tone the body, improve mood, flexibility, agility, and many other health benefits.

The dance’s type and intensity dictate its efficiency for weight loss. Calories burned depend on the intensity of the session. Therefore, carefully select the dance options available and tailor one that best leads to the desired result. It is recommended that people begin with moderate-intensity dance sessions to help their bodies build endurance before they jump into high-intensity dance styles like salsa, belly dancing, Zumba, and more.

It is essential to consult with a qualified fitness trainer and seek professional medical advice to craft the best dance workout strategy for your weight loss goals. It is also important to know the physical activity guidelines for safety when undertaking various dance moves.


While dancing is a great way to de-stress and get social, it also has many health benefits. It is a great way to burn fat, exercise, and lose weight. Dancing for weight loss can be done as the only activity or paired with other exercise routines. Those who pair dancing with other exercises experience higher rates of weight loss.

If you want to lose weight through dance, the first step you need to take is to select a dance form that works for you and see it through. Professional medical advice is recommended to learn more about how dancing results and be maximized to help achieve your desired body weight.

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
The article was fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: September 23, 2022
8 min read 1485 Views 0 Comments

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