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Does Dancing Help You Lose Weight? 5 Dance Styles May Help 2023

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Medically reviewed by Kimberly Langdon, MD

How To Lose Weight By Dancing

Losing excess weight can improve your health and promote overall well-being. However, weight loss goals are often left incomplete owing to the difficulty and often boredom of the routine. To stay committed to your slimming goals, it is vital to find a way that keeps you motivated. 

If you have already tried and failed multiple crash diet plans, let us tell you, there are some more entertaining yet effective ways to lose weight. Using CBD oil for weight loss is gaining quick popularity as some animal studies suggest its effectiveness in boosting metabolism and reducing food intake. 

Another great way to shed the extra fat is dancing. Most of us love to dance and it offers a range of health benefits. It is fun and when performed in a group setting it inspires a sense of community and keeps you motivated. Want to know if dancing can help you to lose weight? How long should you dance? Do you need to learn dancing to lose weight? We will answer these questions and some more in this article.  

How To Lose Weight By Dancing?  

Dancing is an aerobic activity[1] with multiple health benefits. A person weighing 180 pounds can burn as much as 126 calories in just 15 minutes through high-intensity dance like break dancing[2]. So, if you want to lose weight, dancing can be a fun way to spend an excessive number of calories. 

For weight loss, you need to create a calorie deficit. This means you should eat fewer calories than you burn. According to dietitians, a deficiency of 3,500 calories in the body will lead to the shedding of 1 pound of weight. Swaying will burn calories, helping you to reach the goal.  

When it comes to losing weight, everything boils down to two things – the calories you eat and the calories you burn. Dancing will definitely help you to burn more calories, but to create a calorie deficit, which will actually lead to weight loss, you also need to check your diet. 

Making sure that there is at least a 500-calorie energy deficit every day is essential for losing around 1 pound weight in a week and swaying is a fun way to create this energy deficit. 

If you are watching your diet closely, you can lose weight steadily with regular dancing but if you are trying to lose weight within a limited time or you have taken the six-week weight loss challenge, combining dance with another exercise, particularly strength training can yield results more quickly. If you want to lose more than 12 pounds in six weeks, seek medical advice.   

How Much Weight Can You Lose By Dancing? 

How much weight you lose by dancing totally depends on how long you dance and the pace. Different dance styles have their unique pace which regulates calorie burning. Ballroom dances are often slow-paced and they naturally spend fewer calories than more rigorous forms of dance like hip hop. 

Also, the calorie you burn through dancing depends on your weight. A person weighing 180 pounds will burn more calories than a person weighing 140 pounds for dancing for the same duration with the same intensity.

An average female weighing around 170 pounds will burn 304 calories if she practices ballet for 45 minutes. If she is into breakdancing, she can lose as much as 358 calories by dancing for the same duration. An average man weighing around 200 pounds[2] will burn 357 calories if he does ballet for 45 minutes and 422 calories by breakdance for the same duration.     

That said, dancing will help you to burn more calories but it will lead to weight loss only when there is a calorie deficit, which means the total calories burned in a day should be more than the total calories consumed. If you are burning calories through dance practice and consuming the same or more calories through diet, it will not help you in shedding extra weight but might offer other health benefits like improved flexibility, balance, and better cardiac and mental health. 

Weight loss impacts the body in unique ways. Unless you are into targeted exercising for toning any particular area, normally excess fat is lost from all over the body. But, do your feet get smaller when you lose weight? Once you have lost weight the structure of your feet will not get smaller, but your shoe size can change.   

The Best Dancing Style For Weight Loss 

Just like any aerobic exercise, the more intense the dancing style the more calories you will burn. Dance increases heart rate and all the types of dance might not be suitable for people with cardiac problems. When you are choosing dance for losing extra body weight and fitness you should also consider your current physical condition and what you like. 

Dancing is often preferred above other forms of exercise because of the fun factor. So, if you are choosing a dance style that you do not like, you will miss the fun and might end up leaving it shortly.     

That said, let us make it clear, for losing weight you need not pick up any specific dancing style or join the dance classes. Dancing on your own, in your room, for the same duration and intensity will give you similar results. 

You can also use any dance videos for inspiration and practice them on your own to get all the health benefits. However, when practicing alone, people often miss the routine and as a result, they do not see much improvement. 

Joining a dance class is ideal if you are looking for something more structured. It will also keep you motivated and stop you from missing the practice. 

Here are some of the popular dance styles to pick, 

Ballroom Dancing 

Includes partner dancing styles like the waltz, tango, rumba, etc. Ballroom dancing is normally slow-paced and burns a fewer number of calories compared to other intense dance styles. It is great for people newly initiated into dancing, with joint problems, and also for those with a heavy physique.   

The dance style helps in toning the muscles of the legs, core, and back. It is also ideal to improve flexibility and balance. A person with a bodyweight of 170 pounds can lose around 134 calories by 30 minutes of ballroom dancing.   


A form of classical dance where the dance moves focus on technique, flexibility, and strength. You work the muscles of the core, legs, hands, and back during the dance. Ballet is not a high-intensity dance form, it burns fewer calories but it can improve muscle strength, flexibility, and agility. 

Ballet dancing is often not suitable for people with joint issues or heavy body. There are different levels of it and if you are a beginner you should start from the basic levels to avoid any injury. 30 minutes of ballet will burn around 202 calories in a person weighing 170 pounds.    

Belly Dancing   

Belly dancing is a fun way of exercising and it also helps to burn a considerable number of calories. It is a high-paced workout for the abs and also tones the core, back, and leg muscles. The style is not easy but very effective as a calorie-burning exercise. Belly dance is a great way for targeting belly fat. 

You can join belly dance classes to learn this unique dance form that originated in the middle east. If you are not familiar with this dance, first check out a few online videos to know if it interests you. 

Hip Hop  

If you are aiming to get slimmer, hip hop dancing can be really helpful. It has intense dance moves and spends a lot of calories within minimum time. This urban dance pattern is often presented as a mixture of breaking, locking, freestyling, and popping[3].

Hip hop is a full body exercise. Along with strengthening the muscles of the legs and the core it also improves balance, flexibility, and agility. A person weighing 170 pounds can burn as much as 235 calories through 30 minutes of hip hop dancing.     


Zumba is basically a fitness program and it is highly effective for slimming and toning the body. This Latin-inspired, dance-based full body workout includes high and low-intensity dance moves which help in calorie burn. There are different forms of Zumba and there are also variations that incorporate weight in the session, helping to spend more calories. 

Zumba targets the core, glutes, and leg muscles. You can join a Zumba class in the gym or learn it from the videos available on the web and practice it in your room to get the same benefits.    

Is Just Dancing a Good Way When You Want To Lose Weight?  

Dancing is a physical activity that helps to burn calories and is a good workout for the whole body. However, it is important to keep in mind that only burning calories do not lead to weight loss. You need to create a calorie deficit, which means the total calories burned should be more than the calories you eat.  

Again, different types of dancing burn different amounts of calories, and how long or how frequently you dance has a major role in the total calorie spent. If you are trying to lose a considerable amount of weight quickly, only dancing is not enough. You also need to include strength training along with dieting to reach your goal. 


Dancing is an effective cardio exercise and a fun way to lose weight. High-paced dancing can help shed extra pounds as they burn more calories. There are different types of dance and you should pick one according to your fitness level, health conditions, and preferences to get the best results. You may join a dance class to learn a particular dance form or learn them from the videos and practice on your own to get the same health benefits.   

+ 3 sources

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  1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2018). Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans 2nd edition. [online] . Available at: https://health.gov/sites/default/files/2019-09/Physical_Activity_Guidelines_2nd_edition.pdf.
  2. ‌Burned-calories.com. (2021). How many calories do you burn with Dancing? – Online Calculator! [online] Available at: https://burned-calories.com/sport/dancing
  3. Vic.gov.au. (2013). Dance – health benefits | betterhealth.vic.gov.au. [online] Available at: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/dance-health-benefits

Medically reviewed by:

Kimberly Langdon

Ananya Lahiri holds a Bachelor's degree in Life Sciences and a Master's degree in Bioinformatics. She is also the published author of several Health & Wellness blogs, guides, and e-books. With years of experience in the education and e-learning industry, she is keen on sharing information that can help people in making informed choices. Ananya is an avid dog lover with a specific interest in Huskies and GSDs. She is also a certified translator and holds a certificate in digital marketing. Apart from Health and Medical, Ananya also enjoys writing on tech, fashion, and beauty niches. She has crafted study materials for Cosmetology & Nursing courses.

Medically reviewed by:

Kimberly Langdon

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