Dancing is one of the most amusing ways to burn off some energy.

Most types of dancing require moving most of the muscles in your body. You’re probably wondering whether dancing is good for exercise. How many calories does dancing burn? Look no further for the answers!

Let’s dive into the details.

Can Dancing Be Considered My Exercise?

The short answer is yes! Dancing can be considered an excellent form of exercise.

You don’t have to hit a hip-hop dancing class; you can just jam to your favorite music in your living room and consider that an exercise.

Or you can learn how to shuffle. You’d be surprised at what 20 minutes of shuffling will do to your calves and your heart rate!

As long as you move your body and your heart rate hastens, you’re basically working out. So, you can exercise and socialize at the same time at your nearest country bar.

That being said, not all types of dancing burns the same amount energy. Just do what you can and try out new forms of dancing.

How Dancing Makes a Good Form of Exercise

When you’re on the dance floor, you’re basically expending around 200 to 300 calories per hour. That’s close to the amount of energy you burn during a one-hour swim or jogging session.

Dancing trains coordination, agility, accuracy, balance, and endurance. Then, it combines all of that into an aesthetic movement.

More importantly, dancing is a fun activity! So, you’ll have higher chances of adhering to the exercise, unlike other running or hitting the gym, which can be boring for many people. I’ve noticed that when a person finds a type of exercise that they like doing, they’re hooked. Exercise is no longer a chore; it is a way of life.

How Dancing Affects Your Golden Years

It’s easy for me to tell if an elderly person has been a dancer.

I have personally met many elderly women – and just by seeing the grace, balance, and poise with which they carry themselves – I’ve been able to guess that they are dancers.

Once you get an eye for it, it is unmistakable. There is no doubt that they have better posture and body awareness than others their age.

Does Dancing Burn Calories?

There are many types of dancing that can be done for exercise. Each one offers a set of health benefits, and they all burn calories at different rates.

The amount of calories that dancing burns depends on its type, intensity, and how long you do it.

For example, slow dancing is very different from swing dancing. The more vigorous the dance is, the more calories you’re likely to burn while doing it.

Let’s check out the different types of dancing:

1.    Zumba

Zumba is one of the most popular fitness dance programs in the world. It’s usually associated with Latin music.

Zumba uses interval training, meaning that it alternates between fast and slow fitness movements, which helps burn even more calories than dancing at a consistent speed.

Additionally, one study showed that Zumba helps build stamina and decrease pain sensitivity.

2.    Salsa

Are you looking for partner dances? Salsa is one of the best options that allow you to work out and bond with your partner.

It’s not as intense as other dances, so it’s good for beginners and people just starting on their fitness journey.

3.    Hip-Hop

A group of women hip hop dancing

Hip-hop is one of the most intense types of dancing. It often combines many other types of dances, like break dancing.

Hip-hop dancing can burn a lot of calories. Further, it increases strength and agility. However, it can be a little tough for a beginner. So, you should start slow to avoid injuries.

4.    Ballet

Ballet is known for building a great, lean look. It also helps with building a good posture and a strong core.

While it doesn’t burn as many calories as more intense types of dancing, it can help build strength and discipline.

It should be noted that this is a very time-intensive form of dance with individuals spending hours upon hours practicing, so in that sense it does burn more calories.

How Many Calories Does Dancing Burn?

The following table shows how many calories each type of dance can burn.

Keep in mind that these numbers are for an adult male weighing 180 pounds. Additionally, the number of burnt calories can differ according to sex, age, and weight.

DanceCalories Per MinuteCalories Per 15 MinutesCalories Per Hour

Dancing vs. Working Out

Hitting the gym is the first thing that comes to mind when mentioning exercise. So, how does dancing compare to working out?

Dancing and working out are both great ways to keep your body moving. Yet, you can benefit from each form of exercise depending on your goals.

Muscle Building

If you need to build some muscles, then you should definitely go for weight lifting and working out over dancing.

While dancing can keep your body lean and toned, it targets the entire body and is more of a cardiovascular exercise.


Ballet training

Both dancing and strength training can benefit flexibility. That said, dancing can enhance your flexibility and range of motion far better than working out – depending on the type of dance. Ballet definitely takes the cake here for being the “most likely to make you flexible” type of dance.

In fact, many people experience tightness due to muscle soreness after working out.

The Health Benefits of Dancing as an Exercise

Dancing can lead to a healthier body and mind. It can boost your mood, confidence, energy, and overall health.

Here are all the different ways dancing can encourage health and wellness:

1.   Stress Relief

Generally, exercise is an excellent way to de-stress. It helps your body release endorphins, causing you to feel happier and more relaxed.

Dancing can also help you express yourself.

Additionally, dancing can help boost your confidence. You’ll feel more comfortable and relaxed in your body, which can significantly improve your body image and self-esteem.

As if that isn’t enough, there’s proof that dance can help with anxiety, as well as depression, and might even benefit some cases of autism.

Salsa dance practice

2.   Improve Cardiovascular Health

The heart is a muscle that, just like other muscles in your body, needs exercise and stimulation. Well, dancing is the perfect way to get your heart beating!

Regular bouts of moderate-intensity dancing can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease mortality. Dancing also improves your mood, which might help with blood pressure problems.

Simply put, dancing results in a happy, healthy heart, especially if you make it a habit!

3.   Weight Loss

Since dancing can burn a good deal of calories, it’s only natural that it’s an excellent exercise for weight loss. That’s why plenty of gyms offer dance classes, such as Zumba and pole dancing, to help along your fitness journey.

Like all exercises, you have to be consistent and follow the instructions of a professional. This way, you can get the best results.

Moderate to high-intensity dance can help you shed a few extra pounds. In the long run, dancing might also help tone your muscles. So, you’ll look and feel good!

4.   Better Balance

If you’ve got two left feet, dancing might actually help your balance issues. After all, practice makes perfect. Not only will having excellent balance boost your confidence, but it can also improve your muscle and bone health.

Dancers have better flexibility and control of their muscles. Moreover, physical activity helps enhance posture, which in turn can strengthen the spine and joints.

Older individuals can really benefit from dancing. The reason is that dancing improves mobility and postural control. So, older people can improve their gait, lower body endurance, flexibility, and agility through dancing.

5.   Enhance Energy Levels

Do you find yourself often feeling sleepy and lacking energy? Well, dancing can also fix this issue!

Even if you run out of breath during the first few minutes of dancing, you’ll be able to make progress if you stick to it long enough.

Essential Safety Tips for Dancing

Before you hit the dance floor, there are some essential safety tips that you need to check out.

1.   Check with Your Doctor First

If you’re overweight, over 40 years old, or have a medical condition, it’s best to check with your doctor first before starting any sort of workout.

In most cases, you’ll be asked to start with light exercise, especially if you’re overweight or over 40 years old. That’s because a heavy exercise of any sort can do more harm than good for you.

2.   Never Skip Warm-Ups

Warming up is an essential part of any workout, including dancing. It basically allows you to increase the intensity of your exercise gradually, so your body can adjust itself to the workout.

Actually, the more intense your dancing exercise is, the more warming up your body will need. Many types of dancing require a lot of intense movement. For that reason, you should never skip warm-ups. If you’re at the club, just start slow.

3.   Take It Slow

You shouldn’t push yourself too far in any sort of exercise, especially if you’re a beginner. Dancing can sometimes be too fun that some beginners might get carried away.

It’s crucial to take it slow and easy at first. Then, you can gradually increase the intensity of your dancing workout until you reach your goal.

4.   Check With a Dance Instructor

Whether you love dancing in your living room or hitting the dance floor at a club, you might need to check your dancing routine with a professional instructor.

You can start your journey with some dancing lessons to help you familiarize yourself with the correct forms and moves. If you like the comfort and privacy of dancing in your living room, you might want to try online dancing lessons.

Some people actually hate the gym and instead of a personal trainer, getting a dance instructor may be the best route. Honestly, if it gets you moving, then do it!

Wrapping Up

Dancing is an excellent exercise, especially if you’re looking to tone your body or learn a new skill. This fun exercise helps you become more synchronized and balanced while burning some calories.

Though you won’t grow your muscles by dancing, it has numerous health benefits. Dancing to your favorite music can reduce stress and release happy hormones. It’ll also decrease the risk of heart disease, help in weight loss, and increase stamina.


  1. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/psychology-workout-music/
  2. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/dance-health-benefits
  3. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/dancing-preventing-injury
  4. https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/a-z/dance-for-exercise
  5. https://burned-calories.com/sport/dancing
  6. https://www.fitnessblender.com/articles/dancing-calories-burned-by-type-how-many-calories-does-dancing-burn
  7. https://www.everydayhealth.com/fitness-pictures/health-benefits-of-dance.aspx

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