Taking that first step on your weight loss journey is just so positive. In no time, you will be feeling and looking so much healthier. You’ll likely be wanting to add some exercise into your routine to really boost your weight loss and improve your health, and you can really look no further than dance. It is fun, great for burning calories, and it is something you are really going to want to keep going to week after week. And, as we all know, when it comes to losing weight, consistency is key! But which style of dance should you choose? Read on for our guide to which dance is the best for weight loss.

What to look for in a weight-loss dance style

If you’re looking for a dance style that will help you to lose weight, the key thing to think about is how intense it is and how high it will get your heart rate. To burn calories efficiently, you need to get your heart rate up into the best zone (between 50% and 85% of your maximum heart rate). Here are some key things to look for:

  • High energy – while you will burn some calories taking part in a sedate dance style like a waltz, it won’t be as much as one that keeps you moving fast
  • Lots of big movements – when you make big movements that use large muscle groups, your body needs to use a lot of fuel to achieve it. And the more fuel your body uses, the more calories you burn
  • Strength training – strength training is an important part of weight loss. The more muscles you have, the more calories you will burn at rest (muscles use more calories than fat). So dance styles that have an element of strength training can help you to keep that weight loss going
  • Fast footwork – fast-paced footwork doesn’t use big muscle groups but it does get your heart rate up and it keeps it up. Perfect for burning calories!

How often should I dance?

There is no definitive answer to this and it all depends on how quickly you want to get fit and how much time you can dedicate to it. The recommended number of “active minutes” that people should take part in each week is 150 to maintain fitness. To lose weight, you can take this up to 300 minutes a week. Not all of those 300 minutes have to include dancing, but if you can dedicate a good chunk of them to dance, you should be able to achieve your weight loss goals within a reasonable time frame.

Which dance is best for weight loss?

1) Zumba

Calories burned per hour: 300-550

Zumba was specifically designed for fitness. It is a mix of hip-hop, rumba, salsa, and merengue but it is done in a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) style. This means that there are short bursts of very intense exercise followed by short periods of rest. With HIIT training you can fit a lot of calorie burn into a shorter period of time. So a 20-minute HIIT session can burn the same number of calories as a 50-minute steady workout.

2) Hip-hop

Calories burned per hour: 370-610 (depending on the style)

Hip-hop dance is a choreographed form of dance based on freestyle breaking, which emerged from African-American historical and social culture. It uses a wide variety of moves, many of which focus on the use of your core, hips, and waist. Because it is so high energy and uses large and fast movements, it provides a high rate of calorie burn. This is especially true of styles like breakdancing that require a lot of body-weight moves. These can get you up into the 600 calories per hour zone.

3) Ballet

Calories burned per hour: 360-450

Ballet is one of the oldest traditional forms of dance. It is highly choreographed and very technical, requiring a high level of control over every muscle of the body as well as a lot of core and lower body strength. Recently, a workout regime called barre has also become very popular. It uses elements of ballet, yoga, and Pilates and is excellent for strength training, balance, and flexibility.

4) Pole dancing

Calories burned per hour: 250-350

The pole dancing craze has been sweeping the country for a while now. It is brilliant for training your core and upper body strength and do wonders for shaping and toning your body. Because it is such hard work, you’ll also burn plenty of calories at the same time. And the strength training involved will help to raise your resting metabolic rate so that you will start to burn calories more efficiently day-to-day.

5) Belly dancing

Calories burned per hour: 250-350

Belly dancing is an ancient Middle Eastern form of dance. It is high energy and requires amazing muscle control, coordination, and balance. Once you get the technique down, you can have so much fun doing the expressive dance and burning lots of calories while you go.

6) Swing

Calories burned per hour: 550-600

Swing dancing was born out of the swing music of the 1920s-1940s. There are lots of different swing dancing styles, such as Lindy Hop, Charleston, and Collegiate Shag. While its retro style could have you thinking that this dance style won’t help you lose weight, actually, because of its energetic pace and quick footwork, your heart rate will stay high throughout.

7) Salsa

Calories burned per hour: 350-450

If you want to lose weight and have some fun, with a partner, then salsa dancing could be just the thing for you. It is a Latin dance style developed by Cubans and Puerto Ricans living in New York in the 60s and 70s. It is high energy with lots of intricate steps and big moves around the dance floor, so can really help you to kick start that weight loss.

Final thoughts

There are lots of high-energy calorie-burning dance styles out there that can help you to lose weight. Which one is right for you depends on what you enjoy. You will be able to find a dance style that just “clicks” and, even if that one isn’t the top calorie burner, it will still be best for you because you will want to go and dance as often as you can. And the more you dance, the fitter you become, and the more fun you have!

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