A UVA Heart & Vascular Center Initiative

5 Dance Classes That Will Shake Up Your Workout

Posted November 09, 2015

Tired of the treadmill? Bored of the elliptical? It may be time to shake up your workout. Dancing burns calories, lowers blood pressure, increases endurance and reduces your risk of heart disease. Plus — it also tones many different muscle groups, improves your posture, balance, strength and joint mobility.

“Dancing is a great way to get your heart rate up and you can do it at home so it’s a great alternative to the gym,” says UVA cardiologist and Club Red Ambassador Brandy Patterson, MD .

Here’s a breakdown of some of the more popular classes you may find at your local fitness center, including an estimate of how many calories an individual weighing 150 pounds will burn in one hour of doing the following dances.

(Note: these calorie counts are estimates only; everyone burns calories differently depending on muscle mass, age, weight and other factors.)


A mix of Latin and international music that incorporates body-sculpting movements and easy-to-follow dance steps.  Calories burned per hour: 500

Belly dancing

Cardio belly dance adds upbeat music and a modern twist to basic moves from the ancient Middle Eastern art form. Calories burned per hour: 300

Hip-hop or funk

This high-energy dance workout teaches the latest moves from the clubs and music videos. Instructors break the moves down so they are easy to learn and follow. Calories burned per hour: 320


Typically practiced barefoot, Nia is a fusion of cardiovascular aerobic exercise, dance, yoga and whole-body conditioning set to motivating music. Calories burned per hour: 350

Line dancing

Line dancing is performed by a number of people standing in line and facing the same direction. Everyone dances the same steps in sequences, which are repeated several times to selected music that may include swing, country, hip-hop, top 40, Latin and more. Calories burned per hour: 300

Not surprisingly, the harder you work, the more calories you’ll burn. So turn up the music and shake it off!


Sources: MedicalNewsToday.com and caloriecount.about.com



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