10 Simple Dances To Help You Lose Weight Easily

Shed those stubborn pounds by moving your body to your favorite beats every day.

Reviewed by Rakesh Rathod, Certified Personal Trainer Rakesh Rathod Rakesh RathodCertified Personal Trainer facebook_icontwitter_iconlinkedin_iconyoutube_iconinsta_icon
Written by , BA Shirin Mehdi BA Experience: 3 years
Edited by , BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma Arshiya Syeda BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma Experience: 7 years
Fact-checked by , BPharm, Certified Health & Wellness Coach Moksha Gandhi BPharm, Certified Health & Wellness Coach Experience: 2 years

There are many sermons, medicines, exercises, and diet suggestions for weight loss. However, if following any of these doesn’t seem to work, why not do it in a more fun and flexible way? Have you ever given a thought to pursuing dance for weight loss? Just any form of dance that makes your heart groove and your body move should suffice.

As a form of art and as a medium of expression, dance has now evolved into many mixed formats and styles. While there’s freestyle and hip hop, there’s salsa and Zumba too that help your heart beat faster, and your body break into a sweat in a more fun and enjoyable way. Just letting your body dance to the rhythm of your favorite music, lost in the present moment, can do wonders for your health and wellness.

As per a survey published by The American Council Of Exercise, fitness experts and health specialists unanimously believe that dance has evolved into a form of exercise. An hour of dancing burns as many calories as swimming or bike-riding. Also, regular dancing has been shown to help reduce your serum cholesteroli  XThe total amount of cholesterol in your blood, whose high levels may increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. levels and high blood pressure. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of dance for weight loss.

Different Dance Forms to Lose Weight

Dance workouts are becoming increasingly popular these days. There are many forms of dance that can help in reducing weight. It is a fantastic form of exercise and is effective in burning calories. Regular exercise might become boring and monotonous and hence dancing appears as a pleasing and fun option. However, you have to choose the right type of dance depending upon your body structure, coordination, strength and endurance. Some dance forms are more strenuous than others and you have to be careful in choosing the right one to get maximum results.

1. Freestyle

Image: Shutterstock

This dance form enables you to move freely without bothering about the dance steps or body movements. This is the easiest of all dance forms and can be practiced by all age groups. Apart from causing weight loss, it also makes your body more flexible. This dance form can be performed on any type of loud music and you can increase your pace by dancing anyway you like. The beats should be fast to boost up your energy levels and tease you to dance non-stop. This dance should be practiced every day for 30 minutes to lose weight. You can dance alone or with a group who loves thumping, fast paced music. It will be a fantastic experience to enjoy this dance form in a group.

2. Hip Hop

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Hip hop is an urban, street form of dance that is most popular in nightclubs. The quick succession of movements involved in this dance exercises the entire body. It is a high energy workout that is good for both beginners and veterans. It has been given this name because of the fact that it takes place in the hips and waist and thus helps in firming and tone your abs. Dancing while watching a video or at a club for an hour will enable you to burn around 250 calories.

protip_icon Did You Know?

Hip-hop is said to have originated in the 1960s in the streets of New York City, taking inspiration from African dancing.

3. Hip Hop Abs

Hip hop abs dance for weight loss
Image: Shutterstock

This dance form strictly uses dance moves to shape and tone your abs so there is no need to lie on the floor and do crunches. This involves isolation exercises in combination with an intense cardio workout to enable you to lose fat and build a strong six pack. Women have greater advantage to cut down those extra pounds in abs and look pretty. Hip hop abs should be completed in 2 to 3 days a week.

4. Cabaret/Belly Dancing

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This is an exotic art form which helps tone problem areas like hips, back and abs. Also known as “raks sharki”, this form involves slow and controlled isometric movementsi  XA type of exercise where a group of muscles are contracted without moving the joints and helps build and maintain strength. that help to maintain flexibility and improve circulation.  Shaking the belly or lower body burns calories and helps shape up your buttocks. In addition, it also burns thigh and abdominal fat. By strengthening muscles and improving posture, it prevents back pain that is often an obstacle to exercising. Because it is a low impact dance form, it is less stressful to the bones of the feet than other exercises and thus improves bone density. An hour of belly dancing can burn up to 300 calories. Though it is not an aerobic exercisei  XA type of exercise that increases your heartbeat and breathing, which helps in weight loss and improves cardiovascular health.  it can form part of a training regimen. This can be practiced by watching videos or joining special dance classes offered by gyms and dance studios. Cabaret increases the flexibility and fitness of your body.

5. Salsa

This intricate and exhilarating Latin American dance form has recently gained immense popularity in night clubs and dance studios. It has drawn inspiration from the dance styles of Cumbia, bomba and merengue music among others. Salsa basically consists of a pattern of six steps danced over eight counts of music along with several turns and is danced side to side. An hour of salsa dance steps can help you in sweating out an impressive 300-400 calories. Hence, it is a good choice for a weight loss program.

6. Zumba

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Zumba incorporates salsa, rumba, merengue, and hip hop moves to cause movement thus giving you a cardio workout. Zumba classes are offered by many chain gyms across the country and aim to make people enjoy while working out simultaneously. No partner is needed for this type of dance. Most of the steps are easy and isolate your arms, abs, and legs for strengthening. This aerobic workout is great for overall fitness. You are bound to enjoy the results as you enjoy the dance. This is one of the most demanding dance styles all over the world for its convenience in style and output. Zumba classes are also offered on DVD. For best results, Zumba workout should be done at least 2 to 3 days a week.

protip_icon Trivia
Zumba was founded by Colombian dancer Alberto ‘Beto’ Perez in the early 1990s in Cali, Colombia.

7. Jazzercise

Jazzercise dance for weight loss
Image: Shutterstock

Founded in 1969, it is one of the oldest dance forms, which basically combines jazz dance and strength training to tone muscles and burn calories simultaneously. It builds muscles during the workout through the use of barbells and dumbbells. Apart from these, it involves some classic Pilatesi  XA type of exercise where special apparatuses are used to stretch, lengthen, and strengthen muscles while improving posture. and yoga movements which lengthen muscles while cardio boxing moves give an aerobic workout. According to the Jazzercise website, this workout enables you to burn up to 500 calories in an hour. It should be done 2 to 3 times a week to lose weight effectively.

8. Ballet

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Ballet is often viewed as a slow-moving and low impact dance form but it plays a great role in shaping your body. In fact, this dance forms demands a lot of flexibility and it actually requires strength and precision to perform most ballet positions and movements. The slow pace and posture required in ballet is very much similar to Pilates. The slow and balanced movements help to build long and lean muscles. Some ballet movements are comparable to certain gym exercises. The movements cause the stretching and lengthening of the muscles, thus providing you a full body workout. Concentration will increase the flexibility of your body parts and help burn fat deposits that make you look fat.

9. Pole Dancing

This dance form might not appear effective to most of us. But you will be surprised to know that climbing and rotating on a pole increases your flexibility and also helps you burn down some calories. A pole dance of 30 minutes is equivalent to 20 minutes in a gym. Pole dance is great for losing weight and slimming down, toning your muscles, and shaping your body.

10. African Dance

Image: Shutterstock

It is a fun dance form that generally involves a combination of contemporary and traditional African dance forms and is extremely aerobic. It introduces some great music and culture and is suitable for beginners as well as experienced dancers.

How Dancing Results In Weight Loss

1. Lose Weight At A Dance Studio

It is a common misconception that dance classes are for kids but if you switch on your television and surf through the channels you are bound to come across dance reality shows featuring adults, some of them even mothers and fathers to teenagers. It is obvious that you are going to find dance studios in your city geared towards adults considering these fabulous dancers on television are learning their moves somewhere. Take up dance lessons and lose some weight as dance like aerobics utilizes all parts of the body to give you a complete workout. A simple jazz or hip hop routine could effectively burn around 300 calories and simultaneously workout all your muscle groups. The best thing about taking up dance classes are you don’t need to be able to dance, in fact, you are paying an expert to effectively teach you.

2. Ideal Dance Routines For Weight Loss

Unfortunately, Indian classical dance has little to offer in terms of weight loss, focused mainly on hand and leg movements and facial expressions, you are bound to be disappointed if you are looking for weight loss. Effective dance routines for weight loss are mainly ballroom dance like Tango, Jazz, Cha-cha and Pasa Doble or street dance forms like salsa and hip hop. These high energy dance routines can be compared to an intense workout at the gym and often yield the same results. Ballroom dance being a weight-bearing activity effectively burns calories, improves bone density and works all muscles in the body.

3. Dance For Weight Loss At Home

For many of us the idea of dancing in a group would be embarrassing simply because we haven’t done it before. So if you are pathologically shy and blush red at the idea of dancing in groups, there’s no need to give up on dance to lose weight. Simply lock yourself into your room, put on your favorite dance tracks and move to the beats for your own enjoyment.

Joey, a blogger, has a deep passion for dancing. On her blog she shares how it makes her feel: “Dancing relaxes me; it sets me free because it helps me forget my troubles as it feels like I am dancing unhappiness and problems away. It also helps me to lose weight and makes me look slim (i).”

Dance Vs Other Weight Loss Methods

Common weight loss solutions are working out at the gym, weight loss diets, weight loss supplements and pills. Dance effectively beats all these other weight loss methods. For those of us who are easily bored or not athletically inclined, working out at the gym can be a time consuming and hard task. In comparison to working out at the gym, dance can be fun even as you listen to upbeat music and move your body.

Weight loss diets, in most cases, unfortunately mean starving your body and can result in weakness, headaches and the constant feeling of hunger where as with dance you simply burn off the calories you consume. Weight loss supplements and pills come with their share of adverse side effects whereas with dance the only side effects are the positivity it infuses into your daily life.

Nevertheless, dancing too frequently or improperly may lead to injuries that can slow you down. Learn more about them in the next section.

Common Dance Injuries To Avoid

Research has shown that dancers often encounter injuries in areas such as the back, neck, shoulders, and lower limbs, including the hips, knees, ankles, and feet (1).

Shoulder injuries often result from frequent lifting and can be managed through rest and oral anti-inflammatory medication. Back injuries include sprains, herniated discs, and stress fractures that are often linked to training errors. Hip injuries may involve bone degeneration, stress fractures, bursitis, and sciatic nerve damage. The most prevalent foot injury is anterior lateral ligament sprain, potentially causing long-term ankle instability (1).

Thus, it is important to focus on proper training, warm-ups, and conditioning to reduce the risk of these injuries.

Infographic: Top 6 Dance Forms To Lose Weight

While gyming and indulging in outdoor physical activities could be the familiar way to lose some inches, we suggest spicing up this mundane routine. You can try different dance forms that help you reach your ideal weight while making the complete journey more enjoyable. Check out the infographic below and pick your favorite dances to burn those calories!

top 6 dance forms to lose weight (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

While you might be keen on jumping on the fad diet for weight loss bandwagon or incorporating multiple reps of cardio in your workout routine, how about giving dance for weight loss a try? Zumba, hip hop, or freestyle, just grooving to your favorite beats for a few minutes every day can make a visible difference eventually. Dancing helps move your body, tone and stretch your muscles, makes you more flexible, and shed that excess flab all while having fun. Wearing comfortable clothes and the right shoes would help you make the most of it. So next time, you don’t seem like hitting the gym, dance like no one’s watching till you break a sweat!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Zumba better than running?

No. According to anecdotal evidence, a person weighing about 160 pounds loses about 600 calories after running an hour at 5 mph, while you lose about 400 calories after an hour of Zumba class.

Which dance is best for weight loss?

Intense high-energy dances such as Zumba, salsa, or belly dancing can be ideal for losing weight.

Is dancing better than walking?

Yes. According to anecdotal records, a person weighing about 155 pounds loses about 230 calories after dancing for half an hour, while you lose about 150 calories after walking at 3.5 mph.

Key Takeaways

  • Dance is one of the top cardio exercises that helps in losing weight, there are multiple forms to try, such as freestyle and salsa.
  • Freestyle is the easiest form of dance and not only aids in losing weight but also improves flexibility.
  • Belly dancing is an exotic dance form that can alleviate problems concerning the back, abs, and hips.
  • Engage in proper warm-up routine and training to avoid injuries.

Get ready to sweat and have fun with a Zumba dance workout! Click on this video to delve into the energetic world of Zumba and find out how to burn calories and lose weight to the beat!

Personal Experience: Source


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  1. Injuries to dancers. Prevalence, treatment and prevention
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