Dancing is the incorporation of body movements to tempos and rhythms. A shared pastime and form of entertainment in many cultures, dancing is also increasing in popularity as a weight-loss tool. Dance styles vary according to technique, tempo, complexity of movement and duration. You can determine the rate and results of your own weight loss by your level of intensity, frequency and duration of your dance workout in conjunction with a balanced diet.
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There are a plethora of dance styles from which you can choose. Having different options is beneficial because you may come to discover that you do not particularly enjoy one type of dance, but you greatly enjoy a different type. The key to weight loss in dancing is constant, high-energy movement using large muscle groups. Social dancing involves dancing with a partner. High-energy, quick-movement social dances include salsa, lindy hop, which is a type of swing dance, and ballroom. Performance dances that do not require a partner include tap, ballet, clogging, break dancing, hip-hop, jazz and modern dance.
Dance styles that require certain movements are very beneficial. Learn dances that focus on utilizing core movement. The core includes a your inner, outer and side abdominal muscles along with the muscles of your lower back and the musculature that supports your spine. Engaging and strengthening your core can protect your back from injury, increase your metabolism and enable you to more easily do other dance movements with control and ease.
Where to Go
Many recreational facilities, gyms and community organizations offer workshops that teach basic dance technique for individual dance styles. Many cities have dance venues that hold nightly or weekly social dances in dance styles like Latin, contra, ballroom, swing, country-swing and tango. If you prefer to dance without a partner, you can take tap, clogging or ballet lessons or join a drill team. You can also enroll in aerobics or Zumba—high-intensity, Latin-based aerobics—classes that incorporate different dance moves to uptempo music. A less-structured, yet equally effective weight-loss option is to attend a dance club or party.
Calorie-Counter.net states that you can burn 50 calories in 15 minutes doing ballroom dance. However, many different factors will determine how many calories you actually burn while dancing. An effective dance workout for weight loss includes raising your heart rate to 50 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate. Again, uptempo music is more conducive to high-energy movement, which increases heart rate. If you are in an aerobics class, you can choose to do higher-impact movements or do movements in double-time.
Aside from weight loss, dancing as a form of exercise has many other health benefits. Sixwise.com explains that different dance styles can improve blood circulation, balance and posture, increase flexibility and coordination, reduce high blood pressure and the risk of heart disease, help reduce stress and provide cardiovascular conditioning. Additionally, dancing allows for free, full-body movement that engages brain function through creativity.