The Calories Burned in One Hour of Moderate Dancing

The number of calories burned in an hour of dancing varies from one person to the next; what you're burning during your dance is often much different than your partner. This is largely due to your body composition and how hard — or intensely — you dance. The larger you are and the more intensity you bring, the more calories you tend to expend during any physical activity.

The number of calories you burn while dancing changes from person to person. (Image: DragonImages/iStock/GettyImages)

Tip

Your calories burned while dancing depend on various factors, such as your body weight as well as the intensity of your dance routine.

Calories Burned Dancing

Your body weight is one of the most significant factors influencing the number of calories burned in ballet and other dance routines — or any other activity, for that matter. At a weight of 125 pounds, you're burning roughly 5.5 calories per minute dancing moderate-intensity steps, according to Harvard Health Publishing. This means you're burning 330 calories in an hour. If you weigh 155 pounds, you burn almost 7 calories per minute, whereas someone weighing 185 pounds burns more than 8 calories per minute. This provides a total caloric burn in an hour of 410 calories and 488 calories, respectively.

Create a Caloric Deficit

If your ultimate goal for dancing is to lose weight, you need to dance enough to generate what's known as a caloric deficit. It takes a deficit of approximately 3,500 calories to lose a single pound of fat. At 125 pounds, dancing an hour a day can promote a weight loss of 1 pound every 10 to 11 days. Weighing 155 pounds, on the other hand, promotes a weight loss of 1 pound every eight to nine days. When you weigh 185 pounds, you'll lose close to 1 pound each week.

Increase the Intensity

Kicking up the intensity of your dance steps can help expend more energy, which has a direct impact on the number of calories burned in ballet or any dance activity. At a more vigorous pace, you can expect to burn about 360 calories an hour at a weight of 125 pounds, while a weight of 155 pounds causes you to burn close to 450 calories per hour. At 185 pounds, you burn more than 530 calories per hour. With the increase in intensity, it becomes a little easier to reach the deficit needed to lose weight.

Eat a Healthy Diet

Although you'll see calories burned in ballet and other dancing activities, you still need to pay attention to your diet. If your activity level causes you to consume more calories, you may be balancing calories in with calories out. In this situation, weight loss won't happen.

To ensure you're getting the most benefit out of dancing and achieving or maintaining a healthy body weight, focus on creating a healthy eating pattern. This pattern includes a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat dairy, and lean proteins, all working together to support your overall health. Sometimes, simply swapping out an unhealthy food for a healthier alternative is enough to improve your overall eating habits.

In addition, limit your consumption of foods that work against your health, including saturated and trans fats, added sugars and sodium. If you're of legal drinking age and choose to drink alcohol, limit consumption to one drink a day for women or two drinks a day for men — or eliminate alcohol altogether as you work toward weight-loss goals.

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