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The Calories Burned in One Hour of Moderate Dancing

author image Dana Severson
Based in Minneapolis, Minn., Dana Severson has been writing marketing materials for small-to-mid-sized businesses since 2005. Prior to this, Severson worked as a manager of business development for a marketing company, developing targeted marketing campaigns for Big G, Betty Crocker and Pillsbury, among others.
The Calories Burned in One Hour of Moderate Dancing
People are dancing together. Photo Credit: Dmitriy Shironosov/Hemera/Getty Images

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. The larger you are, the more calories you tend to expend during any physical activity.

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Body Weight

Your body weight is one of the most significant factors influencing calories burned while dancing — or any other activity, for that matter. At a weight of 125 pounds, you’re burning roughly 5.5 calories per minute dancing moderate steps, according to Harvard Medical School. 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.

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 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.


Kicking up the intensity of your dance steps can help expend more energy, which has a direct impact on the number of calories burned. 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.


Although dancing expends energy and burns calories, you still need to pay some 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, either maintain your caloric intake or cut calories from your diet.

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