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Couple smiling at each other while dancing

Health benefits of dancing

If you want to burn a few kilojoules and keep active, then dancing is a great option.

Dancing is fun for people of all ages, shapes and sizes. And best of all, it only takes about eight songs for you to get your daily 30 minutes of exercise. Let your hair down, pump some tunes, and get moving. There’s a whole world of different dance options, so one will suit your level of fitness and your goals (and your swagger).

All of the below figures are roughly worked out for someone who weighs between 80kg and 90kgs, but if you are outside of this range you can still see which styles burn the most.

Hip hop dancing

Hip hop dancing is a full body work out, so turn up the Vanilla Ice to burn up to 2550 kilojoules an hour. Be warned though, as with many of these dances, this is an intense workout so you shouldn’t expect to do a full hour unless you’ve built up your fitness.


Spice things up with a little salsa and you could be burning around 2000 kilojoules an hour. While this isn’t as high as hip hop dancing, for example, for many of us it’s more manageable.


If you’re more classically minded, ballet might be your thing. Ballet can be slower than other forms of dance, so an hour of ballet burns up to 1800 kilojoules, but it is great for strength. Regular ballet will also build muscle which is great for weight management and general health.


Combining fast-paced movement and the weight resistance of swinging your partner around a room, swing dancing is the cross fit of the dance world. An intense session can burn up to 2200 kilojoules.

Rumpus room Rumba

If swing, hip hop is not your jam or if you’ve got two left feet, there’s one more dance style and that is just freestyle dancing to your favourite tunes in your lounge room.

While you may not make it into the next Hollywood dance movie, you’ll have a great time and enjoy being active. Remember, just eight songs is 30 minutes of exercise!

There’s really just one more thing to say before you get out the legwarmers and start doing your stretches. There are so many more health benefits to dancing than just weight management. Dancing is great for strength, flexibility, self-esteem and your mental health, so give it a try.

Don’t forget: when you’re getting active or trying something new, it might be a good idea to talk to your health professional to ensure what you’re doing is right for you.

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