Is Dance a Workout?

Dance is often thought of as a fun activity, but it can also be a great workout. If you’re looking to get fit, consider adding some dance to your routine. Here are some of the benefits of dancing as a workout.


Dance is a wonderful way to get exercise and stay active. It is also a great form of physical and mental stimulation for people of all ages. There are many kinds of dance available including ballroom dancing, salsa, tap, hip hop and much more. Regardless of the style you choose, these aerobic activities can help burn calories and tone muscles while having fun.

At its core, dance is a mix of athleticism and artistry – combining physical movement with creative expression. This style of exercise usually consists of fast or moderate rhythmic movements that can range from simple actions like marching in place to complex choreography requiring coordination, strength and agility. In general, it takes exertion to get your heart pumping through large muscle groups which will help make your physical activity more efficient. Additionally, the variety in body mechanics needed for advanced moves increases the intensity of your workout while promoting greater flexibility as well as helping you become more mindful of your body’s limitations

Benefits of Dance as a Workout

Dance is a great way to get a good workout without feeling like you are working out. Not only is it fun and enjoyable but it provides a full-body workout that can help you tone and shape your muscles in a way that other forms of exercise can’t. Let’s look at the benefits of using dance as your main form of physical activity.

Improved Cardiovascular Health

Dancing is an effective way to improve cardiovascular health and overall physical fitness. Dancing provides an aerobic workout, so it can help to strengthen the heart and lungs, as well as build endurance. Regular dancing can help lower cholesterol levels, reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease, and reduce stress levels. When done routinely on a regular basis, many dance forms can also help burn calories which may lead to weight loss. In addition, dancing can have positive effects on blood pressure, reducing it for people with hypertension. Those who practice dance for exercise also appear to enjoy greater flexibility than those who don’t.

Increased Strength and Flexibility

Dance is a type of physical activity that provides numerous health benefits and is becoming increasingly popular as an exercise choice. This is due to the many advantages derived from regular dance practice which include improved cardiovascular fitness as well as increased strength and flexibility. It also offers psychological benefits including improved emotional regulation, stress relief and heightened self-confidence.

In terms of its physical benefits, research has demonstrated that dancing can improve your overall body strength and coordination by building muscle mass in the legs, arms and back. It also helps increase flexibility when combined with stretching movements, such as pliés or swings of the arms. Dance can have a positive effect on posture by helping to maintain core stability while standing or walking through engaging your abdominal muscles in various movements.

Furthermore, regular dance practice has been linked to improved balance which can help prevent falls in both younger people and seniors alike. As an aerobic exercise, participating in regular classes can also help improve heart health by reducing blood pressure levels and increasing circulation throughout the body. Finally, having fun while dancing releases endorphins – those feel-good hormones – into our bodies which further contribute to a sense of mental well-being during exercise sessions.

Improved Balance and Coordination

Engaging in dance as a workout can help improve your balance and coordination. Doing certain steps and exercises increases the brain’s neural network, which leads to improved communication between the brain and your limbs. Improved balance and coordination also translates to better posture and stability. This can have many far reaching benefits, such as improved body image, higher levels of confidence, increased physical performance in activities outside of dance, as well as reducing falls in the elderly population. Additionally, partnered dances such as swing or salsa provide physical stimulation for both partners that create more space for connection and play which enriches emotional wellbeing.

Improved Mental Health

In addition to physical health benefits such as improved flexibility, balance, muscle tone and aerobic capacity, dancing provides a wealth of mental health benefits. It is one of the best low-impact ways to get and stay in shape, both physically and mentally. Through dance, you can reduce stress and anxiety levels while improving concentration and alertness. Learning to dance also increases self-confidence, reduces loneliness or any negative feelings, and boosts creativity. With practice comes increased self-discipline, body awareness and motor skills coordination. Perhaps most importantly though is that dancing just makes people feel good!

Different Types of Dance

Dance can be a great form of exercise. Not only is it fun and uplifting, but it can also help you stay in shape and get healthier. There are many different types of dances out there, each with its own unique style and set of physical benefits. Let’s take a look at some of the different types of dances and how they can be used as a workout.


Ballet is a traditional form of dance that involves graceful and precise movements — usually performed to classical music — and usually follows a plotted out series of steps. It is highly technical, with each step having specific body and foot positions, facial expressions and strides. It’s the basis of almost all other popular forms of dance that exist today from Tap to Hip-Hop to contemporary and Jazz.

It requires strength, stamina and flexibility, as well as special forms of footwear for women (pointe shoes) in order for them to reach the highest level of ballerina ability. Ballet has unique positions such as first position (heels together feet pointed outward), second position (shoulder-width apart feet pointed forward), fifth position (heels slightly apart toes pointing forward) among many others that help create a graceful posture.

The art form requires strong discipline from those who practice it; technique must be practiced daily in order to obtain perfect posture, musicality and body corrections so each movement may eventually become almost effortless. It represents remarkable physical conditioning while being aesthetically pleasing to the eye at once, making it an incredibly fulfilling activity that fuses artistry with athleticism.


Tap is a form of dance characterized by using the sound of metal plates on both the ball and heels of the dancer’s shoes to create percussive rhythms. Rhythmic stepping and other movements are added to create an exciting combination of sight and sound. This dance originated in the United States during the 1800s and has grown in popularity throughout the years, becoming an established art form.

The most common steps found in tap are shuffle steps, shuffles across, wings, paradiddles, cramp rolls, paddle rolls, maxixe steps, flaps or butterflys, and stomp shots. Through these various steps assembled together with creative rhythmic patterns by combining fast and slow parts is what makes this style of dance such an interesting workout. Tap classes vary from level to level as you progress allowing anyone to experience this dancing style regardless of previous experience or knowledge within this field.


Jazz originated in the 20th century and is characterized by individual expression and improvisation. Jazz incorporates techniques from many dance styles such as ballet, Latin and African. It is sometimes danced on pointe or with the aid of props. Jazz typically focuses on coordinated, technical choreography in time to up-tempo music. It provides an intense cardiovascular workout, as well as building agility, strength and flexibility.

Other jazz styles include
-Lyrical Jazz: a fluid dance style that blends ballet technique with elements of jazz style
-Contemporary Jazz: modern jazz fused with classic form, emphasizing energy and rhythms interpreted by dancers
-Theater Dance: classical theater dancing emphasizing character analysis, creative story-telling and group choreography
-Street Jazz: a combination of hip hop moves with improvisational elements set to pop music
-Musical Theater Dance: combines classic theatrical dancing with jazz elements


Hip-hop dance can be a great way to burn calories and take your workout to the next level. Hip-hop dance is a dynamic, athletic style of dance that originated in New York City in the 1970s. The style emerged from combining elements of African American street dancing with Latin, Caribbean and American popular dance culture. Since then, hip-hop culture has spread throughout the world and risen to become one of the most popular forms of expression both on stage and in social settings worldwide.

Hip-hop is more than just an art form – it’s also great exercise! Hip-hop classes can help you to build strength, flexibility and cardiovascular endurance while challenging your coordination, balance and agility. With its fast pace, dynamic movements and funky music, hip hop classes provide an intense workout that can make you sweat your way to improved fitness. Practices involve creating musicality with body control movements such as jumping jacks or groovewalks. You will also be taught step combinations or ‘sets’ which increase fitness levels quickly. A hip-hop session is sure to get your heart pumping as well as provide insight into this vibrant culture!

Belly Dancing

Belly dancing is a type of expressive dance which connects the mind and body. It engages both the dancer and their audience in a display of interpretive body movements, enchanting rhythms and exotic costumes. As an aerobic activity, belly dancing is beneficial to overall health as it helps strengthen muscles, improves posture and alignment of the spine, increases flexibility and range of motion, helps reduce stress levels, improves coordination and releases endorphins for improved mood.

Belly dancing can be a great form of low impact exercise for people with limited mobility or certain medical conditions such as arthritis or osteoporosis. It also provides numerous psychological benefits amongst its students including increased self-confidence, improved communication skills and stronger relationships with other dancers.

When it comes to style or technique there are various forms of belly dancing including cabaret/raks sharki (traditional Arabic), tribal (modern fusion form) and folkloric (traditional). Other variations have developed around different cultures such as Fusion Tribal Belly Dance (FTE) which takes elements from ballet and contemporary dance among others to create unique styles. Performing with props such as veils, swords or fans is another element that’s often associated with belly dance but isn’t essential for beginners getting into this art form.

Safety Considerations

When it comes to dancing as a workout, it is important to stay safe. There are certain safety considerations that you should take into account when you are dancing. The intensity of the movements, as well as the type of dance, can have an impact on your safety. From avoiding repetitive strain injuries to preventing falls, ensure that you take safety measures before you start your dance workout.

Proper Clothing and Footwear

Before you begin your dance workout, it is essential to make sure that you are dressed properly for exercise. Wear light and comfortable clothing that allows you to move without restriction. Always wear athletic shoes, preferably sneakers with shock absorption technology, to protect your feet during routines and avoid potential injury. Choose footwear designed specifically for dancing or general workout activities. Make sure the shoes fit snugly and securely on your feet and replace them regularly if they become worn down. Additionally, consider wearing leggings or compression shorts under shorts or skirts to avoid chafing of skin that can be caused by constant movement or rubbing of fabric against your skin.

Stretching and Warm Up

Before beginning any form of physical activity, it is important to stretch and warm up your body. Stretching your muscles before you move can help to prevent injuries from occurring and will improve your overall dance performance. During the course of a dance routine, dynamic stretches are employed that involve actively moving limbs through full range of motion. A general stretching routine should include shoulder circles, hamstring stretches, leg lifts, quadriceps stretch, arm circles as well as any other stretches that target unused or underused muscles. It’s important to also warm up your body before kick starting the session. This can include gentle cardio such as jogging or jumping jacks, that helps increase circulation and temperature in the muscles so they are ready for activity.


Hydration is incredibly important during dance workouts. Adequate hydration helps to ensure that dancers don’t suffer from fatigue or cramping while they dance — both of which can put them at risk of injury. It’s essential that dancers drink plenty of water throughout the day and during their workout in order to stay properly hydrated. Additionally, it is recommended that dancers avoid heavily sugared energy drinks or caffeine beverages before a workout, as these may cause dehydration rather than rehydrating their body for the workout ahead. Instead, dancers should focus on electrolyte-rich drinks such as coconut water, sports drinks, and milk to ensure proper hydration throughout their activity.


Through research and analysis, there is no doubt that dance can be considered a form of exercise or workout. It has the potential to provide an effective and enjoyable way to stay fit while having fun. People of all ages can benefit from dancing, regardless of skill level. Dancing is versatile enough that multiple styles or levels of difficulty can be used, allowing one to customize the workout and keep it interesting. In addition, various studies have demonstrated the positive physical and mental benefits of dance training, making it a great option for overall improved physical health as well as improved social-emotional wellbeing.

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