Dance Yourself Fit (and Slim)

by WLR Staff, Adam Vaughan

If you enjoy moving to music, dancing could be a great way for you to exercise. Finding something you enjoy is half the battle when you're trying to exercise regularly.

Dancing ticks all the aerobic workout boxes and is a fun way to burn extra calories.

There are classes around for everything - Flamenco, Salsa, Tango, Belly and Ballet to name a few. 


You just have to look at Strictly contestants to see what dance training can do for body shape.

Like other aerobic exercise, regular dance sessions will burn fat and improve heart, lung and general health

Improves balance and co-ordination

Burn Rate

Depending on your weight and exertion level you'll burn between 70-150 extra calories* in a 30 minute session.

*Extra calories are those you burn on top of the calories you use for basic day-to-day living. Inputting your exercise into your exercise diary will calculate the number of calories you will burn, based on your weight.

Getting Started

With so many types of dance to choose from the hardest part is probably deciding which one you want to try first! Look out for classes in your local area and give one a go. If you can’t find the style locally, hunt down a video and try it at home.

Don’t forget, the easiest way to get in the swing, is to put some lively music on at home and bop around the house! Try combining it with dusting, hoovering or washing-up... there’s so many dull household tasks that could be improved by a little dance!

Modern Ballroom - Quickstep, Waltz, Foxtrot

Thousands of people of all ages learn and dance Ballroom. The emphasis on learning concentrates on the steps required and movement across the floor. It's fun, enjoyable and not too difficult to pick up the basics.


An energetic form of exercise, Flamenco combines strength and a graceful movement. It can be learned easily but takes a bit longer to really adopt a professional style. 


Salsa makes you want to dance! It's expressive and explosive and the basic steps can be picked up easily. Once you've picked up the basics you can master new footwork and movements.

Line Dancing 

Young or old from all walks of life enjoy this age old dance. Dancing is part of a group and you can master the basic steps before progressing to arm movements and fancy footwork.

Belly Dancing

More and more classes are cropping up for this fun dance. The classes tend to be more relaxed than standard exercise classes. Any age, size or level of fitness is suitable to try some belly dancing.


Practised all over the world, Tap dancing is fun and will get you fit. Learn a variety of steps, practise and you're away!


Come on, be brave, Tango is fun, energetic and addictive. There are a growing number of classes to show you how to dance this unique dance. With just a few steps you can learn to enjoy this dance. 

Kit Bag

Some forms of dance have specific clothing requirements in order to participate. However, most classes don't require any specific clothing and it's best, at first, to wear something comfortable.


As with most activities it's best to start gently and build up your stamina so you can perform the dance for longer periods. 

  • It's helpful to join a class under the guidance of a qualified instructor so you don't over-exert yourself and cause injury.
  • Warming up exercises before you start a class are a good idea.
  • Remember everyone has to start somewhere; enjoy your classes and soon you won't believe how much you can achieve
  • Your body will tell you when you have done enough; rest and eat properly

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