In short: yes you can.
You’ll know from experience that dancing can leave you short of breath. An hour in a club, in a dance class or simply jiving around your own living room can burn a lot of calories and work muscles that you wouldn’t ordinarily use. It’s inevitable, then, that regular dance activity can help with weight loss, especially when combined with a healthy eating plan.
Not only can you lose weight; dancing can also assist with toning up those slightly more wobbly parts of the body. With such a wide variety of dancing styles to practice, it’s easy to find one which targets the specific areas you might want to concentrate on. Here are a few good examples to inspire you:
For a defined waistline: the Samba
This fast-paced Latin favourite will get the heart pumping and the stomach working. While it can burn anything from 200-500 calories in an hour, depending on your weight, the Samba’s distinctive twisting and turning movements can really define the waistline over time. What’s more, many of the bouncy, hip-led steps naturally contract the stomach, working the abs effortlessly. Who needs arduous sit-ups, eh?
For a perky bum: the Cha Cha Cha
Forget endless squats and clenches, the Cha Cha Cha is an excellent and far more fun way to whip those glutes into shape. This fast, partnered dance involves a lot of chassés and stepping movements that tone the back of the thighs and the buttocks nicely, while promoting good posture which creates the illusion of a sleeker silhouette. Even better, you can burn anything from 264 to 528 calories per hour when Cha Cha Cha-ing.
For toned thighs and calves: the Jive
You’ve probably seen the Jive performed on Strictly; it’s an extremely lively and vivacious dance which is incredible to watch. This bouncy style requires not only some stamina (it can burn a good 350 calories per hour), but good balance and core stability as it’s all about the legs. With kicks, rock steps, and swivels which stretch and lengthen the muscles, you’ll quickly notice your thighs and calves working hard to help you develop beautiful legs.
For taught upper arms: the Charleston
Most dances will help tighten those biceps and triceps by forcing your arms into positions that you don’t use in daily life. It is the Charleston, however, which arguably employs the most vigorous and exaggerated arm configurations – the female fans of this dance were known as Flappers for a reason, after all. The most recognisable movements see the arms swing alternatively forward and back, or rotating together, both of which can work the shoulder blades and the upper arms expertly.
Can you lose weight and tone up with dancing, then? Absolutely! A few hours of dancing every week can do wonders and it’s easier than you think, especially if you have a great dance instructor. If you’re looking for a dance class in London, then get in touch and perhaps arrange a complimentary lesson at Karen Hardy Dance Studios.