Dance Your Weight Off
With all this talk about the Season 11 lineup of Dancing with the Stars, my feet are starting to tap a jig and I’m looking for a partner to swing. Not only is dancing contagious, but it is physically challenging and social too. To get started with partner dancing, all you need is a sincere interest and a willingness to practice.
A calorie real burner
First, realize that dancing can be a major calorie burner. It is an athletic event that goes on for hours and that’s not counting the practice sessions. Slow dances, like the waltz, foxtrot, samba, tango, and cha-cha, burn 163 calories per hour (at 150 pounds), while fast dancing with a partner burns around 300 calories an hour. Disco, swing, Latin, and square dancing are all fast dances. And 300 calories is the equivalent of two big glasses of wine or two cans of soda. Only with dancing, you are not drinking or eating either; instead, you are burning calories for several hours. And don't forget that fast dancing improves aerobic capacity, builds muscles, strengthens balance, conditions reflexes, and focuses concentration too. But that is if you dance with the vigor it deserves.
How does an adult get started with partner dancing? Most people start by choosing a dance style and that takes a bit of research. Partner dancing includes all of the ballroom styles, plus country dancing, line dancing, square dancing, cajun & zydeco, salsa, hustle, two-step, and the list goes on. Become familiar with the dances and their music and then find the active dancing groups in your community. Check community classes, athletic centers, dancing schools, bulletin boards, and word-of-mouth to find options. Attend any dances that piqué your interest and get there early for the free lessons. The dances are usually friendly events and the crowd will carry you along.
To quicken your progress, it’s a good idea to take some lessons. A good teacher insures that you don’t develop bad habits and that you are paired with a variety of partners. That guarantees meeting new people and when you go to the dances, you'll see your fellow classmates and feel right at home. It also makes sense to practice dancing at home using DVDs at home. Dance videos abound, and as long as you know the dances and can make it through an entire DVD - 300 more calories gone! And then there's the fun and frolic of cutting some rug with family and friends. Spread some that calorie-burning around.
Okay, so they train 5 hours a day...
Just to drive home the point about dancing to burn calories, consider these quotes (gleaned from a variety of lowbrow sources) by some of the many Dancing for the Stars alums who have lost weight:
- Jenny Garth: “In three weeks of dancing, I've lost the last 5 pounds.”
- Wayne Newton: “I've lost 3 pant sizes!”
- Laurence Taylor: Lost 35 pounds on Nutrisystem and Dancing with the Stars.
- Kelly Osbourne: Lost 42 pounds through a healthy, low-carb diet and by competing on Dancing With the Stars.
- Mel B.: “Before I did Dancing With The Stars I had a lot of baby weight to lose so dancing really helped for sure."
- Marie Osmond: Lost 48 pounds, not with Nutrasystem alone. “It was hard to get started losing weight, but doing Dancing with the Stars gave me the motivation. The reward of doing Dancing, besides the fact that I lost weight, was that I realized anything is possible at any age.”
- Jane Seymour: “I’ve lost 14-16 pounds. I’m actually about 7 pounds lighter than I was when I was 16 years old and training in ballet! So I don’t think I should lose any more or I’ll evaporate!”
Have you lost weight through dancing? How did you get started?