The average person will burn 300-800 calories per hour dancing.
The number of calories burned will depend on your weight and the intensity and style of dance. A 200-pound (90.7kg) person will burn 458 calories per hour tap dancing and 700 calories per hour in an aerobic dance class. A 150-pound (68kg) person will burn 344 and 523 calories per hour in the same scenarios.
How many calories are burned from dancing?
Calories burned per minute = (MET x body weight in Kg x 3.5) ÷ 200
“MET” is a measurement of the energy cost of physical activity for a period of time. You can find an activity’s MET on the chart above.
A task with a MET of 1 is roughly equal to a person’s energy expenditure from sitting still at room temperature not actively digesting food.
A task with a MET of 2 uses twice as much energy as a task with a MET of 1. A task with a MET of 10 uses 10 times as much energy as a task with a MET of 1.
MET values “do not estimate the energy cost of physical activity in individuals in ways that account for differences in body mass, adiposity, age, sex, efficiency of movement, geographic and environmental conditions in which the activities are performed. Thus, individual differences in energy expenditure for the same activity can be large and the true energy cost for an individual may or may not be close to the stated mean MET level as presented in the Compendium.” (as quoted from the main page of the Compendium of Physical Activities).
A person weighs 180 pounds (81.65kg) and tap dances (a task that has a MET value of 4.8) for 1 hour (60 minutes).
Calories Burned from tap dancing (per minute) = (4.8 x 81.65 x 3.5) ÷ 200 = 6.86
Calories Burned from tap dancing (for 60 minutes) = 6.86 x 60 = 401
Sources and External Resources
- Ainsworth BE, Haskell WL, Herrmann SD, Meckes N, Bassett Jr DR, Tudor-Locke C, Greer JL, Vezina J, Whitt-Glover MC, Leon AS. The Compendium of Physical Activities Tracking Guide. Healthy Lifestyles Research Center, College of Nursing & Health Innovation, Arizona State University. Retrieved May 11, 2015, from the World Wide Web.
- Arizona State University Healthy Lifestyles Research Center – Compendium of Physical Activities – Dancing – Provides MET values for dance activities.
- Learn about “MET” and the compendium of physical activities from Arizona State University, University or South Carolina, and Wikipedia. There is a summary of general physical activities defined by intensity from the CDC and the Harvard School of Public Health.
- Recommendations on physical activity for health from the Harvard School of Public Health and the WHO.
- Read about the health benefits of dance with “The Many Health Benefits of Dancing” by Berkeley Wellness, “Use It or Lose It: Dancing Makes You Smarter, Longer” by Richard Powers of Stanford Dance, “Why Is Dancing So Good For Your Brain?” by Christopher Bergland of Psychology Today, and “Dance – health benefits” by Australia’s Better Health Channel.
- Learn to dance with “Learn to Dance with Three Easy Steps” by the Wall Street Journal’s YouTube video, “The Best Online Dance Training Programs You Can Try At Home” by Rachel Rizzuto of Dance Magazine, “7 Dance Moves You Should Always Have In Your Arsenal” by Cory Stieg of Refinery 29, and “7 TikTok Dance Tutorials from 2019 That’ll Make You Look Like a Pro” by Dylan Kickham of elite daily.