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Are dance workouts effective & dance workout effective & how effective are dance workouts & is dance workout effective for weight loss

The Most Effective Dance Workout

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One of the most common questions I get as a trainer is “is dancing considered a workout?” to which I respond with, “it depends”. Like all workouts, there are a variety of factors that play into it including what you’re looking to accomplish, the intensity of your dance session, the duration, the list goes on and on.

In this article, we’re going to break down the ins and outs of dance workouts, what they are and how they can be incredibly effective when it comes to your fitness routine.

First Things First, Let’s Define Your Goals

An effective workout is always relative to what the client’s personal goals are. It’s important to start first with setting your own goals and what you are looking to accomplish from starting a new workout. Setting goals can help you stick with your new workout long term, solidify new habits, help keep you focused, and assist with sustaining momentum and motivation. A helpful acronym to use with goal setting is to use the National Academy of Sports Medicine's S.M.A.R.T. Goal System: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Here is a closer look at the breakdown of setting a SMART Goal:


Specific – The goal should be clear and precise while also serving as a personal motivator.

Measurable – The goal should be something that is objectively measurable so that you can accurately track progress.

Achievable – The goal should be realistic enough to obtain yet challenging enough to push someone beyond their regular routine.

Relevant – The goal needs to feel important to a person and align with other fitness-related aspirations  

Time-bound – This provides a deadline and will help people stay on task and keep the outcome of the goal a priority. 

If you are looking to start a new workout, a dance based fitness program is a great way to spice things up and try something new that is effective and you are likely to stick to. Here is a great example of setting a S.M.A.R.T. goal if you are looking to try a dance based workout:

My goal is to lose six pounds in 60 days by committing to a dance based fitness program four times a week (each workout 30-60 minutes). 

Are Dance Workouts Effective?

The simple answer to “are dance workouts effective?” is: yes! As stated above, it’s important to define your own personal goals, but there are scientifically proven reasons as to why a dance workout is effective. Let’s take a closer look as to why.


Dance workouts work in all three planes of motion: sagittal, frontal, and transverse. Sagittal plane movements consist of: running, walking, cycling, squatting, bicep curls, and more. Working from the sagittal plane is when the body works in flexion and is moving from front to back. Examples of moves in the frontal plane are: lateral lunges, lateral shuffles, lateral arm & leg raises, etc. When working in the frontal plane you are working the body from side to side. Lastly, movements that work from the transverse plane are: spinal rotation, limb rotation, shoulder and hip rotation. Moving in the transverse plane is going to incorporate twisting and rotational moves. On average most peoples’ workout routines or daily habits incorporate working and overworking in the sagittal plane movements. Most people are not incorporating enough movement from the frontal or transverse plane. Dance workouts use all three planes of motion every single session. Making a dance workout more functional and effective. Working from all three planes of motion in every workout will help work on stability (core and glute strength), movement efficiency, and ultimately help prevent injury. 


Dancing is a full body, beat driven, workout, which means it is cardio! So it exercises the heart, lungs, muscle joints, and ligaments. Which in-turn challenges your balance, muscle strength, coordination, posture, flexibility/mobility.


Dancing can improve brain health. In dance workouts, you will learn a dance routine or choreography, set to the beat of the music. Learning a routine can boost your memory and prevent onset of dementia. Dancing and dance based workouts are also known to increase levels of the hormone serotonin which can improve mood.


One of the most difficult things when it comes to working out is sticking to it. The great thing about dance based workouts is that they typically take place at a boutique studio, gym, or in a class format online. Which means it is a group and community based workout! You’ll probably meet likeminded people (trainers and fellow clients) that enjoy similar things. These new friends will help hold you accountable, make it fun for you to want to come back, and become your biggest cheerleaders! This is something boutique dance based fitness concept, The AKT, is most known for! AKT cultivates an awesome sense of community in their studios so you feel like it’s a party every time you’re at the studio! When it’s easy to stick to programming and consistency, it’s inevitable that your workout will be effective and help you build long term habits.  


Many dance workouts incorporate methods of HIIT which is one of the most efficient and effective ways to train your body. HIIT stands for: High Intensity Interval Training. High Intensity Interval workouts incorporate multiple rounds of high intensity movements to push the heart rate up to at least 80% max to 100%, followed by short periods of lower intensity movement. High intensity interval training is known to decrease body fat, increase strength and endurance, and improve health outcomes. According to studies done by Harvard, T.H. Chan, The School of Public Health, “It is not necessarily better than other exercise formats, but its main appeal is that it can achieve similar fitness and health benefits in a shorter duration”. What this means is that by incorporating a dance workout into your routine you are maximizing your time by incorporating a HIIT workout into your routine and by sticking with it could reach your fitness goals faster! Popular dance workout studios that incorporate methods of HIIT: DanceBody, Zumba, The AKT Studios, Apple Fitness +, and 305 Fitness!

Effective Dance Workout for Weight Loss

“Follow Along” Style Dance Cardio workouts are really effective for burning calories, keeping your heart rate high, and ultimately can help lead to weight loss. 

What is a “Follow Along” style dance workout? That is when you learn a series of simple dance cardio moves, string them together in a series of repetitions, and then do those moves to music!

Here is a sample of some dance dance cardio moves that you could do for about 10-15 minutes to music that is 120-130 BPM!

  • Grapevine right and left four times total

  • Jumping jack four times

  • 1-2-3 (heisman) four times

  • Squat with a double hop in center two times

  • Step kick in place four times

  • Squat with a double hop in center two times

  • Step kick in place four times

  • High knees for an eight count 

  • Plank burpee one time

  • High knees for an eight count

  • Plank burpee one time


Feel free to add in your own sass or a little dance freestyle moment for some fun! 

Then repeat the entire series from the top till the song ends! Repeat again to  2-3 songs, until you are dancing it out for about 10-15 minutes! Stretch for 30 seconds between songs for an active breather! 

Effective Dance Inspired workout for Toning

Toning refers to a style of strength training. Typically high rep low weight which means you are taking your intrinsic muscles to a point of burnout, challenge, and fatigue! This will help you with building lean muscle mass, building lean muscle can help you burn fat, build muscle endurance,  and over time (with consistency)  lead to weight loss! 

Here is a great dancer inspired lower body toning workout with no equipment, just body weight!

On the floor in a quadruped position:

  • Extended right leg back straight, pointed through the toes, externally rotated in the hip sockets: 32X straight leg pulse
  • Leg circles to the right 8X/Leg circles to the left 8X– REPEAT AGAIN
  • Hydrant kicks out to the side 32X
  • Hold leg out to the side in hydrant (or extended straight for a challenge) pulse for 16X

Lay on back, feet on floor, for a hip bridge:

  • Lift hips and lower in hip bridge 16X
  • Hold hips up and pulse 24-32X
  • Extend LEFT leg up to the sky (right leg supporting) pulse hips straight up 16-24X (aiming to keep hips level)

REPEAT Quadruped + Hip bridge series other side 

Experience the Most Effective Dance Workout at AKT!

In an AKT dance workout, you are going to truly do it all: cardio, strength, high intensity interval training, multiplanar movements, challenge your mind, get your endorphins up, and be highly motivated to do your personal best by your instructor the entire time. AKT also has heart rate monitors in the studio for purchase, so you gather real time feedback during your workouts and track your results with every class! 

FAQs About AKT and Effective Dance Workouts

Is dance workout effective for weight loss?

Yes, dance workouts are effective for weight loss: burns calories, increases muscle strength, and is a full body workout working from planes of motion.

Is dancing 30 minutes a day a good workout?

Yes! According to the Department of Health and Human Services, they recommend 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity a week. To provide even greater health benefits and to assist with weight loss or maintaining weight loss, at least 300 minutes a week is recommended. Dancing 30 minutes a day would add up to 210 minutes of vigorous activity a week, which would be a great start to assist with weight loss or maintaining weight loss! 

Are dance workouts better than normal workouts?

When it comes to working out, it is important to find a workout that can light your fire and keep you motivated. Most people feel a connection to dance workouts because of the fun that they have, the sense of accomplishment and confidence that dancing can make you feel, and the community surrounding the workout! In addition, it is proven that dance workouts are incredibly efficient for the body, but it can also challenge the mind and help you stay present/focused during your workout. So you tell me, do you think dance workouts are better than normal workouts? I think you should try out a class at AKT and see for yourself! 

Why does AKT have the most effective dance workouts?

AKT provides one of the most effective dance workouts out there because of the unique class format, the incredible trainers, and the fact that the content changes every three weeks. 

The format is special because it is designed like a HIIT class, alternating between intervals of cardio, strength training, and flexibility, so you get everything you need in one class. 

The trainers are some of the best in the industry - they are able to provide you with modification options, low impact options, are trained in anatomy and the science behind the way the body moves, and they are incredibly motivating! 

Lastly, the content at AKT changes every three weeks, so over the course of the three week period, you learn the content, learn to challenge yourself, master it, and then it changes to something fresh! The content curated by AKT’s education team is specifically designed to help clients push themselves, learn, and never plateau. 

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