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Can Doing Ballet Poses Help Lose Weight?

If you've decided to take the plunge and get exercising to lose weight, you don't necessarily need to rise at the crack of dawn for a boot camp program or buy the latest road bike and zip down the road. Dancing can be an effective workout to burn calories, and while you might not associate ballet dancing with developing a slimmer body, its challenging poses can eventually have you dancing for joy after hitting your weight-loss goal.

Burning Calories and Losing Weight

Losing weight takes place when you burn more calories than you consume, which is typically attainable through a combination of frequent exercise and closely monitoring your calorie intake. When you're able to create a calorie deficit of 3,500 calories, you'll lose a pound of fat. According to, setting a goal of losing 1 to 2 pounds per week -- which requires an overall calorie deficit of 3,500 to 7,000 calories -- is realistic.

Ballet Workout

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A typical ballet workout can vary significantly based on your level of familiarity with the genre of dance. If you practiced ballet as a child, for example, you might be able to accomplish tougher poses than someone completely new to the dance. Harvard Medical School notes a 125-pound person will burn 180 calories in 30 minutes of ballet dancing. A person who weighs 155 pounds will burn 223 calories during the same length of activity. This rate of calorie burn is moderate, but if you commit to the activity, it can help you lose weight.

Workout Considerations

Don't expect an hour of ballet dancing every week will have you shedding pounds quickly. The key to creating a calorie deficit is frequent exercise. If you're able to dance for 300 minutes per week, you'll significantly increase your odds of experiencing weight loss. On top of their calorie-burning benefits, dances such as ballet can help you increase your muscle mass. As your muscles grow, your body will burn more calories at rest, which helps you lose fat.

Tracking Your Weight Loss

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If you're spending as much time at the dance studio each week as you're able but still aren't experiencing weight loss, you have the choice of increasing your amount of exercise or cutting your calorie intake. You don't necessarily have to spend more time dancing; instead, try vigorous aerobic exercises such as cycling and swimming. Reducing your calorie intake plays a role in helping you reach a calorie deficit. Take such steps as reducing the size of your meals, avoiding alcohol and limiting your intake of trans fats.