In a study sponsored by the American Council on Exercise, 19 college-age women participating in Zumba while wearing heart rate monitors showed an average burn of 9.5 calories per minute, with burn rates ranging from 5.1 to 15.3 calories per minute. In a less scientific study published in Glamour in 2014, participants wearing activity trackers reported burning 423 to 787 calories in a vigorous one-hour class.
Turn Up the Heat
If you want to burn more calories in class, you'll have to pick up your intensity. Use up a lot of space when you dance -- move forward and back or side to side with gusto and flair. Extend your arms fully as you perform arm movements to capitalize on the calorie-burn potential.