International Journal of Exercise Science 7(3) : 228-235, 2014. The popularity of recreational ballroom dancing has increased dramatically in recent years. Yet, relatively little information is known regarding the physiological demands of ballroom dancing. The purpose of this study was to determine the energy requirements for recreational ballroom dancing. 24 participants volunteered including 12 women (mean ± SD: 21 ± 3 yrs, 165.8 ± 7.4 cm, 56.8 ± 11.1 kg) and 12 men (23 ± 1 yr, 175.5 ± 8.4 cm, 78.1 ± 15.6 kg). Gas exchange was recorded using a portable metabolic system during a series of five ballroom dances: Waltz, Foxtrot, Swing, Cha-Cha, and Swing. Each song was four minutes in duration, separated by a two minute rest period, totaling 30 minutes of testing. The intensity of each dance in metabolic equivalents (METs) is: Waltz = 5.3 ± 1.3, Foxtrot = 5.3 ± 1.5, Cha-Cha = 6.4 ± 1.6 and Swing = 7.1 ± 1.6 and 6.9 ± 1.7. Mean energy cost for the 30 minutes of testing was 5.88 ±1.7 kilocalories (kcal•min-1), 6.12 ± 1.2 METs. Mean energy cost and months of recreational dance experience were not significantly related (R2 = 0.04, p = 0.35). Energy expenditure of the follow partner was significantly related to the energy expenditure of the lead partner (R2 = 0.52, p <0.01). Finally, this study validates the intensity of recreational ballroom dance as matching the criteria established by the American College of Sports Medicine for improving cardiorespiratory fitness and reducing the risk of chronic diseases.
Lankford, D. E.; Bennion, T. W.; King, J.; Hessing, N.; Lee, L; and Heil, D. P.
"The Energy Expenditure of Recreational Ballroom Dance,"
International Journal of Exercise Science:
3, Article 8.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijes/vol7/iss3/8