How do you burn 500 to 1,000 calories per hour without toil in the gym? By practicing one of these ten dance styles. And it's fun too!

benefitsofbellydancing1. Belly Dancing

Belly dancing is known as a theatrical, seductive dance form, but the movements of your hips, abdomen, chest, shoulders, arms and back are also suitable for a simple way to burn lots of calories.

"With belly dancing you use all the core muscles of the body, so it is an ideal sport for all ages or for people who have to deal with sports injuries," says dance instructor Zinia Rahman.

To get started you just need music and a scarf to tie around your hips. "Step in front of the mirror and move your limbs in many ways, one by one." Rahman recommends. Search for a course in a dance studio in your area or buy a DVD.

2. Burlesque

These stylish striptease makes your pounds fly off in no time. "It's a very good dance form for your abs," says instructor Michelle L'amour. "Dancing with a medium heel also strengthens the muscles in your legs. And even if we dance barefoot, then that's on our toes," she says.

Many dance studios and fitness centers offer classes in burlesque fitness, but you can also buy a DVD. "Be careful in the beginning, because the many shaking your head and fall to the ground can cause serious injuries," L'amour warns.

3. Ballet

"If you choose to ballet, you're doing both cardio-, strength and endurance training,"says instructor Martha Chapman. The persistent, graceful movements build your muscles while you work by rapid jumps to the health of your heart and burn a lot of calories.

"Moreover, you get a strong back through ballet," says Chapman. An ideal sport for people all day glued to their chairs and suffer from a sore back.

4. Zumba

This Latin-inspired dance combines an energetic choreography with harmonious movements. Therefore this so-called "fitness party' is an ideal way to lose weight as well as to make the muscles in your legs and thighs stronger.

"You can get by Zumba the long, lithe body of a real dancer”, assures instructor Gina Grant. Nowadays you can find in almost every village Zumba classes, but also on your Nintendo Wii, Xbox or PlayStation can you practice the dance.

5. Bhangra

This traditional Indian folk dance was originally performed to celebrate the harvest. "But it's also a great form of workout," says Holly Halmo.

As a beginner, you'll meet the two main movements. The "shrug", which moves your shoulders and upper back, and the 'horse feet', where you have to lift your knees constantly.

6. Salsa

"The swift salsa moves are good for your legs and buttocks, while adopting flirtatious poses strengthens your upper body," says John Cassese.

Moreover, you should at counteract your partner, so you build muscle tone. "And the fast pace keeps you (literally) on your knees. Salsa takes tremendous energy, so you will also burn a lot of calories," he adds. Plus: you maybe meet a nice partner!

7. African dance

Dancing is an important part of the West African culture. "The style and pace of contemporary African dances is still based on the original form," says Morel Mouflet.

In most African dance forms are a lot of jumps, legwork and hip action discussed, which are great for your thighs and buttocks.

You can find nowadays pure African dance in the dance school in your neighborhood, but also fitness centers offer on it inspired aerobics classes. That is often a unique experience because in a lot of dance schools, the music is often played live by percussion groups.

8. Ballroom

"Ballroom dancing is suitable for anyone who wants to build a good condition, especially if you are elderly," said Steve Chen.

When you go dancing you not only move from one side to the other on the dance floor, but you'll also be rotated well by your partner. This is ideal for a good balance.

If you cannot find a good ballroom classe in your area, there are plenty of videos on YouTube, of which you can, according to Chen, learn the basic techniques.

9. Hiphop

"Hip-hop combines elements of jazz dance styles that you see on the street," says instructor Matt Lopez. Break dance also belongs to this style.

With most movements you have to bend your knees, that makes you almost constantly sit squatted in class. Your thighs and butt will thank you.

10. Tap Dancing

Tap dancing that you see on the stage, was created from a mix of Irish jig (hornpipe dance) with a West African dance.

When tap dancing you make rhythms with your feet, whose sound is amplified by the metal plates under your shoes. And that footwork is one of the best fat burning workouts.

"Tap Dancing is good for your heart, endurance, strength and balance", confirms Tony Waag. "Moreover, many combinations are also a good challenge for your memory and coordination skills", he concludes.

So what are you waiting for? Go dance! (lbs)

HLN 14/10/2011