Strictly Come Dancing: how many calories do those dances burn?

Dancers don’t just burn up the dance floor. Oh, no. From the Jive to the Quick Step, fitness expert Laura Williams explains how many calories the celebs are burning off…


Strictly Come Dancing celebrities took to the floor for the first time this weekend, and as they puffed and panted as they listened to the judges’ comments, it got us wondering. Just how many calories are they burning?


Fitness expert Laura Williams talks us through it, and (if we can bring ourselves to leave the sofa to try it ourselves) explains how we can make those dances work even harder for our waistlines…


You’ll burn 185 calories* if you Jive for 30 minutes. 

Here’s Strictly contestant Susanna Reid and partner Kevin Clifton showing us how it’s done…

Laura says: “Squeeze your glutes when you’re up on the balls of your feet so that the calves are given a bit of help.”

Cha Cha

You’ll burn 120 calories if you Cha Cha for 20 minutes.

Laura says: “Exaggerate the bending and straightening of your knee to really give the hips a good workout.”


You’ll burn 120 cals if you Waltz for 30 minutes. 

See Abbey Clancey and her Strictly Come Dancing partner Aljaz Skorjanec dance the Waltz…

Laura says: “Add extra turns to really work the waist muscles. Tense your abdominal muscles as you turn to work your obliques (waist muscles) and protect the back.”


You’ll burn 120 calories if you Tango for 30 minutes. 

Laura says: “As walking movements dominate, really lengthen your stride to stretch out your inner thighs. Make your bottom muscles work as hard as your thighs by squeezing your glutes throughout.”


You’ll burn 60 calories if you Rumba for 15 minutes.

Here’s former champion, McFly’s Harry Judd, dancing the Rumba with Aliona Vilani…

Laura says: “You really have to roll your hips during the Rumba – make sure you keep your abdominals tensed to help protect your lower back.”


You’ll burn 185 cals if you Salsa for 30 minutes. 

Laura says: “Really get used to isolating your shoulders in the shimmy – not only will this make your dance better, it’ll also provide a more intense workout for the tops of your arms.”


You’ll burn 120 calories if you Foxtrot for 30 minutes. 

Here Denise Van Outen and James Jordan show off their Disney-inspired version of the Foxtrot…

Laura says: “Pull up on long forgotten pelvic floor muscles and engage core by pulling navel to spine when on toes during the Weave. This will help to provide a really strong base from which your legs operate.”


You’ll burn 60 calories if you do the Samba for 15 minutes.

Laura says: “Exaggerating the Samba knee lift will work your glutes (bottom muscles) far more.”


You’ll burn 70 calories if you Charlston for 15 minutes.

Here Lisa Riley does the Charlston with her Strictly professional partner Robin Windsor…

Laura says: “Exaggerate and increase kicks and turns to really work your hips and your waist. Increase the pace to challenge your cardiovascular system!” 

Paso Doble

You’ll burn 70 cals if you do the Paso Doble for 15 mins. 

Laura says: “Arms set the stage in the Paso Doble so it’s a great opportunity to minimise the chance of autumn bingo wings. Maximise every arm opportunity (in front of body, behind, above), lengthen the arms out and hold for as long as you can to really work the tops of your arms.”

Quick Step

You’ll burn 200 cals if you Quick Step for 30 minutes.  

Laura says: “Speeding up the quick step even further will really raise your heart rate and act as the perfect higher intensity cardio workout.”

Get more information about Laura Williams at and on Twitter @laurafitness


*Remember: This is a general guide. Calorie loss will differ for each individual.