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Health Team

Woman Loses Weight on the Dance Floor

Posted November 5, 2007 5:25 p.m. EST
Updated November 5, 2007 5:43 p.m. EST

— Ballroom dancing might appear graceful and effortless, but it can be a workout – the kind that helps with weight loss.

Sherri Field, of High Point, N.C., said she lost 118 pounds.

Going through a separation and a career change, Field would eat a lot, "preferably chocolate until I felt better," she said. "I bottomed out."

That's when, in October 2003, at 250 pounds, she began taking ballroom dance classes at a local dance studio.

"The dancing – it was something I didn't think I could do," Field said.

But she could. And as the weight went down, her self-confidence shot up.

"The last time I weighed, which was about three weeks ago, (I) was 132 (pounds)," she said.

The number of calories a person burns per hour depends on what kind of dance he or she does. Slower ballroom dances, such as The Waltz, Fox Trot or Tango, burn about 204 calories per hour.

Faster social dances, such as Swing, polkas and line dances, burn 306 calories per hour. More demanding, advanced dances, such as a Paso Doble, can burn 374 calories per hour.

Field, a principal in High Point, now requires her students to take a ballroom-dancing class before graduation.

She's proud of her own success. And she's not the only one.

Jeff Trent was hooked on cheeseburgers and pizza. He gave them up and now teaches ballroom dancing about six to 10 hours a day. He lost 25 pounds.

"The weight just came off really easily," Trent said. "But it was because of the exercising."