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The Aerobic and Anaerobic Benefits of Paso Doble Dance

The Paso Doble dance is an energetic and exciting dance form that offers both aerobic and anaerobic benefits. Its sharp and quick lunges, turns, stomps and steps strengthen your muscles and give your heart rate a boost.


Although originating from France, the Paso Doble dance is generally referred to as a theatrical Spanish dance. It is a couple’s dance where the man symbolizes a bullfighter and the woman represents his cape. The Paso Doble is a traditional dance and one that is usually performed in choreographed form and not in social settings. More recently, television dance shows and dance studios have made the dance form more accessible to the average person, familiarizing the masses with both its cultural roots and its physical demands and benefits.

Aerobic Benefits

The Paso Doble, as a form of exercise, takes the body through both aerobic and anaerobic processes. For movement to be aerobic in nature, it needs to include lower intensity physical activity that is sustained for longer durations. In a dance or exercise class where Paso Doble movements are performed continuously, beyond the five or ten minutes of a regular dance performance, this dance form can deliver aerobic benefits. The continuous movements keep the heart beating faster, pumping oxygen through the body to create the energy needed to perform the dance for longer periods.

Anaerobic Benefits

Anaerobic exercise involves intense movements. It usually consists of activity that challenges your bodily strength, power and speed. You know you are engaging in anaerobic exercise when your muscles are being taxed and you are consciously exerting effort, often in spurts. In Paso Doble dance, you do exactly this type of movement, moving quickly and forcefully, and with great precision.

Cardio and Muscle Building

Using the Paso Doble dance as a form of both aerobic and anaerobic exercise, you can develop a stronger, leaner, and well-toned body. Dancing the Paso Doble, depending on the intensity and duration in which it is performed, can burn several hundred calories per hour. The dance builds the muscles of the back because you perform it with an upright posture, a posture that symbolizes power and forcefulness. The head and torso are held high. The hands are held in exact positions. The legs must be strong for powerful movements and rapid changes in direction across the dance floor.

The Music

The music of the Paso Doble energizes you. It is usually performed to highly dramatic and empowering bullfighter music. The movements must be precise and performed sharply to the music and with accurate timing. Some dance studios will replace the bullfighter music with more contemporary options to spice things up a bit and provide a contrast.

The Paso Doble dance will shape your calves, strengthen your hamstrings, work the muscle of your back and arms, and build a toned abdominal center. When performed beyond just a few minutes, this dance form gets your heart beating and makes for a lively and refreshing form of both aerobic and anaerobic exercise.


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