From Jazzercise™ to Richard Simmons' Sweatin' to the Oldies, dance-based fitness has been around for decades, and the party-like atmosphere it's known to provide continues to be seen in popular present-day classes like Zumba™, Doonya™, and, recently, QiDance™.

Formerly known as Batuka™, QiDance blends everything from hip-hop to Bollywood into one energizing class set to pump-you-up music. Fun, sure, but can you really get a better body just by busting a move?

The American Council on Exercise (ACE®) turned to John Pocari, Ph.D., and Megan Buermann, researchers from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse's department of exercise and sports science to evaluate the fitness benefits and the calorie-burning potential of a QiDance™ sesh.

The ACE-sponsored study was designed to determine the average exercise intensity and energy expenditure during a typical class. Twenty healthy, fit females ranging in age from 18 to 25-all of whom had taken dance-based fitness classes before-received a QiDance™ DVD to practice the routine at least three times before the actual group testing session: a 52-minute session lead by a certified QiDance™ instructor.

Turns out that the women burned an average 8.3 calories each minute of class-that's 430 calories in less than an hour!-making it an effective total-body workout that falls within the established guidelines for improving cardiorespiratory fitness. In fact, QiDance™ on average burns more calories per minute than other popular group fitness classes, such as traditional cardio kickboxing and step aerobics.

RELATED: Professional dancers have enviable, lean, toned bodies. Learn how the world-famous Alvin Ailey dancers stay in shape.

Aside from the calorie burning potential, the fun factor of this class format is not to be overlooked, as the dynamic choreography from a variety of different dance genres set to original upbeat music from QiDance™ creator Kike Santander may be key elements that help people to stick with their commitment to physical activity for the long haul.

I personally had the pleasure of teaching a few of these energizing dance moves alongside Entertainment Tonight's Nancy O'Dell at Hershey's Moderation Nation campaign launch in Hershey, PA. The excitement and fun that QiDance™ brings is something I can attest to from own experience, and let's be honest-who doesn't want to have fun while getting fit?

To learn more about the benefits of QiDance™ and other popular group fitness formats, check out ACE's research studies!

Photo: ACE