Abstract: In this study, we tested the hypotheses that, relative to the maximum capacities, ballroom dancing is more intensive for females than males, and that the hold technique (female vs. male) regulates dancing intensity. Ten dance couples were tested in a maximal treadmill test, competition simulation, and stationary dance hold position. Peak heart rate and relative oxygen consumption were measured during the tests, except that oxygen consumption was not measured during competition simulation. Regardless of gender, heart rate increased similarly in the treadmill test and in the competition simulation. In the treadmill test, females achieved an oxygen consumption of 78% of the males (p < 0.05). Compared with males, females achieved 14% higher heart rate (p < 0.05) and similar oxygen consumption during the hold position. Heart rate during competition simulation relative to maximum was greater for females than males. Both heart rate and oxygen consumption measured during the hold, relative to maximum, were greater for females than males. It is concluded that lower class ballroom dancers perform at their vita maxima during competition simulation. Using heart rate as an intensity indicator, ballroom dancing is more intensive for females because of their unique hold technique.
Keywords: dance, intensity, lactate, heart rate, oxygen consumption, artistic performance