Dance, Dance Revolution – Advice Please

[photopress:dance_revolution.jpg,thumb,alignright] My friend from Toastmaster’s International, Lori Fawthrop who works at Safeway, came over last week with her Play Station 2 and Dance, Dance Revolution exercise/dance game.  She left it here so we can “play” together every Thursday before our Toastmaster’s/Speechcrafter’s Meeting in Bellevue.

I just love this game!  Of course, now I have to have one, so I have a couple of questions for any DDRers out there.

Is there someone who makes a living by programming my music and steps into the blank, do-it-yourself, DVD?  I like dancing and I sometimes just start doing my own thing and losing track of what IT wants me to do.  I’m not too crazy about the jumping and hitting two arrows at the same time part.  There was only one period in music history that I remember jumping up and down like that, and I only ever did that to one song that went “de-do-do-do/de-da-da-da is what I want to say to you” by the Police.[photopress:police.jpg,thumb,alignleft]Even then jumping up and down while dancing was really not my thing.  And then there’s the pads.  I have two versions here that are Lori’s, but my daughter, Jackie said, “Mom!  You HAVE to get the metal platform!  It’s the ONLY way to GO!”  Lori says to get the Play Station 2 in a used model.  Jackie says get it at a game store because lots of people trade in their Play Station 2 for a Play Station 3.[photopress:me.jpg,thumb,alignright]

Some of the metal platforms come with a “sissy bar” on the back, but that looks really confining.  That appears to be “the competition version” and it does come without the bar.

I’m in my “research” phase before buying one.  So if anyone has any advices, including where these “game stores” might be on the Eastside, can you put your $.02 in down below in the comments?  Thanks.


32 thoughts on “Dance, Dance Revolution – Advice Please

  1. cool off topic post Ardell.

    I’m not a “gamer” myself per se…however…I have to say that I like what I see coming from the industry as of late.

    We read article after article regarding the sedentary lifestyles of American children and how the obesity rates have skyrocketed over the last however many years.

    I think that video games played a large part in this. I like how some of the new games actually get people up off the couch and more involved than just frantically pressing buttons in a race to see who gets carpal tunnel syndrome first.

    I’m not “bagging” on the DDR game, but from what I have seen and read over the last 10 months, it appears that the Nintendo Wii has taken the “physical” interactive feature to the next level.

    I haven’t tried one yet but it sure looks fun.

  2. Ardell,
    Great post! I didn’t even know anything like this type of interactive dance game existed. I too, love to dance! This would be a great outlet for me. It sounds like it’s a competitive (I’m all for that) game with dance/exercise involved???

    By the way, I’m a HUGE Police/Sting fan. I think the way the song goes is “ah do do do, ah dah dah dah, that’s all I have to say to you.”
    Minor correction!

  3. Virginia,

    So far the difference between exercising using DDR and other forms of exercise, is instead of saying “I’ll push out another one” or “I’ll try to do 5 more minutes”. I find myself saying, “Do I have time before my next appointment to do another round?”

    I found the menu that turns the “jump” mode off. Much better. Though I’m still jumping sometimes without it.

  4. I love my DDR too – I have the foam pad, Red Octane, which I like very much (and you can take it apart into 9 pieces and carry it in a nice size pouch that comes with it). We found a program, called stepmania, that analyzes your mp3s and programs them automatically, and then you can copy dance steps from one song to another, and modify them, or make them up from scratch. It works. BUT – you have to have a lot of patience and time to get it to work right. I ended up having the same dance steps to every song, basically, and it wasn’t as good as the original DDR song dance steps.

  5. Ardell,

    I really enjoyed your recent post explaining Sub-Prime Lending and Prepayment Penalties, which motivated me to browse through your other posts leading me to this DDR post.

    As a way of saying “Thank You” for the great Sub-Prime/Prepay post and at the same time feeding my inner DDR monster, I thought I’d provide you with some helpful DDR information. =)

    I’ve been a DDR fan for about 3 years. My family owns a PlayStation 2 and two metal dance pads. We also have our PC configured to use these same metal dance pads with “DDR” software. I would consider my mad dance skillz to be on the bottom end of an intermediate dancer. My kids might think that evaluation is a bit generous, but they’re not here right now. =)

    As Ralph mentioned, there is a nice piece of software called StepMania. This software amongst other things, will allow you (with some work) to create your own step patterns to your favorite music. This product can be downloaded for FREE and installed on your home PC. Although you can create your own step patterns, I prefer to select my favorites from the thousands of songs that others have already created and are continually updating. This library includes all of the songs that already exist in the arcades, as well as the console games, plus many other popular songs. The StepMania Website will get you started down this path to DDR fun. I consider getting the software installed, locating and downloading the DDR songs, and getting the adapters for installing your PS2 dance pads on your PC, as moderately difficult. For me the thousands of additional songs that it brought to the table were well worth the learning curve.

    If you prefer the purely convenient route and don’t mind the song limitations (still hundreds of songs available), you can stick with the DDR game console products. PS2 seems to have the best offering thus far, though XBox is continuing to extend their offering in this genre.

    There is some substance to your daughter’s desire for metal dance pads. I haven’t owned a foam dance pad but have played on them before. From what I understand and have observed, the metal dance pads are more responsive and more durable. With some maintenance, my metal dance pads have been functional for nearly two and a half years.

    You have a couple of great options with metal dance pads. You can take the no-hassle approach and go with the “undisputed champion” of home dance pads, by getting a couple of Cobalt Flux metal dance pads. This will set you back $579.99 (before shipping costs), but is the “no-hassle approach” because they have a very good reputation and warranty. If something breaks you send it back, and they’ll make it right.

    Another option is to plan on performing a little maintenance and making a few modifications, and paying slightly less than half as much for “fair quality” instead of “very high quality”. You can get some “fair quality” metal pads from the BuyNShop Web Site. I got mine from this website after researching and gathering information from DDR discussion groups. Two of these metal dance pads will set you back $268.95 (before shipping costs).

    Well Ardell, that’s probably more information than you ever cared to know about DDR. Maybe my bloated post can spend some time on DDR to trim down a bit? =)

  6. WOW! If you need any other posts written, let me know 🙂 I am planning to do one based on the questions my clients had this week, of which there are many.

    I try to explain things in posts the way I do in person, and on things real people ask about in real life…keeps it current and relevant.

    As to DDR the info is much appreciated. You mentioned “DDR forums” where are they?

  7. For laughs I’ll have to do a video of me DDRing to the Hip Hop song 🙂 I tried a faster song at an elevated level and my daughter was laughing so hard that neither of us could finish.

  8. I know this blog is a big old, but there’s a message board for those of us who play DDR and other music games in the Seattle area at

    It’s a small group of people, but it’s a good resource to find places to play DDR in arcades or ask questions to people who have been playing for a long time.

  9. Thank you BlueSS!!! I was just thinking about that! I wanted to try it on a hard mat without buying one. The soft mats sometimes don’t register when I know I stepped back and the screen says “Boo” 🙂 I shake the mat up to reposition the wires inside. I’m assuming a hard mat doesn’t have that issue.

  10. BlueSS,

    If you stop back, I’m in Kirkland and would like to know the least populated location for my using it without a bunch of people watching and the most populated location where I can watch other people for what I may pick up from them. I watch YouTube demonstrations from time to time, but that doesn’t seem to help much. It’s either an amazing 5 year old, an amazing competition level or a 10 year old girl at beginner level. Not much for a just past beginner level like me.

  11. Ardell,

    The closest DDR machine to you in Kirkland is TechCity Bowl, which may have an occasional good player, but it is not a “destination spot” for playing. The area the machine is in is by the main desk, but there’s little room for people to stand and watch. This would probably be a good practice spot, especially during non-peak bowling hours.

    The location that will get you the most attention will be Seattle Gameworks, where there are three DDR machines right next to each other. People walking by look in, people from the arcade wander around and look, so you should be able to see all sorts of skill levels playing. Sometimes it may be beginners, sometimes a bunch of good players, it varies; but it’s the best location of having a chance of watching someone.

    That should help. 🙂 I was lucky to check back here and find the reply. Good luck with your DDR playing and if you had any other questions just ask!

  12. Thanks BlueSS,

    At my age I have no desire to get above beginner on difficult songs or basic on the easy ones. My grand daughter who just turned 4 was here for Thanksgiving and it was amazing how quickly she picked up the “remote control with her feet” part of the game.

    My older sister will be staying here for a few days after he breast cancer operation next week. I’ll see if I can get her to play a few rounds 🙂

    Thanks for the info…now if anyone sees a Ms. PacMan machine, let me know. I only like three video games DDR, Ms. Pacman and Tetris.

  13. A little bit of a late reply on my end…

    I know Gameworks in Seattle had a bunch of classic arcade games in addition do DDR and the new ones. I’m sure it has a pacman of some sort.

    The Seattle Waterfront Arcade has a Pump It Up (another type of dance game) and a Ms. Pacman. I’m not sure if the Pacman is still there since I haven’t been there since summer, but I don’t see why they’d get rid of it.

    Acme Bowl has the DDR like mentioned earlier as well as a Tetris Grand Master arcade cabinet, which is supposedly a really awesome Tetris game. I haven’t played it, but one of my friends is addicted to it.

  14. Thank you SO MUCH! I’m not sure why I like Ms. PacMan better than PacMan…it’s been so long since I made that determination back in the early 80s LOL! My penchant for Tetris, which I often play a time or two before going to bed each night, actually came from my now 78 year old Mom.

    I have this vision that instead of being an old lady in a rocking chair, I’m going to be one on a DDR machine with a safety belt 🙂

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