Just Dance (Wii)

Gaming Software
Year Released: 2009

Categories: Interactive/Gaming System Workouts

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An “I don’t dance/I don’t game“ review (I don't review, either:o) of Ubisoft’s “Just Dance” for Wii. For a woman who spent five years on drill team I have a stunning lack of ability to keep the rhythm and enjoy myself. But they showed me the dance. They performed it in front of me. They told me what was going next in the sequence. And then we did it until we got it.

I have tried dance workouts. I long to enjoy them. But I don’t. It doesn’t flow for me. I don’t intuitively feel the beat, the logical next step. I have no muscle memory for what comes next, no ability to be a jump ahead in my mind to know what comes next.

“Just Dance” deals with those issues for me. There is music of my generation (when I was into music, learning drill team routines) and others. There is no condescension. There are no "foreign" (meaning dancy) sounding words thrown out there to make me have to think, now, what is that again.

They have these wonderful little icons at the bottom that tell you what is coming up next. No thinking required. You can do a short version of the song first and decide if you want to do the long version. Do the short and enjoy it and then you can do the long immediately if you want. Then they tell you the difficulty before you pick it and you can decide if it is what you are looking for.

There are no body parts in danger of falling out of soon-to-be archaic workout outfits, no annoying background exercisers who refuse to stay in the background, no sense of frustration. It is just a game, not a choreography.

Now, each song is different as far as what body parts work out. “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” has a lack of lower body action, so I just did the pony through it all. “Don’t Touch This” has an evenness to it. “Ring My Bell” is fun, works every quadrant, but is really quite slow, as a couple of examples.

For the gaming aspect, it was easy because they tell you what to do each and every time. You want an option, you click on it. There are no combo moves with the Wiimote where you have to hit A, then B, then simultaneously hit A/B while holding your tongue out and standing on your left leg.
Now, if you are going for points and being the best of all the other players in the household, it will be frustrating. I have (in my limited play) gotten more X than great or okay combined. The Wiimote just doesn’t do a fabulous job. Or I may not do a fabulous job of hitting it exactly as they wanted, more probably. I don’t have a mat, don’t want a mat so I don’t know how this works with that option.

I hemmed and hawed about getting this, and now I regret not pulling the trigger sooner. DD is having a birthday party at the end of the month with two dancers and two nondancers and I think all four will love this game, no intimidation for the nondancers, just throwing themselves about. I can see easily how this would be a family favorite from the start.