05/15/03
Dance, Dance, Revolution
    by Laurie Taylor

Despite all our knowledge about vitamins, foods, and exercise, so many of us are not eating or exercizing the right way. Because of our poor habits, childhood obesity and other health problems are on the rise. Luckily, though, some neat new exercises are waiting for us. I'm not talking about those tranquil exercise programs like yoga and other workouts that stretch the body and the mind. Yoga is wonderful, but no single exercise regimen is right for everyone, especially when it comes to kids and their attention spans. So, if you and your family are looking for a relaxing, invigorating, and safe workout, or another kind of workout to spice up the exercise routine, why not try something that most kids are already well-aware of and are playing -- Dance Dance Revolution.

Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) is a video game that can be played at almost any arcade, with some arcades having "DDR clubs" for the best dancers, or Dance Dance Revolution can be played at home; however, DDR requires a video game system, a dance mat, and the game itself. While DDR is technically a video game, to win, you have to dance to the correct moves. You do this not by punching buttons on a controller, but by dancing around on the dance floor mat. You may have already seen kids playing this at the local mall -- they laugh and talk to their friends while leaping vigorously about, taking their cues from the signals that flash on the screens in front of them. DDR also offers a workout mode, and there's nothing like trying to work out to a beat while being told "you're a great dancer" or being urged into further self-competition when the game teases, "did you have breakfast today?" Whether in workout or play mode, Dance Dance Revolution is always a lot of exercise, but it's also something else -- it's exercise that is part of a game, making you compete with yourself to better your health, and it's something that competetive, grown-up kids like me can't ever get enough of.

Dance Dance Revolution is invigoratingly fun and can have multiple players, so you can see who of your friends or family can really dance. But perhaps the best part of Dance Dance Revolution is that everyone, no matter how good they are at the game, eventually ends up looking silly, trying to follow the beat of a flashing screen. But never mind how foolish you may feel, Dance Dance Revolution is packing together healthy doses of exercise and laughter, two things that all of us can certainly use.

Copyright 2003 Laurie Taylor

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