Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) as a Fun Exercise Program

Derick Yung
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One of the main reasons people quit an exercise program is a lack of motivation and goal setting. You may start an exercise program in hopes of losing weight and becoming more fit. However, as you continue exercising, you may feel that you’re putting in so much effort but gaining so little. You become unmotivated because it’s just too much work.
With Dance Dance Revolution (DDR), kids, teens, and adults can find a way to stay motivated, exercise, and have more fun. Dance Dance Revolution is a music game available on both console and arcade. You can choose from a variety of energetic dance songs. As the song plays, you have to step on a specific pattern of arrows in response to the song’s beat.
Like most games, learning Dance Dance Revolution takes practice. There is a range of tempos, song genres, and step difficulties, so there is something for everyone. Beginners can start with easy slow-paced songs. To get better, simply practice and become familiar with the songs. As you progress you can gradually choose faster songs and more difficult step patterns. With enough practice and persistence you’ll gain stamina, become better at foot-eye coordination, and have a better sense of rhythm.
Since the game grades you on how well you’ve played each song, it is easy to set goals and stay motivated. For example, if you achieved a ‘C’ rating on a song, you can set a goal to get a ‘B’ rating in a certain timeframe. If you failed a song, you can set a goal to pass that song in a certain number of tries. Also, with a partner, you can both play the same song and participate in some friendly competition. This competition adds a great deal of fun. Furthermore, it helps you strive to improve and keep playing so you can beat your dance partner.
To play Dance Dance Revolution, check out local arcades and see if any of them has a Dance Dance Revolution arcade machine. If they don’t, or you don’t want to travel to an arcade, you can get a Dance Dance Revolution game for a console like Playstation, Playstation 2, or XBox. Of course, you could play with a regular controller but then you wouldn’t be exercising (unless you consider finger manipulation exercising). To experience the game the right way, you’ll need a dance pad.
There are three main types of dance pads: soft thin pads, ignition pads, and metal pads. Soft thin pads are flexible, made of plastic, and wear out quickly. They tend to slip around a lot. I have to constantly realign my soft thin pad while playing harder songs. If you simply want to test out DDR, soft thin pads are great. Ignition pads are soft pads which have a foam insert. The foam insert provides weight, durability, and comfort. It feels different from the arcade but is easy to adapt to. Like the soft thin pads, ignition pads will wear out. The best pads for expert players are the metal pads. They have been designed to give more of that arcade feel. They have greater durability and accuracy.