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Is this Dance Dance Revolution, or Boot Camp?

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Melissa Howell blogs about her life with her three princesses and her one Superman-look-alike husband at The Howell Herald. She is also an administrator at Bloggers Annex and is a professional photographer specializing in babies and children. You can see her work at her website, Blue Prints Photography.

For Christmas, my husband got me Dance Dance Revolution. I had been wanting a dance program for the Wii since the aerobics that are part of Wii Fit are lame and not challenging to me at all. I thought that if I had some fun dancing, I might actually do it and call it exercise. Since getting Dance Dance Revolution, I have been using it almost every day, and I even work up a slight sweat, which as faithful followers of my blog will know, is a big deal.

For the uninitiated, let me explain how Dance Dance Revolution works. You have a mat that you put on the floor that looks like a tic-tac-toe board. It has up and down arrows, and two arrows on the side. The other squares are basically useless and you can ignore them. Now, on your t.v. screen, music will play and arrows will move up the screen. When they get to the top, you are to step on the corresponding arrow on your mat. This is called “dancing.” As you might imagine, Dance Dance Revolution has several levels of difficulty. The first one is, “White Boy Got No Rhythm,” followed by, “Hoe Down Hilarity.” Next is, “So You Think You Can Dance Finalist,” and finally, “Super Star Dance Champion of the Universe.” As you can imagine, I usually choose “White Boy Got No Rhythm” or “Hoe Down Hilarity.” This means that the arrows move up the screen quite slowly, and usually only one at a time.

While I’m “dancing,” Mr. Wii often gives me encouragement by saying such things as, “This is 100% AWESOME!”, “You’re tearing it up!”, and “Nobody moves like you.” (Actually, I’m not sure that’s a compliment). However, if you start to mess up, Mr. Wii will sometimes say, “Relax and feel the BEAT!” in a tone of voice that indicates that he is trying very hard to keep his frustration in check. At first, you are a little affronted by his delivery, but you can understand that he is really just trying to help you be your best. And besides, he’s given you so many compliments in the past that you feel you can forgive him. Little do you know that Mr. Wii’s true colors are starting to show.

This morning, I let my five-year-old choose the first song for my workout. When the song started, arrows were flying all over the screen at supersonic speed. It was like watching an air raid on Baghdad. There was no way my brain could communicate to my legs that fast. It became apparent that my daughter had changed the difficulty level to “Super Star Dance Champion of the Universe” and I was floundering horribly. And Mr. Wii let me know about it.

“What are you DOING?” he said in the same tone of voice reserved for a complete idiot who was about to blow his own head off with an ill-advised science project.

“You’re going DOWN! YOU’RE GOING DOWN!” he yelled in alarm.

At this point, I am jumping up and down randomly all over the mat, hoping that by chance I might step on some of the right arrows at the right time. This approach failed. I started to feel like I was in boot camp.

“YOU BETTER STEP IT UP!” Mr. Wii yelled at me.
“Feel the groove. CONCENTRATE!” he said in a last-ditch effort to save me.
“Oh no. DISASTER ALERT!” he said, trying to be clever while resigning himself to my imminent demise.

What happened to Mr. Nice Wii? The one who told me I was 100% awesome and encouraged me by saying, “You can do it!” I guess if you’re Super Dance Champion of the Universe, you are held to a higher standard. But really, are all the insults necessary? Does Mr. Wii hope to motivate me by degrading and belittling me? I do not like this side of Mr. Wii.

I guess it’s back to “White Boy Got No Rhythm” for me.

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Comments
  • comment avatar Amber May 19, 2009

    Nope, I don’t need the Mr. Nice Wii. In fact, what motivated me to keep going back to my Wii Fit is my trainer keeping tabs on how long it had been since I had my last workout!

  • comment avatar Amber May 19, 2009

    Though I think I need to step my workout up a bit and get me some Dance Revolution Boot Camp. 🙂

  • comment avatar Jenna Hallock May 19, 2009

    First of all, I’m impressed that you dance/workout in front of your children – my patience and self-esteem would both suffer for that one.

    Secondly, I’d like to petition Wii to go ahead and give the option to silence this “motivational speaker.” Why ruin our fun with some computer-generated voice shouting at us? Have some respect for the people Wii, and give us a mute button! If I need some motivation, I’ll let my kids watch me. 🙂

  • comment avatar JoAnn, The Casual Perfectionist http://thecasualperfectionist.com May 19, 2009

    I laughed through this entire post!!

    Did Mr. Wii start referring to you as Elaine Benes? LOL!

    My husband has wanted to get DDR for YEARS now, using our daughter as an excuse. Um, she’s only three…not that she can’t do it, just that it’s hilarious that he’s using HER as an excuse.

    One of these days, I’ll cave and I, too, will have an exasperated electronic voice mocking me. 😉