I Bust a Move on Dance Central a/k/a Cartoons Pity Me in My Basement

Dance Central screens

“I can’t get no satisfaction.” — The Rolling Stones

I’ve never been accused of busting a move, but I’ve learned yet again that persistence pays off.

About two years ago, I started playing the Dance Central game for Xbox’s Kinect. At first I thought Kinect was amazing, as my whole body became the controller. What was cool about it, though, quickly became my downfall. That one-eyed snob knew I wasn’t Stylin’ correctly and wouldn’t let me advance.

Early in the game, I could handle Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” with its easy Step Side and Clap move. Hell, that move got me through the 80s. I could even manage Love Warrior and Headwrush on another song, but if any kids had been present, they would have posted it to YouTube. And not in a good way.

After the beginner levels, I hit a wall and failed dance routines repeatedly. It turned out that my years of only dancing after cocktails if “Brown Eyed Girl” came on did nothing to prepare me for this challenge. When it comes to dance moves like West Hop and Bring It, “Hella good,” I’m not.

I’m a rock and roll girl at heart, and dancing to the likes of Bell Biv DeVoe or Wreckx-N-Effect just doesn’t come naturally to me.

Dance Central Marcy vs DavidThe final straw came when my older son, who was totally uninterested in dancing and had to be bribed to play the game with me, was able to shake his booty easily enough to pass the songs on his first try. And compared to me he has hardly any booty to shake.

I had to finish the game since it’s on my list of 101 things to complete by December, so I naturally avoided playing it for two solid years.

With my deadline looming, however, the cartoon dancers and I finally reached an understanding. I would work on it 20 minutes a day, every day, repeating the songs until I earned at least three stars. I know I’ll never pull off a hip Snap Walk, but I rocked the All Y’All. And I totally nailed the Nerd It Out. Go figure.

Dance Central cartoon dancerThe game’s “break it down” mode taught me the moves in slow motion. That’s when the cartoon dancers had to step up the empathy, telling me, “It’s tricky, I know, but you got it.” And when that didn’t produce the results they were looking for, they’d mutter a vague “Maybe with some more work…” before going on to the next move.

I did eventually make progress, mirroring the dancers like a trained bear.

For full disclosure, I’ll point out that it shouldn’t be hard to get at least three stars on the easy level. I didn’t realize exactly how easy it should have been until I sat down on the couch to take some notes for writing this and earned one star without doing any dancing, the exact score I received when I was dancing. That’s just cold.

Once I made it through all the songs, I realized I needed at least four stars on each in order to unlock all the challenges. By then it was no problem. I had learned how to drop it like it’s hot.

I will never be “Ace of the Asphalt,” but I found I could get some satisfaction from finishing this game. I owe apologies to my rock and roll peeps, though. I’ve caught myself singing Wreckx-N-Effect’s “Rump Shaker” at odd moments:

“All I wanna do is zoom a zoom zoom zoom
And a poom poom, just shake ya rump.”

Dance Central finale collage

Related post: Zumba Fail

101 things button #79 (101 things in 1001 days): Dance my way through Dance Central with Kinect.


About Marcy

I blog about trying to get out of my comfort zone, completing 101 things in 1001 days (and beyond), and writing my memoirs. My book: Timid No More.

This entry was posted in 101 Things, Fitness and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

48 Responses to I Bust a Move on Dance Central a/k/a Cartoons Pity Me in My Basement

  1. This is a great line: ” I earned one star without doing anything, the exact score I received when I was dancing. That’s just cold.”


    And let me tell you, I used to dance everyday in college. I STILL dance at wedddings and bar and bat mitzvahs. I have serious moves. That Dance Central? She’s really bitchy. Don’t take it personally.

  2. WOW congrats 🙂 I wonder if this can teach me to dance too? I am a major klutz

    • Marcy says:

      Thanks, but I don’t think I can claim it taught me to dance–so awkward! I just checked out some YouTube videos of people doing the same songs that gave me trouble, and I was like, Oh that’s how that’s supposed to look. 🙂

  3. katbiggie says:

    Oh I would likely need the cartoons to help me through as well. This is why I stick to the Wii dance games – as long as your remote is moving around even remotely close to the movements you get credit! I feel like a super star every time! (although I have yet to master any of the dances!) Visiting from Yeah Write – I’m a newbie, and glad to have found your blog!

  4. so funny! i love that you’re so into the dancing games enough to care. haha

  5. Thanks for experiencing this for me. I’m pretty sure I’m too uncoordinated for that.

  6. My family tries to get me to play but refuse. They just want to laugh at me.

  7. Alicia says:

    great job Marcy! I wanna see your brown eyed girl moves after a few cocktails though!!

  8. Pam Huggins says:

    Post it on You Tube and not in a good way was a laugh out loud moment for me!
    I really admire your dedication to this challenge. Your humor is five stars! Loved it.

  9. zoe says:

    these games remind me of the old aerobics classes when I was stepping right and class went left.

  10. You’re the best. I love your posts and this line is perfection: “… earned one star without doing any dancing, the exact score I received when I was dancing. That’s just cold.” Still giggling. As for the dance-a-thon – better you than me. I’d likely bust more than a move.

  11. mistyslaws says:

    I tried doing the Wii fit, which is similar in that you have to move around, they show you the moves, and they give “encouraging” feedback. Yeah, I’m glad it wasn’t on a MUST DO list, because I maybe did that twice before giving up. Good for you for mastering it!

    • Marcy says:

      Thanks. I’m sure I would have stopped except for the list. It took me 20 tries to get four stars on “Flava in Ya Ear.”

  12. Larks says:

    All I wanna do is za mah zoom zoom zoom and a boom, boom! Just shake ya rump!

    Loved this. And I now I will be singing RumpmShaker to myself all day.

    • Marcy says:

      Oh man, now I’ll be singing it again! And “Flava in Ya Ear” is stuck in my ear too. I gotta pick up a brand new flavor.

  13. mannahattamamma says:

    I’ve never thought about this game as a “bring the family together” game…but I see now that it has tremendous potential … in the “let’s all laugh at daddy” sub-category. Heh heh heh…I love to dance (it’s the only way my house gets cleaned: loud music, a dust cloth, and no witnesses) … but I’m not sure I want some animated bitch critiquing me. You’re a brave soul!

  14. Oh my, are you ever brave, lol! I don’t think I’d even attempt it…two left feet and all.

  15. This begs for video. Please.

  16. We got an Xbox Kinect this year – best Christmas moment was watching my husband busting a move to I’m a Gummy Bear, sweat flying off his forehead. I think it took him two hours for his breathing to finally return to normal. Me? I’m content to sit on the couch and watch 😉

  17. Erin O says:

    One star. That IS cold! Such a great post.

  18. Maxabella says:

    Marcy, you are one funny lady, I can just picture you in your basement giving the screen the death stare. now, I don’t even want to know how to Nerd It Out (or in for that matter), but finding your blog already has me sold on the new Weekend Rewind linky. x

  19. I laughed so hard at this. I have hardly any coordination and am more likely to fall over than anything else. At one point I bought an exercise dvd that was mostly dance move type stuff and made the mistake of doing it while my husband was home. I caught him standing in the doorway staring at me and he told me I looked like an epileptic chicken…needless to say that dvd disappeared from my life immediately!
    Involuntary Housewife recently posted..When the Craving Cannot be Denied – Dark Chocolate Caramel SauceMy Profile

    • Marcy says:

      Oh man, my husband came down to get something from the basement, and I stopped dancing until he went back up. Thanks for visiting. 🙂

  20. Tomekha says:

    lol. If it’s any consolation, I’m a horrid dancer too. Let’s us all non dancers just stick together, ok?

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