“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.
The 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.
The 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.”
Related post: Zumba Fail
#79 (101 things in 1001 days): Dance my way through Dance Central with Kinect.