God of Cookery's Performance Guide

by step to my lou // RTF, 6 December 00

Though there are a lot of great technical aspects in playing Dance Dance Revolution, one of the things that makes the game really fun is the chance to actually dance along with the game, and adding some style through moves and tricks. This is what many people consider freestyling. When it comes to freestyling, there are a lot of different ways to approach it. Some people concentrate on stuntwork (A-Team), while others go for crowd pleasing comedy routines (Nakano) or a fluid dance style (Brilliant Steppers). However, the best thing to do isn't to copy others, but to find a style of your own. If you're trying to do things that you might think are cool, despite the fact that they don't fit your own personal style, the moves will look forced. Finding a style of your own, or a style that fits you, is the key to becoming a good freestyle player.

Now, a large part of freestyling comes from fancy footwork. After all, the game is played with your feet. But slides and shimmies aside, don't forget about the upper body. When both the upper and lower body are working together, a simple leg move can look many times more impressive. This can be as simple as moving your arms along with the beat, instead of keeping them stationary. However, it can also be taken much further, with full arm and hand routines.

Watch a lot of the "pop" music videos which can be found on MTV or whatnot these days. A lot of the dancing in these music videos has very simple leg work, but the dancing looks very good because of a good amount of handwork is thrown in. N'SYNC's music videos are good examples of this. Other great dance moves can be seen in Janet Jackson, Christina Aguilera, and Alliyah videos.

Another important thing to freestyling is DON'T BE EMBARASSED. Remember, no matter how good you are a freestyler, if you're always worried about how you look, you'll never have fun, and the point of any game is to have fun. Second, by loosening up, your moves will look more coherent and fluid. It's understandable to be a bit nervous playing the games at times, especially in times of DDR tournaments and such. Just take a deep breath, calm down, and remember, you're supposed to be having fun. :)

Now, here are a few tips that will hopefully get the ball rolling. Remember, anything goes when it comes to freestyling, so you are not limited to the moves below. These are just a few examples of what can be done while freestyling.

Knee/Hand/_____ Drop: The great thing about hitting the arrows is that you can hit them with anything you can think of, such as a knee, hand, elbow, head, or even your behind. Sometimes, combinations of this can make for really interesting looking moves as well. For example, if you have a set of arrows all going in the same direction (i.e. up, up, up, up), try hitting them with your knee, left hand, right hand, and then your foot as you get up. It makes for an interesting little freestyle move.

Shimmy: This is a good technique that can be done in places where two arrows (i.e. left and right, up and down) have to be hit at once. Instead of jumping to hit both both arrows, then jumping again, simply slide your legs out from the center to hit the two arrows, and slide them back in before you slide out to hit the next two.

Heel-toe: is a very easy maneuver which can add a little flair to your moves, especially during steps in which you must tap down on the arrow two times fast. simply hit the arrow with your toes, then again with the heel. It looks a lot better than just stomping on the arrow twice.

This is just the beginning. Keep playing, and the possibilities are endless. If there is anything that shouldn't be done during freestyle, it would be grabbing the bar. It looks incredibly bad if you have to grab onto the bar every so often during your freestyle. It's put there just in case you might slip or lose your balance, not for someone to grab onto at all times. Keep in mind this is Dance Dance Revolution, and when most people dance, they don't need a bar to hold onto.

The most important thing is to have fun though, so no matter how you do, just try to have a good time, and smile!