If you don't know "Dance
Dance Revolution," you obviously haven't been in the arcade
this year. This popular game and lifestyle is currently
sweeping the globe, whipping kids and adults back into shape.
"It's cool and it's good exercise and it's better than
fighting games. It stands out and has its own personality,"
says DDR dancer Samantha.
To play DDR all you have to do is match your feet with the
corresponding arrows. Sounds easy right? Wrong. You're
probably going to look like a big dork your first couple of
But that's okay.
Fortunately, "Extended Play" caught up with some of
California's best DDR dancers and tournament winners at San
Francisco's Metreon. We asked them for a few basic tips on how
to look less like a fool your first couple of times out.
Jason Ko, alias j-dog, gives us a couple of DDR tips.
Don't rely on one foot. Some players use just one foot for
the up/down. You should try to learn to use the other foot as
well. This tip is really helpful for the beginning of the
Some people return to the middle of the dance pad. If the
arrow isn't there, they feel like they have to return to the
middle. Don't return to the middle.
"My tip? Count to four," says DDR Tournament Champion Cyan.
"One two three four. If you count to four, it's much easier to
keep the beat. One, two, three, four. Counting to four helps
you keep the beat and tells you when to step on the arrows."
Samantha, aka Butterfly-One, says, "When you are playing
always listen to the music because the steps always go with
the rhythm of the song. Every song has a beat or a base.
Usually the arrows go with that.
"Always start off on the [most] basic of basic songs that
you can. 'Have You Never Been Mellow' is as basic as it gets.
Also, look like you are dancing. Look like you are in a club.
Move your arms a little bit. That helps. Actually that helps a
lot. If you want to go B-boy style, you can do that. If you
want to rave, good god you can do that too. One thing I don't
like, it's bar hugging. Never hold onto the bar."
We also received a few tips from ExP viewer Mike Scuito for
the home version of DDR. Here are his tips for being a DDR
- Play through the training mode completely at least once.
You'll most likely come across something you've already
mastered, but if you haven't tried everything yet you might
find an easier way to handle difficult steps.
- For first timers, play at the beginner level just a few
times before jumping straight into the normal game. Playing
at this level should provide a stronger sense of when to
step on the arrows at the right time.
- Do whatever it takes to become familiar with where the
arrows are on the pad and where your feet are at all times.
It helps to not have to look down at the pad to check your
position, because doing so can cause you to lose your
concentration on the tempo of the song.
- Some key notes in the song indicate when an arrow needs
to be pressed. Be sure to listen for bass, vocal, or odd
notes in the song near particular steps. Hitting the step
right when the note occurs is the idea. It may feel like
you're going to hit it too late, but once you get a feel for
it, it's not so complicated. The beginning and end parts of
the song "Brilliant 2 U" (Orchestra remix) on the normal
game setting is a good example of this.
- When performing continuous steps, don't return to the
center of the pad. Moving around the dance pad is easier
than returning to the center before and after each step.
Using both feet equally should help in some way on every
song. Even when steps are spaced out, you can get a better
feel for the song when you put a little extra effort into
- Have fun. If you've ever played it in the arcade, or if
you own a copy on PlayStation, you know there's nothing like
it in terms of interaction. As in any other game, you must
practice if you hope to improve. Don't get discouraged, and
again have fun!