Dance revolution hits Perham

Who would think to put dancing and video games together to create a new craze that not only entertains kids, but gets them excited about being active?...

Who would think to put dancing and video games together to create a new craze that not only entertains kids, but gets them excited about being active?

Dance Dance Revolution (DDR), an arcade-style dance activity where kids compete with one another through dancing is a craze that is drawing the interest of kids across the U.S.

After hearing about the popularity of this new game, Kevin Nelson, manager at the Perham Area Community Center (PACC), decided to look into the possibility of bringing DDR into the PACC.

Primarily found in arcades, DDR was a new concept for the fitness center community.

"I had envisioned it would be a good idea over a year ago," said Nelson. After spending time researching on the internet about the possibilities for brining the game to the PACC, Nelson decided to purchase the Playstation 2 version of the game. Perham Early Childhood/Family Initiative, Women of Focus, and a private donor all helped to make this purchase possible.


For those curious about how DDR works, it is actually fairly simple. Players dance on top of a sensor pad that is set in front of a television screen. There are on screen visual cues given to players to the beat of a popular song. The objective is to match your movements with the cues given to you on the screen.

For example, if the arrows on the screen tell you to put your foot on the right space of the senor pad, then you do so and the game registers this movement. If you complete the movement at the correct time, your score will increase.

In the two weeks DDR has been an option at the PACC, it continues to increase in popularity. The game has been going daily, with kids waiting in line for their turn. The kids even developed their own line for the game where they set up rows of two chairs behind the screen so they can watch others dance while waiting and organize themselves so they are sitting next to the person they plan on competing with.

Dance Dance Revolution is primarily used after school from 3:30-5:30, but teachers from the high school are allowing kids to use it during the day as well when students come over for physical education classes.

"We've had an overwhelmingly positive response to DDR," said Nelson "Even kids who were spectators are participating because it seems to be a non-threatening activity." There are even a few adults who have caught the dancing fever and tried out the game.

Third grader Jaden Anderson shared how he enjoys using the Dance Dance Revolution game almost every time he goes to the PACC. For him, it is enjoyable to be able to spend time with friends and do something different.

Amber Allan, grade five, said that she had played DDR before at an arcade in Detroit Lakes and is excited that the PACC now has their own version of the game.

"Before DDR was here, I mostly just played board games," she said. When asked about her favorite after school activities at the PACC, she said that DDR is the most fun.


Both kids commented on how they enjoy the different skill levels the game has and the various options DDR gives players. The game may be set up for either one or two players and players are able to pick the character representing them on screen. There is also a long list of popular songs to choose from so the song you dance to can be as slow or fast as desired.

Who said working out isn't fun?

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