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Dance On Broadway

By: Michelle Garza

I had been anticipating the arrival of Dance on Broadway for the Nintendo Wii since it was announced, and it arrived last week, just in time for me to play it with some of the kids in our Learning Games Lab Session. The gameplay is pretty much the same as its predecessor, Just Dance which is one of my all-time favorites for several types of audiences. Dance on Broadway is a dance simulation game in which players follow on-screen cues to perform Broadway dance routines. In this game however, players can choose to play as an avatar. You then follow your avatar, one of four silhouetted on-screen characters, mirroring their moves as they dance. You can learn the dance steps by following the movements of your dancer on screen. There are icons that scroll across the bottom of the screen that tell you what moves are coming up. Up to four players can play at the same time and each player holds one Wiimote.

Dance on Broadway screen shot

Dance on Broadway has some added enhancements. The casting of the four characters and background scenery match the song, which makes it just like a Broadway show. The choreography is more detailed. For some of the songs, each of the characters has their own individual dance steps resulting in a fully choreographed Broadway routine when four people are playing together. However, there is a lot going on, on the screen, and at times it can be a little confusing if you are paying attention to the whole scenery and all of the characters that are moving around and not just the avatar that you are supposed to follow. It makes it really easy to get lost.

There are a few areas where the game doesn’t live up to Just Dance. The songs are not as physically intense as those on Just Dance and probably not as good of a workout, although it still gets you moving. Also, some semi-revealing female clothing (including low-cut dresses, showgirl costumes, lingerie-like outfits with garter belts) may not be appropriate for use in schools or with young audiences. I was looking forward to using Dance on Broadway in a group setting in schools much like we have been using Just Dance in this way, to have some type of additional game that worked in our existing school programs. However the revealing clothing and the complex dance moves, I am not sure if I will be as popular with audiences in the school setting.

Dance on Broadway Screen Shot

Additionally, similar to Just Dance, some songs containing questionable lyrics on Dance on Broadway, may not be appropriate for certain audiences.

After testing out the game with middle schoolers in our Learning Games Lab, here are a few things that the kids had to say about it:

Emma 8th grade: The Dance on Broadway dances are really boring are really slow and not hard and I don’t like that the dancers are all doing different moves because it messes you up and it not easy to do that dance.

Ben 6th grade
: Dance on Broadway was very girly.

Renee 6th grade: The Dance on Broadway game moves too slow when I am energetic and the moves are too girly-girlish and the characters you have to dance with are UGLY because even though I am a girl, I’m not a girly girl and I usually hate dresses and the songs on Just Dance are better (in my opinion) than the songs on Dance on Broadway and I am more familiar with the songs on Just Dance which means I can get a better score because I can get into the movements

Alexis 8th grade: the one thing that I did like about Dance on Broadway is that you get to pick your own character where as on Just Dance all players don’t have a character, it is just a symbol. Dance on Broadway is harder because you have to use BOTH you legs and arms.

Daniel 8th grade: The dances on Just Dance are fun and the songs aren’t like 10-minute songs like Dance on Broadway

Edmund 6th grade: the moves were hard on Dance on Broadway. The songs were better on Just Dance, it was easy and there were three songs on there that I knew.

Here’s a complete list of songs and shows:

  • Aquarius/Let the Sun Shine In from Hair
  • All That Jazz from All That Jazz
  • Bend and Snap from Legally Blond
  • Cabaret from Cabaret
  • Dreamgirls from Dreamgirls
  • Fame from Fame-The Musical
  • Good Morning Baltimore from Hairspray
  • I Just Can’t Wait to Be King from The Lion King
  • Luck Be a Lady from Guys and Dolls
  • Little Shop of Horrors from Little Shop of Horrors
  • Lullaby of Broadway from 42nd Street
  • Money, Money from Cabaret
  • My Favorite Things from The Sound of Music
  • One Night Only from Dreamgirls
  • Roxie from Chicago
  • Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious from Mary Poppins
  • Thoroughly Modern Millie from Thoroughly Modern Millie
  • Time Warp from The Rocky Horror Show
  • We’re in the Money from 42nd Street
  • You Can’t Stop the Beat from Hairspray

The ESRB rating for the game is “Everyone 10+” with two content descriptors. The first is “Mild Suggestive Themes” and the second descriptor is “Lyrics”.

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Funding Information

© 2013. NMSU Board of Regents. All rights reserved. This project was supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture through the National Research Initiative (Grant #2008-55215-18837).

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