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Salsa anyone? Review of Gold’s Gym Dance Workout for the Nintendo Wii

By: Michelle Garza

This week I am trying to dance my way to fitness using the Gold’s Gym Dance Workout for the Nintendo Wii and I am really enjoying playing the game. It is fun, entertaining and really gets my heart rate up. The game, which was developed in collaboration with fitness and dance experts, is the first dance game specifically dedicated to fitness and weight loss. It has three main modes of gameplay: a dance mode, a boxing mode and mini games.

Gold’s Gym Dance Workout Dance Mode Screen Shot

In the “dance workout”, you perform fast-moving choreographed dance steps using your arms and feet. Holding either a single Wii Remote or two (one in each hand), you follow an on-screen workout instructor shouting out steps to you to the beat of different songs. The dances are made up of a series of basic Latin dance steps (meringue, samba, salsa, reggaeton, and cumbia). Luckily the game has tutorials that you can start with so that you can learn the steps before you have to put them together in mini dance routines in beginner, intermediate or advanced settings. It does take a little bit of coordination and repeating a few times to actually get the moves down, but I think this would be pretty similar with any dance or exercise class. I highly recommend using the tutorials, especially if you lack coordination like I do.

In the “boxing workout, you follow an on screen instructor as you upper-cut, jab, punch, and hook to the beat ofGold's Gym Dance Workout Boxing Screen Shot popular music.

Your performance in both games is scored based on how well you follow the rhythm and execute moves in a given routine and the controls are fairly accurate. Each session also tracks how many calories you’ve burned, and an in-game calendar records long-term data.

Beyond dancing and boxing, there are eight mini-games and activities to play, including sword fighting, jump rope, boxing, bull riding, and dodging oncoming bulls, which offer a wide range of variety and are fun and entertaining. Gold's Gym Dance Workout "Mini Game" Screen ShotThe mini games are short but effective because they target specific muscle groups.

The game supports two players so you can dance or box with a friend, however one of our local elementary schools is using it successfully in a group setting because anyone can dance or box without holding the controls. You don’t score points of course without having a controller, but you can still follow along and move your body to the music.

Gold’s Gym Dance Workout is rated “Everyone 10+” by the ESRB for “Alcohol Reference,” “Mild Cartoon Violence,” and “Mild Lyrics.”

Some of the Song Included Are:

  • “Just Dance”
  • “Forever”
  • “I Will Survive”
  • “Good Vibrations”
  • “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)”
  • “I’m Too Sexy”
  • “Material Girl”
  • “Stronger”
  • “Jai Ho”
  • “Smooth”
  • “Salome”
  • “Oye Como Va”
  • “Cosmic Girl”
  • “Heart of Glass”

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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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The Exergames Unlocked project includes a multi-state team of accomplished media education researchers, exercise physiologists, medical professionals and doctoral students. Contributing members are researchers in their fields and have helped launch the use of exergames as tools to combat obesity in their communities and beyond. New Mexico State University researchers and their partners have been funded to research the impact of exergames, develop specific recommendations for exergame use, and implement exergaming programs. As part of that project, this website provides access to resources based on research, sample projects, and input from the exergaming community. For more information, contact the project director: Dr. Barbara Chamberlin, Professor, New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service
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