Liesl Bradner: When Emily Plume received "Just Dance" as a Christmas gift last year before heading back East to visit her family, she had never heard of the Wii game. After trying it out at the holiday party with her 40-year-old mom friends -- as well as her daughters and their friends -- she knew this was no ordinary video game. She didn't stop dancing until everyone went home! Nothing like the killing, fighting, racing and bouncing that happens with games geared towards boys. This was something the whole family could enjoy together.
"We played almost every day for two hours," says Plume. "Our whole family -- whose ages ranged from 5 to 70 -- was able to participate. Everyone loved it, and it has songs for all age groups. Everyone can dance along!" After two months of "Just Dancing," she lost five pounds.
"Just Dance," which debuted in the fall of 2009, has sold more than two million copies. Since releasing on October 12, "Just Dance 2" has already made the top ten on the Wii games
chart. Primetime commercials show Kim Kardashian
dancing to Ke's "Tik Tok
," and massive stadium-size crowds grooving along via JumboTron. On October 28th, Audrina Patridge
and Jai Rodriguez
(of "Queer Eye" fame) promoted the Wii game with a live dance battle in Times Square
One of the fun new features in part two is called "Duets." My 8-year-old and I have already mastered Harry Belafonte
's "Jump in the Line," which brings back fond memories of "Beetlejuice
." Dancers resemble Carmen Miranda
and Jack Sparrow
. How can you not
The game's forty new tracks include everything from "Crazy in Love" to James Brown
's "I Feel Good" to The Beastie Boys
' "Body Movin" to Wham!'s "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go." Ke's "Tik Tok
" had me a little concerned, as the majority of her lyrics don't exactly promote the type of lifestyle I want my daughter to aspire to. But my kid glossed over the words -- she was too busy figuring out the dance moves. "I have discovered that my kids either don't get [the lyrics] or they are singing the wrong words," says Plume, mother of two girls, 8 and 6. "It's more about the beat to them right now."
"Just Dance" was a hit at nearly all of my daughter's sleepovers last year.
Some concerned parents winced as our 7-years-olds sang a line from the Katy Perry
song "Hot and Cold": "You PMS like a chick ...." But the girls just kept dancing away -- no questions about the "PMS" part (thank goodness).
Aside from "Duets," the new version has several new programs, including "Simon Says
" and a "Just Sweat" mode for those wanting to shed a few pounds. The sweat gauge and weekly progress functions help keep track. Ubisoft (which makes the game) is touting one woman on their promotional tours; she claims to have lost 50 pounds doing "Just Dance" last year!
The moves and routines do seem a bit more challenging in "JD2," but they're still fun. And the dancers are still dressed in funky, fun outfits. One dancer with robot-type moves wears a futuristic costume that looks like it came out of the upcoming "Tron" movie. (My son likes him.)
Moms, has your family bonded over "Just Dance" or any other video games