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#52 Dance Dance Revolution

Posted April 2nd, 2008 by Shaun · 34 Comments

The Spanish have the Paso Doble. Brazilians have their Samba. African-Americans practically invented hip-hop and breakdance, and even white people can do the shuffle. (That’s the dance where you shuffle from left to right, then back again… repeatedly ♥). However, Asian dance styles for ordinary Asians have been few and far between. That’s where something like Dance Dance Revolution, or DDR as it is more commonly known, comes in because…

Let’s face it. Asians are not the greatest dancers in the world. Of course there are certain exceptions like Kaba Modern, but why else would Asians want to create an interactive video game to delude themselves into thinking they are brilliant dancers on the basis of how many points they can accumulate? The answer is simple: To asians, this is as close as they’ll ever get to a ”Dancing with the Stars” or “So You Think You Can Dance?”

With that said, asian dancing has two main purposes. First, it is used as a way to express an asian’s individuality. This individuality comes forth, ironically, by dancing to beats millions upon millions of people have already danced. The difficulty lies in doing it with precision and accuracy. Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, dance is used as a way to impress people, namely people of the opposite sex… However, this may not always be the case because some asians have Dance Dance Offs during which they strut their stuff by using a compilation of aerial moves and innovative dance styles to earn crowd points. The winner of the dance off usually gets all the asian beauties, while the loser is left to sulk and study more moves until the next event occurs. For the most part, Dance offs have come and go, but their legacy can still be seen in blood and sweat stains on Dance Dance Revolution kiosks all around the world.

(It’s Pump it Up, but you get the point)

Nowadays, Asian use of DDR has become so common and widespread that seeing an asian play DDR is no longer a viable method to express their physical feelings. Instead, it is more akin to a nerd trying to top a high scores chart. Furthermore, while a dance like the salsa can seduce and arouse a potential mate, one has to highly doubt the logic behind impressing that “someone” you like with your DDR moves: ‘Yeah that salsa sure was sensual, but get a load of these moves: up, down, left, left, down, up, right, right, up/down, left/right, left/right, up. How’d you like that, ladies?” Who is this kidding, because since its creation, DDR has effectively defeated the entire purpose and concept of dancing.

While Dance Dance Revolution no longer has the sex appeal it once did, it does serve another less-known purpose: Exercise. Asians have unlocked the secret to losing weight, and it lies in cardiovascular training. By providing a series of easy to difficult patterns and combinations of arrows to be stepped on, Konami (via Diet Mode) has successfully created a platform in which asians can burn more calories than other strenuous exercises. The hipping and hopping motion of certain songs closely simulates the stepping motion of treadmills and thigh-masters. In addition, the upbeat and popular songs from the 70s, 80s, and even 90s can keep the geekiest of asians dancing all night long (literally). Though DDR is no longer, once again, as popular as it once was, it has made a positive impact in the lives of people all around the world (

So due to its originality and playability, DDR has also generated many imitators (over a wide range of formats). Outside of arcades, it has spawned a whole slew of similar games: Online (O2Jam), for iPods (Phase), and Gaming Platforms (using dance mats). It has also inspired a whole new generation of rhythm-based gaming (Guitar Hero & Rock Band just to name a few). This just comes to show the impact of a simple game that evolved into much more than just a dance-off… A game Asians are all familiar with… A game, rightfully called Dance Dance Revolution.

Here are some other gameplay photos:

If you have any photos of yourself dancing, drop us a link, and we will add it to the post.

Written by Sy88 and Peter.

Last 5 posts by Shaun

Tags: Activities · Comedy · Culture · Environment · Famous · Games · History · Hobbies · Music · People · Products · Social · Technology · Video Games

34 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Kevin // Apr 2, 2008 at 8:45 pm

    I find it the more I go to arcades, the more I see white people play DDR. I see less and less Asians play this game, this could be do to numerous reasons. I think the next post should be pool/billiards, I see more of that than anything.

  • 2 Peter // Apr 3, 2008 at 12:01 am

    Thanks for the tip.

  • 3 Ben // Apr 3, 2008 at 7:27 am

    i would like to say that the first video is not of DDR but is pump it up which is the korean equivalent of the japanese DDR. and in my opinion it’s better because there are 5 pads vs. 4 which allows you to move around more. but, you’re right; it’s great exercise and a way to “show off” your asian-ness to non-asians. it never ceases to amaze me how people gawk and awe at the simplicity of stepping on pads in rhythm…

  • 4 Amy // Apr 3, 2008 at 7:58 pm

    hahaha this is all my brother!!! he was so crazy about that game a few years back. I would be too, if i own one of those mats so i can play it at home.

    One funny thing is, it seems to me that lots of Asian guys love this game. More than the girls. But when it comes to real dancing (salsa, swing, ballroom, etc.), I’d like to know where the heck are all the guys??? Seems like Asian guys, in the rare cases that they do dance, only want to learn hip hop.

    The good thing about this DDR is that, besides cardio exercise, it helps a lot to improve coordination.
    So my message to the dudes who’ve spent a fortune on DDR tokens is: Now enrol yourself in a real dance course. The girls will be even overwhelmingly impressed, and overnight you’ll become a kind of treasured rarity deserving a special spot in the UNESCO Red Book!

  • 5 Amy // Apr 3, 2008 at 8:07 pm

    oh, and just a little suggestion to the writers. First off, Great job, guys!
    But maybe go easy on the pictures? I’m thinking 2-3 pics per post would be good. Like in the above post, the last 2 photos are unnecessary in my opinion.
    Also, make them a bit smaller too, and positioned sort of to the side of the text. Currently they’re too crowded & distracting, and because they take up the whole column width, the whole post becomes segregated.
    Plus there are the photos from the ads too so it’s all a bit messy.

    Just my 2 cents. :)

  • 6 Kevin // Apr 3, 2008 at 8:11 pm

    C’mon America’s Best Dance Crew? The top teams were all asian!!! Anyways I can dance so I dunno what you are talking about. Well I can Salsa and Waltz among other types.

  • 7 sy88 // Apr 3, 2008 at 8:33 pm

    Amy, thanks for the tips, fortunately Peter dealth with the pictures this time, since he’s the DDR expert and all. Funnily enough, I haven’t been intoxicated enough to want to play DDR at this point in my life, as I’m a horrible dancer and out of fear of embarassing myself… :)

    Kevin, you should be very proud of yourself. But as we said, there’s always exceptions… Kudos on being an exception!

    Charles, do you work for that rival site or something?

  • 8 Kevin // Apr 3, 2008 at 9:26 pm

    What I find funny is that I was never any good at DDR. What I am good at though is FFR. It’s DDR for your fingers! I think the site is , but I could be wrong.

  • 9 andres // Apr 3, 2008 at 10:46 pm

    mmm. did i miss out? WHEN was DDR ever sexy? maybe, just maybe id take a second look at a girl playing DDR very well, but id much rather take the time to shoot the breeze with a girl who tears it up on the dance floor. “gets the asian beauties”? really? again WHERE? are all these refrences to asian countries?
    “asians arent the greatest dancers” ok ill concede that point to you. but thats a direct result of most of our upbringings. as i kid i was not exposed to the hip hop culture, nor were my parents big on dancing. it took me till the 1st year of college before i started getting my moves down. (i had to frequent the club scene at least 10 times before summoning up the courage to even dance with opposite sex)
    and coincidentally my moves didn’t improve till i *** for the first time. NOW theres something to write about. perhaps our lack of rhythm can be directly linked to the late sexual revolution of asian’s? or maybe it’s because all our childhood music idols tend to dance with moves that are useless at the clubs, i.e. HOT um… well i wasnt much into korean music so…yeah but i remember their dancing styles, and trust me that does not work at the clubs. i witnessed a girl in korea once going through a dance routine i imagine she picked up from a music video. damn. yeah damn! she just kept dancing facing towards the wall, and let me tell you. sexy was not the first word to come to mind.

  • 10 andres // Apr 3, 2008 at 10:51 pm

    oh and i thought of 2 thing asian “guys” love to do. overcompensate at the club by acting all macho and what not. i came to dance guy, so can you please stop grilling. not my fault i dance better than you!!
    (2) just stand there on the dance floor taking up precious floor space that i so desperately could use!

  • 11 sy88 // Apr 4, 2008 at 12:25 am

    “mmm. did i miss out? WHEN was DDR ever sexy?”

    That’s the point. DDR was never sexy. I think we were trying to bring that point to light…

    “‘gets the asian beauties”? really? again WHERE?

    That was Peter’s bit, and I’m pretty sure he’s joking. Of course impressing in DDR doesn’t ‘get the asian beauties’. If it did, then a lot of us would be lotharios, right? (Not me, I don’t play DDR)

    ” ‘asians arent the greatest dancers” ok ill concede that point to you.”

    Good, glad we agree on something. But when I said “asians” I kinda just meant me, and when I said “aren’t the greatest dancers” I umm kinda meant “really suck at dancing”. So there you go, happy now? :) Self-depreciation, you gotta love it…

  • 12 Erin // Apr 4, 2008 at 10:31 am

    Does anyone know if DDR/Pump it Up available for PS3??

  • 13 Anonymous // Apr 5, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    I don’t know about this whole asians can’t dance thing. I know lots of asians that breakdance like a mutha….

  • 14 sy88 // Apr 5, 2008 at 8:35 pm

    “I don’t know about this whole asians can’t dance thing. I know lots of asians that breakdance like a mutha”¦.”

    …And I know a lot of asians that can’t dance. So I suppose that evens out. Besides, a lot of asians are influenced by african-american culture, and hence there are your breakdancers. Ask those guys to do a tango and they’ll either run to the hills or laugh at you…

  • 15 Amy // Apr 6, 2008 at 3:28 am

    Well, that’s pretty much what I said. I didn’t mean professional dancers. I mean the every day type one, like when you go to a wedding and there’s a nice song being played, and you’d love to be do a little Samba or Tango Argentino, and you look around and all your (Asian) male friends just shrug their shoulders & turn back to their champagne.
    If there are, say, 1 million Asian guys, 10 of them would be extraordinary dancers (mostly hip hop / funk), and the rest won’t even bother to learn. :-)

  • 16 Kevin // Apr 7, 2008 at 4:55 pm

    I used to break dance and such for a year or so. But that is the typical asian stereotype, that that is the only dance they can. I do agree there are so few guys in general who can dance ballroom style dances. Let alone females. This type of dancing is a thing that people just don’t learn anymore. But I’m proud to say I can and that’s where all the ladies are at =).

  • 17 KNSat // Apr 8, 2008 at 5:16 pm

    Isn’t it unexpected that the most popular mainstream dance show Dancing with the Stars has had a past winner, a current frontrunner and a judge who are all at least half Japanese. What are the odds?

  • 18 Peter // Apr 8, 2008 at 5:28 pm

    Yea! =)

  • 19 Natalie // Apr 8, 2008 at 8:51 pm

    Yeah… I love dancing with the stars and Kristie.
    asians seem to moving up on the dance floor

  • 20 Justin // Apr 8, 2008 at 8:53 pm

    social dance/ballroom dancing is really big for asians too

  • 21 Kevin // Apr 11, 2008 at 9:43 pm

    Ballroom type dancing is fairly big in the Hispanic Asian cultures such as in the Philippines where the girl gets to have a debut (which is pretty much a Debutante in western cultures and Quincearera in hispanic cultures). I don’t see many oriental asian cultures that big in ballroom dancing, but more so in the “social dance” scene.

  • 22 Maria // Apr 19, 2008 at 1:20 am

    There’s more professional Asian dancers than you can shake a stick at. Dancesport is very popular and plenty of Asians make it to Blackpool every year. Stop generalizing, jeez.

  • 23 sy88 // Apr 19, 2008 at 7:54 am

    “There’s more professional Asian dancers than you can shake a stick at. Dancesport is very popular and plenty of Asians make it to Blackpool every year. Stop generalizing, jeez.”

    I could say the opposite here. Stop specifying, jeez. I mean, like I said of course there’s exceptions, but IN GENERAL Asians are not big on your typical ballroom dancing. Now sure, if raised in a Western cultures, Asians can pick up dancing just as any Westerner would. i.e. your pointing out of Blackpool. But the point is, how many average Chinese/Japanese/Korean born Asians from Asian countries are as well versed in WESTERN STYLED ballroom dancing compared to Westerners themselves? Not as many obviously…

    Besides, isn’t the entire concept of these sorta sites (Stuff _ People Like) partially based on stereotypes anyway?

  • 24 Yo // Jun 29, 2008 at 9:11 pm

    Most Breakdancing moves are created by asians.
    Butterfly Kick.

    Breakdancing belongs to the asians.
    While the African Americans get their little hip hop crumping.

    Breakdancing, Power moves was all copied from asians. African Americans just made it popular.

  • 25 keen // Jun 29, 2008 at 9:13 pm

    Agreed with the guy ontop :)

  • 26 bgirl_hops // Jun 29, 2008 at 9:15 pm

    stop writing these things. you only write these things cause your jealous your not asian. you were born a white ****

  • 27 doo doo ddoo // Jun 29, 2008 at 9:16 pm

    amen to bgirl hops

  • 28 Eddle // Mar 17, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    I’m an Asian, and I am a sort a person who can take racist jokes and stuff like that, but what I find funny is that I’m the best DDR player in my school and I mean, I didn’t realize the stereotype at first, but as I realize how much of a joke it’s gotten, I feel embarrassed or ashamed walking into a arcade and playing DDR (mind you a enjoy it very much). I’ve been to a local arcade in California and I find hilarious (in somewhat of a strange way), but now I’m starting to feel like I’m sort of a nerd or a fob as some people call the stereotype.

  • 29 xannn // Jul 19, 2009 at 9:37 am

    I found this pretty stupid really.

    I’ve seen plenty of Korean singers dance far better in comparison to white singers that seem more intent to just strut around rather than actually put on a show.

    If you’ve ever seen people like BoA go at it, then you’ll know just what I mean.

  • 30 got-rice // Oct 12, 2009 at 9:11 am

    Russell Peters got it right again…Asians loved playing this game. I could never like it due to the fact that the music was pretty crappy and cheesy.

  • 31 KR // Feb 11, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    i would like to point a thing about how you said about white people doing the shuffle. They may have started it but it is asians who do it ALOT better and expanded it. Breakdance and hip-hop also now fall under the asian catergory. Luckily the spanish can keepo their paso doble, at least for another 5 years. in fifty years, all dance types will be asian dominated

  • 32 Chinamerican // May 7, 2010 at 9:00 am

    I think DDR appeals to the compulsiveness in all of us.

    Oh come on guys, Asian people at Asian clubs? Drunk chicks, sketchy middle aged white guys, LOUD electronic music, people dancing in a circle and everyone else looking very uncomfortable/bored

  • 33 Lan // Aug 20, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    Srry DDR is never my thing even though my family owned one at home.

  • 34 wood pellets // Feb 22, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    They may have started it but it is asians who do it ALOT better and expanded it.

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