Dance Mat Review
Arcade dance mats are everywhere in the UK now and kids are addicted to them. Now there are versions to use in your home adults are hooked too. I just had to see what was so great about dance mats and review them for myself.
What is a Dance Mat?
A dance mat plugs into your games console, they’re made for PS1, PS2, Xbox and PC, to replace the hand held controller. You then use your feet to play dance mat games.
How do you play?
All Dance Mat games have slightly different features and settings but all work to the same general rules.
First you select your game mode. This can be practice, beginner, game or workout. Game modes usually grade you on three songs at a time before giving you a final overall grade. Workout modes usually give you that all important calorie counter which works from the level of song and your weight.
Next you choose your song. Most games have a great variety from cheesy pop to dance. Each song can be done at different difficulty levels so you can work to your own standard and pace.
Finally, you begin to dance!
What are the benefits of a Dance Mat?
The best thing about a dance mat has to be how much fun it is. Unlike doing the same workout at the gym every session, the dance mat can provide a different programme each time. With so many games available the possibilities are endless.
Working out on the Dance Mat can burn around 60 calories in 10 short minutes. As it’s so addictive you’ll soon find you’ve been playing for longer than that.
Playing on the dance mat improves your fitness levels and co-ordination. It can be done alone, with a friend or with your children. You can also plug in two mats at the one time and dance against each other. Why not get your mates together and have a Dance Mat party?
The dance mat is easy to set up and put away. They fold up neatly so they can be kept virtually anywhere. No fancy gear is required, not even a good pair of trainers!
What happened when I had a go?
I’m not much of a dancer but had to admit I thought using a dance mat would be simple. You just move your legs in time with the arrows, nothing to it. It turns out that this is not the case. Getting legs and brain to work together was a harder task than I had imagined.
I picked my song and all of a sudden the first few arrows flew up the screen and disappeared before I knew it. I realised I now had to start moving my feet. As I stepped to the beat my arms flapped all over the place trying to help my legs keep in time.
You don’t actually have to move your arms but for some reason mine just move when my feet do! I’m sure it didn’t help that I was laughing uncontrollably at myself most of the time. I could just imagine how funny I might look if people could see me bobbing around like this.
I decided to go back to basics and for my next few songs I chose slightly slower options. This time I also decided to try out the calorie counter setting. You input your weight and while you’re dancing it counts your calories for you. I found myself improving slowly and soon became addicted.
After a few more sessions on the dance mat, I can now complete some of the harder songs. You find that you eventually stop moving your leg out and then back to the middle pad and just move around on the arrows. That’s when you really start dancing, and looking good!
I’ve found that I don’t get out of breath as easily and am more co-ordinated so it’s well worth looking a bit silly to start with. But be warned, it’s addictive!!
Buying A Dance Mat
You need to make sure you get a dance mat that is compatible with the games console that you will be using. You also have to remember as well as the actual dance mat, you will also need to purchase a game to go with it, and although the games aren’t cheap, one game will last for ages as there’s so much to do on them.
When buying make sure you mat has:
- Start/Select control
- Hard wearing pressure pad
- Heavy duty covering
- Slip resistant construction
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