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Just Want to Dance

The gym is too small. Too crowded. Not enough machines. Too many meatheads. It smells weird. I have no time. I don’t even lift. My sneakers don’t match my shorts. There is never a shortage of excuses to not make it to the gym, especially with the understandably hectic lives that most UT students lead. If only there was another way that we could get sufficient exercise without having to leave the comfort of our living rooms. If only there was a routine that didn’t make exercise haters want to melt into the hot pavement every time it was attempted.

Let’s just dance.

If you happen to be blessed with the availability of some sort of gaming system with moving software like a PS4 with a camera, an Xbox with a Kinect or a Wii, any of the Just Dance games are the answer to your fitness prayers. Just Dance 2015 was released on October 21 and is the sixth installment of the popular birthday party/ family reunion/ drunken night in/ basically anytime you’re feeling dancey game.

Just Dance 2015 offers a new setlist of 45 songs to choose from including some current top 40 favorites like “Bang Bang” and “Happy,” as well as some oldies but goodies like “Walk This Way” by Aerosmith and “You Spin Me Right Round” by Dead or Alive.

It even introduces some fun cult classics like “What the Fox Say” and the theme from Tetris. No, really. You play human tetris with four people. Do yourselves a favor and choose the lightest person to be the yellow one. 

Other than the songs, there are some cool elements to Just Dance 2015 that make you wonder how you ever shook your groove thing before without them. After playing a few songs, a version of Rihanna’s “Diamonds” becomes available in which you can dance while sitting down. Whether this was an added feature to be inclusive to the handicapped or to appeal those too lazy to actually dance, sitting is a refreshing change. 

The calorie counter isn’t exactly a new feature, but it really helps solidify confidence in the game as a workout. Dancing for 40 minutes, you burn around 230 calories, which is definitely more calories than you would burn sitting on the couch playing Mario Party. Some of the songs, in particular the ones that are more cultural, reach a particularly high fitness level. A greek dancing routine called “Epic Sirtaki” will leave you sweating and simultaneously reaching for your phone to order from Acropolis. 

The game isn’t without some drawbacks. Some of the songs require a partner to execute the movements correctly, even if you are playing in solo mode. In the slow classic “Only You,” your on-screen mentors are an astronaut and an alien doing an adorable waltz that is downright impossible when you’re the only one playing. Also, some of the dances require more living room space than the average crowded dorm allows. The Miley Cyrus song “4×4” involves dancers in animal masks rodeo-ing around in a pretty wide circumference. Another issue is that a lot of the songs feature dancers that are female (17 out of the 45 songs feature all female avatars and 11 feature all male avatars), which makes the moves pretty feminine and would make any boyfriend reluctant to play along. The more you play, however, more variations of songs become available and many of them swap gender dancers. 

Our Favorites

Best Song Ever: 

If you’ve ever wanted to know what it is like to be a member of a boy band/super hero squad, then this fun version of “Best Song Ever” by One Direction will excite. The fitness level is moderate, but the movements aren’t too aerobic or difficult. Four avatars portray different super heroes that don’t really bear any resemblance to One Direction, but that could be a plus or minus depending on your taste.    

Mahna Mahna: 

Our generation will probably recognize this song more for its use in a classic Muppet sketch than its origins by the composer Piero Umiliani. Either way, this song is flamboyant and fun to play with three people. Mahna Mahna is not much in the way of fitness, but you might get some calories out of the laughing that will ultimately ensue.

I Need A Hero:

A ripped gladiator in pink, fuzzy go-go boots dances to this disco number while standing on a moving spaceship in the middle of an intergalactic battle. The fitness level is intense and even requires a Jean Claude Van Damme-like split at the end. That’s all you need to know. 


This is a cute, girly twist on the classic wedding pumper.Catching on is really easy because who doesn’t know at least some of the Macarena already. The fitness level on this was pretty low, but it’s really fun to play. 

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