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How to be a Dance Dance Revolutionary: Part 2

Written April, 2001
By Gabriel Ramuglia a.k.a. the FunkyWizard

As you become more advanced at the art of dance dance revolution, you may want to try out some new and amazing tricks to show off your leet skillz. Generally these involve doing gymnastics, hurting yourself or hurting the ddr machine. Since obviously the easiest of these three things is beating up the machine I will talk about that first.

The ddr machine is pretty sturdy, as it must take a lot of constant abuse. Keep this in mind while you play ddr. Stomp hard on the pads for effect. Launch yourself over the bar so hard that the front end of the machine tips up. Destroy those stupid cardboard inserts they glued to the machine. That's the most important one as it will allow you the space necessary to climb up on the machine and jump off it onto the pads.

In all seriousness however, you should not go out of your way to destroy the ddr machine while you are playing it, since it costs about $10,000, but don't treat it like some fairy boy either. The exception is keeping the pads clean. It is usually snowy and/or wet outside, so for everybody's sake WIPE OFF YOUR SHOES before playing the game, and if the pads are wet, wipe them down.

Next on the itenerary is hurting yourself. This will score you big points with the crowd who will be in awe of your utter stupidity. Not jumping high enough over the bars and getting stuck on a sensitive area, slipping and falling, trying to do a bridge without bending your knees, and my personal favorite, knee dropping too hard, too often, or onto the metal parts of the stage, are all good ways to hurt yourself. I know this from experience you better believe it. In all actuality you should probably avoid doing these things, unless you are looking to sue konami or your local arcade for "ddr related injuries".

Finally to the meat of the matter is gymnastics, almost always known as freestyling. A skill that takes a while to learn, freestyling is your way of scoffing at the slow and simple pace of the arrows coming up the screen. DDR takes a lot of practice, and that is doubly true of freestlying. With freestyling, you need confidence. If you half ass try to do something you are going to screw it up for sure.

Here is a list of freestyling moves I know of and how/when to perform them:

Annoying other People: NEVER
This is a move of ultimate power. You can pull this one off by yelling, getting in the way of the machine, hopping on in the middle of a song without permission (especially getting onto the pad that is in use or getting more than one person at a time onto the spare one), throwing stuff at people trying to play, or any other number of totally antisocial assinine things you can do. With this move you can make people lose their game and therefore their tokens, their love for the game, their patience, their sanity, or their distaste for violence against lesser creatures. You know who you are, Joey.

I think I made up a new word, but you get the idea. Basically you perform the song or a portion thereof without looking at the screen. It should go without saying, but yes you do need to memorize the notes in order to pull this off. It does not look cool to not look at the screen and miss every note.

Bar Jumping:
Bar jumping is what it sounds like; you jump over the safety bar either to get off the stage or to get onto it. This works best at the beginning of a song, or sometimes when there is a reletively long break in the notes. If you are tired and/or lazy and don't jump high enough you can get your clothes and/or bodily extremities caught on the bar so watch out. If you are playing versus mode, you can have your partner take over your notes while you walk around to the back of the machine to prepare for the jump.

Like a bridge in yoga, in ddr you have two feet forwards, and lean back bringing both hands behind you. An example (works good in dynamite rave) is UR to DL, where you go UR with feet, then in one smooth fast motion, lean as much of your body weight forwards as you can, bend your knees a lot, and reach your hands backwards to touch the back pads. If you don't shift your weight forwards or don't bend your knees, you'll fall flat on your ass.

Crossovers: Versus mode
This is where you trade places with your partner. A good place to do this is when both of you have to do up and down at the same time. One person does both ups, the other does both downs. Then when you need to continue the song, go to opposite pads. This is best done when there isnt much else going on in the song. A modified version of this has one person jump over the other person as they switch, definitly an advanced move.

Circles are when you do the arrows in such a way that you spin around in a circle while doing the moves
example: for the sequence u-r-d-l you use right foot up, left foot right, right foot down, left foot left, while rotating your body, and do not look at screen once you start. If you got leet skillz you can do circles in many situations, such as when there really is not a circle-friendly arrow scheme, or when there are a bunch of fast notes coming up the screen. Basically, if the center of your body stays in the same place and/or you face the same direction, you are not doing circles.

Hand Plant:
This is where you use your hands to hit the foot pads. You could punch them with your fists but that does not look cool. It's probably best to use your palms if possible. This can be kinda hard with the pads being on the ground and all, but if you do it right it looks cool. I usually screw it up and look like a fairy, so I haven't been doing much of this recently. It may help to bend your knees as this gets you closer to the ground for when you do the hand plants.

Humping can consist of humping in place, doing the American Pie hump 'n spank, or humping some part of the machine. Some ddr'ers think this is a "move" worthy of praise, but usually they resort to it because they have no skills; ddr, social, or otherwise. Please stop doing this, and please please don't make any more videos of it. You know who you are.

Knee Drop:
Ah the move that makes all too true the phrase "I am my own worst enemy". Why you ask? Because it hurts like a mofo. If you do these carelessly and too often, you can really screw up your knees. However, they look mondo cool and I do them all the time. You can drop with one knee at a time or both at once. I prefer both at once. I do this when there is something like DL then UR and bring both knees down to the UR. This works well in dynamite rave because there is a nice gap between UR and the next notes. I usually hang on to the bar and the machine at the same time for support and to get back up. I think, however, it would probably be more effective at preserving my knees to try to shift as much of my weight backwards as possible so only the minimum necessary force is exerted on my knees. This would also allow me to get back up faster. I'll let you know how this turns out.

Machine Vaulting:
First, make sure those stupid cardboard things aren't on the sides of the machine where you put your bags and stuff. That will make things a lot easier. Secondly, just bring one foot up on top of that side part of the machine, and pretending its just like a really big stair, launch yourself up into the air and back down onto the machine. This works well at the beginning of a song, or when there is a pause. If you are playing versus mode, you can have your partner take over your notes while you vault the machine.

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