Software:Dance Central (video game)

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Dance Central
Dance Central boxart.png
Publisher(s)MTV Games
Director(s)Kasson Crooker
Producer(s)Naoko Takamoto
Designer(s)Dean Tate
Programmer(s)Marc Flury
Artist(s)Dare Matheson
Writer(s)Helen McWilliams
SeriesDance Central
Platform(s)Xbox 360
  • NA: November 4, 2010
  • EU: November 10, 2010
  • AU: November 18, 2010
  • JPN: June 2, 2011
Genre(s)Music, rhythm
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Dance Central is a music rhythm game for the Xbox 360 Kinect that was released on November 2010 in most areas and on June 2011 in Japan.


Dance Central is a rhythm game where players follow characters' movements in various arenas and earn stars while doing so. On the right side of the characters are flashcards for guidance, displaying the current move that is being done. The judgement of each move done is divided into four critiques : X, Almost, Nice and Flawless. If a player earns a consecutive amount of Flawlesses, the arena will turn into a peak mode glowing with lights, and it can be maintained with Flawlesses or Nice critiques. If a player earns a consecutive amount of Xs however, the arena loses vividness and the music gets muffled. This can be changed back to its regular state if a player get a Nice or a Flawless once in its dull state. A total of 5 stars can be earned per routine, but if a player does it very well, they can earn Gold Stars. Earning stars unlocks content for the game.

Along with stars, there is a score, which are both displayed by a boombox named Boomy. Boomy also features a little number on it, indicating a score multiplier. Doing moves in succession increases the multiplier, earning more points, but missing a move cause the multiplier to drop from its starting point.

Songs are divided into categories, and each song has three difficulty levels: Easy, Medium, and Hard. Only Easy is unlocked in the beginning, and the player earns the other difficulties as they move on. Only they do well, they can also unlock a "No Flashcards" mode that does not display the flashcards on screen.

Each song features a Freestyle section that allows players to dance however they desire. When so, a camera takes photos as they are freestyling, and distributes them out before the routine revises, however these have to be earned by obtaining camera icons that appear next to some of the moves. Doing those in succession results in a photo opportunity in Freestyle. These photos can be viewed after the song, but they cannot be saved. The option for photo taking can also be disabled.

There are five modes available in Dance Central:

  • Perform It!: A standard mode where a player can dance to routines in the game.
  • Fitness: A mode that tracks calories burning while playing. It features an indicator for calories and a timer for how long the session has been going when on.
  • Dance Battle: A competitive mode where two players goes to head to head for glory. One player goes at a time and the one with the highest score wins.
  • Challenge: After getting 4 stars on each song in a category, a challenge is unlocked. The challenge is a mix of all of the songs in that category as one. A Grand Finale Challenge is also available, but the player has to get 4 stars in each challenge in order to unlock that one.
  • Break It Down: A training mode where the player can learn the moves or assist in moves they are having difficulties with. The mode cuts the routines into sections and goes through each step individually. When the player passes all the moves in the section, a recap is performed, and the process repeats until the end. There is also an option to slow down the moves, giving more analyzation if need be.

There is also a place where players can look at statistics. They range from the amount of time spent of the game to number of calories burned, and each statistic features a title that changes depending of the amount spent on the statistic, although they are there just for show. An Options section is also present, allowing the player to adjust settings if need be. [1]


Dance Central features ten different characters. Eight of them are unlocked from the start while two are unlocked through certain achievements. Each character, with the exception of one, has a main outfit and an alternate outfit, and the alternate outfit can be unlocked by earning 25 stars with that dancer, aside from ELIOT's whose alternate outfit is unlocked by reaching the Living Legend rank.

Angel - A Latin lover that grabs the ladies' attention (Main Outfit : Chill) (Alternate Outfit : Show-Off) - voiced by choreographer Marcos Aguirre.

"Miss" Aubrey - A very confident and snooty queen bee (Main Outfit : School Daze) (Alternate Outfit : Princess)

Emilia - An athletic girl that works out at the gym constantly (Main Outfit : Sweatin') (Alternate Outfit : Knockout)

Dare - A British, pink-haired clubber that enjoys partying (Main Outfit : Neon Dreams) (Alternate Outfit : DIY Couture)

MacCoy - A guy with old school flair and technological gear (Main Outfit : Sunday Best) (Alternate Outfit : Stylehead)

Mo - A friendly guy that jokes around from time to time (Main Outfit : B-Boy) (Alternate Outfit : Flash)

Oblio - A mysterious guy with words of wisdom (Main Outfit : Dystopia) (Alternate Outfit : Gearhead)

Taye - A girl with tons of attitude and sass (Main Outfit : Street Chic) (Alternate Outfit : Summertime)

ELIOT - A robot that represses his robot roots and swears he is human (Main Outfit : 2.0) (Alternate Outfit : Dressy)

Shinju (originally known as Ttiw Tolrep, named after two of the game's designers) - A silent ninja that wears pink and carries nunchucks

ELIOT can be attained after reaching the "Living Legend" rank or by earning 4 stars on the Grand Finale Challenge on any difficulty. Doing it by the former unlocks him with both outfits available while doing it by the latter only unlocks him with his main outfit available.

Shinju can be attained after entering "Left, Up, X, Up, Right, Y" at the title screen using the Xbox 360 Controller.


The game features six venues for the player to dance in. Two are available from the start while the rest have to be unlocked in order to play in them. Venues can be changed before the player starts a routine, aside from the Grand Finale Challenge where it is initially defaulted with Dr. Tan's Estate, but can eventually be changed once the player passes the challenge.

5th Period - A school cafeteria (Available From Start)

The Planks - A pier (Available From Start)

The Roost - A rooftop (Earn 25 Stars)

Gridlock - A bridge (Earn 50 Stars)

City Limits - A power plant (Earn 100 Stars)

Dr. Tan's Estate - A club owned by Dr. Tan (Earn 4 Stars in the Grand Finale Challenge in any difficulty)


The game features a ranking system that gives the player a title. They are merely there just for display, but they do start from the bottom and go up as the player earns stars. There are 20 ranks in the game.


While there is no Story mode in the game, there are two cutscenes that exist within the game implying a story.

A club is being promoted by Mo, spreading all over the area and getting multiple characters' attention. As such, they attend to go to the club to party. When done promoting, Mo goes to a phone booth, picks up the phone, and hears a representation for the club on the other line. After putting it back, the platform underneath him lowers down, taking him to the club. The club ends up being revealed as Dr. Tan's Estate, and while most of the characters who attended are having fun, Oblio is sitting against a wall in dismay. He eventually leaves the club and rides away on his motorcycle, but as he is doing so, the player sees the scene being rewound. It then shows the scene on one of many screens that are being monitored by Dr. Tan. Intrigued by what he is seeing, he closes the rest of the screens, smirks, and laughs hysterically.


The game features 32 songs for the player to dance to. Each song is ranked under a certain category: Warm Up, Simple, Moderate, Tough, Legit, Hardcore, and Off The Hook. Each song also has a default dancer associated with it, although they can be changed beforehand. There are three difficulties available for each song: Easy, Medium, and Hard, but only Easy is available from the beginning. Medium is unlocked once the player either earns at least 3 stars on Easy or passes 50% of the routine in Break It Down on Medium or Hard, and Hard is unlocked once the player either earns at least 3 stars on Medium or passes 50% of the routine in Break It Down on Hard.

Each song has a No Flashcards mode available in which the flashcards do not pop up on the screen, but it has to be unlocked in order to enable it. The mode is unlocked in separate stages for each song, specifically when the player earns at least 5 stars under each difficulty (i.e. earning at least 5 stars on Easy in a song will unlock the mode undemode Easy for that song).

Song title Artist Year Choreographer Rating Difficulty (Out of 7) DC or DC3 Character DC2 Character DC3 Venue
"Body Movin' (Fatboy Slim Remix)" Beastie Boys 1998 Marcos Aguirre Off The Hook 7 Oblio Bodie Toprock Avenue
"Brick House" Commodores 1977 Ricardo Foster Off The Hook 7 Maccoy Glitch Free Skate
"Bust a Move" Young MC 1989 Devin Woolridge Hardcore 6 Mo Mo Toprock Avenue
"C'mon N' Ride It (The Train)" Quad City DJ's 1996 Chanel Thompson Simple 2 Dare Lil' T Invite Only
"Can't Get You Out of My Head" Kylie Minogue 2001 Frenchy Hernandez Simple 2 Miss Aubrey Miss Aubrey Studio 675
"Crank That (Soulja Boy)" Soulja Boy Tell 'Em 2007 Devin Woolridge Moderate 3 Mo Mo Toprock Avenue
"Days Go By" Dirty Vegas 2001 Ricardo Foster Hardcore 6 Maccoy Glitch Studio 675
"Dip It Low" Christina Milian 2004 Frenchy Hernandez Tough 4 Taye Taye Studio 675
"Don't Sweat the Technique" Eric B. & Rakim 1992 Devin Woolridge Off The Hook 7 Maccoy Glitch Studio 675
"Down" Jay Sean ft. Lil Wayne 2009 Marcos Aguirre Moderate 3 Angel Angel Studio 675
"Drop It Like It's Hot" Snoop Dogg 2004 Frenchy Hernandez Off The Hook 7 Taye Taye Studio 675
"Evacuate the Dancefloor" Cascada 2009 Marcos Aguirre Warmup 1 Emilia Emilia Studio 675
"Flava In Ya Ear (Remix)" Craig Mack 1994 Frenchy Hernandez Legit 5 Taye Taye Invite Only
"Funkytown" Lipps Inc 1980 Marcos Aguirre Simple 2 Miss Aubrey Miss Aubrey Free Skate
"Galang '05" M.I.A. 2005 Frenchy Hernandez Simple 2 Dare Lil' T Studio 675
"Hella Good" No Doubt 2002 Marcos Aguirre Tough 4 Oblio Bodie Studio 675
"Hey Mami" FannyPack 2003 Marcos Aguirre Warmup 1 Miss Aubrey Miss Aubrey Toprock Avenue
"I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)" Pitbull 2009 Marcos Aguirre Warmup 1 Angel Angel DCI HQ
"Jungle Boogie" Kool & the Gang 1973 Ricardo Foster Moderate 3 Maccoy Glitch Free Skate
"Just Dance" Lady Gaga 2008 Marcos Aguirre Off The Hook 7 Dare Lil' T Crow's Nest
"King of the Dancehall" Beenie Man 2004 Marcos Aguirre Tough 4 Angel Angel Crow's Nest
"Maneater" Nelly Furtado 2006 Frenchy Hernandez Legit 5 Emilia Emilia Studio 675
"Move Ya Body" Nina Sky 2004 Frenchy Hernandez Tough 4 Emilia Emilia Studio 675
"Poison" Bell Biv DeVoe 1990 Devin Woolridge Legit 5 Angel Angel Invite Only
"Poker Face" Lady Gaga 2008 Marcos Aguirre Warmup 1 Mo Mo Studio 675
"Pon de Replay" Rihanna 2005 Frenchy Hernandez Moderate 3 Emilia Emilia Studio 675
"Pump Up the Jam" Technotronic 1989 Marcos Aguirre Hardcore 6 Dare Lil' T Toprock Avenue
"Push It" Salt-n-Pepa 1987 Frenchy Hernandez Legit 5 Taye Taye Toprock Avenue
"Rendez-Vu" Basement Jaxx 1999 Frenchy Hernandez Tough 4 Miss Aubrey Miss Aubrey Invite Only
"Rump Shaker" Wreckx-n-Effect 1992 Marcos Aguirre Moderate 3 Oblio Bodie Invite Only
"Satisfaction" Benny Benassi Presents The Biz 2002 Marcos Aguirre Hardcore 6 Oblio Bodie Studio 675
"Teach Me How To Jerk" Audio Push 2009 Devin Woolridge Legit 5 Mo Mo Studio 675


Challenges are a combination of songs mashed together as one. They are unlocked once the player earns at least 4 stars on each song used in the challenge, aside from the Grand Finale Challenge where it is the same premise, but with challenges. The player can bypass unlocking the difficulties one by one for the Challenges by earning the minimum amount of stars needed for each song at the same difficulty rather than earning at least 3 stars on the previous difficulty once the challenge is available.

The first seven challenges contain each song from the difficulty, while the Grand Finale Challenge contains one song from each difficulty. The Grand Finale Challenge initially does not allow the player to change the default dancer, and it is done with ELIOT the first time through, but once they clear it, they can change it. Additionally, ELIOT, Dr. Tan's Estate, and a gold version of Boomy are unlocked through the Grand Finale Challenge once cleared.

No Flashcards mode is also available as an unlockable, and the same rules apply when unlocking them. Unlike the songs, there is no Break It Down mode available from the Challenges.

Downloadable content

Dance Central has additional content they can purchase for the game. Like the on-disc songs, they follow the same format in playing them.

Song Title Artist Year Choreographer Rating Difficulty (Out of 7) Release Date Character Dance Pack Marathon Pack DC3 Venue
"Because of You" Ne-Yo 2007 Marcos Aguirre Hardcore 6 2010-11-04 November 4, 2010

Mo 3 1 Invite Only
"I Got You Dancing" Lady Sovereign 2009 Marcos Aguirre Off The Hook 7 2010-11-04 November 4, 2010

Dare 1 1 Crow's Nest
"Temperature" Sean Paul 2006 Marcos Aguirre Moderate 3 2010-11-04 November 4, 2010

Angel 3 Studio 675
"Whoomp! (There It Is)" Tag Team 1993 Chanel Thompson Legit 5 2010-11-23 November 23, 2010

Dare 3 1 Invite Only
"I Gotta Feeling" The Black Eyed Peas 2009 Devin Woolridge Moderate 3 2010-11-23 November 23, 2010

Emilia 1 Studio 675
"Word Up" Cameo 1986 Ricardo Foster Tough 4 2010-11-23 November 23, 2010

Maccoy 3 1 DCI HQ
"Control"a Janet Jackson 1986 Chanel Thompson Hardcore 6 2010-12-21 December 21, 2010

Taye 2 1 Toprock Avenue
"Girls and Boys" Blur 1994 Marcos Aguirre Warmup 1 2010-12-21 December 21, 2010

Oblio 4 1 Crow's Nest
"Disturbia" Rihanna 2008 Frenchy Hernandez Simple 2 2010-12-21 December 21, 2010

Miss Aubrey 2 1 Studio 675
"We Run This" Missy Elliott 2006 Marcos Aguirre Hardcore 6 2011-02-15 February 15, 2011

Taye 1 Studio 675
"Le Freak" Chic 1978 Chanel Thompson Simple 2 2011-02-15 February 15, 2011

Dare 4 Free Skate
"Super Freak" Rick James 1981 Frenchy Hernandez Simple 2 2011-02-15 February 15, 2011

Miss Aubrey 4 1 Free Skate
"Heard 'Em All" Amerie 2009 Marcos Aguirre Legit 5 2011-02-15 February 15, 2011

Taye 1 1 Studio 675
"Weapon of Choice" Fatboy Slim 2001 Marcos Aguirre Warmup 1 2011-03-15 March 15, 2011

Oblio 4 1 Studio 675
"Hollaback Girl" Gwen Stefani 2005 Chanel Thompson Hardcore 6 2011-03-15 March 15, 2011

Taye 2 1 Toprock Avenue
"Straight Up" Paula Abdul 1988 Marcos Aguirre Legit 5 2011-03-15 March 15, 2011

Miss Aubrey 2 1 Toprock Avenue
"Turnin Me On" Keri Hilson 2008 Frenchy Hernandez Off The Hook 7 2011-03-15 March 15, 2011

Emilia 1 1 Studio 675
"Wild Thing" Tone Loc 2005 Marcos Acguire Moderate 3 2011-04-19 April 18, 2011

Taye 5 2 Studio 675
"Lean wit It, Rock wit It" Dem Franchize Boyz ft. Peanut & Charlay 2006 Frenchy Hernandez Simple 2 2011-04-19 April 19, 2011

Emilia 5 2 DCI HQ
"D.A.N.C.E." Justice (French band) 2007 Chanel Thompson Moderate 3 2011-04-19 April 19, 2011

Maccoy 7 2 DCI HQ
"Fergalicious" Fergie (singer) ft. 2006 Chanel Thompson Hardcore 6 2011-05-17 May 17, 2011

Emilia 6 2 Studio 675
"Informer" Snow 1993 Ricardo Foster Simple 2 2011-05-17 May 17, 2011

Maccoy 7 2 Invite Only
"Lapdance" N.E.R.D. ft. Lee Harvey & Vita 2001 Devin Woolridge Tough 4 2011-05-17 May 17, 2011

Oblio 5 2 DCI HQ
"Say Aah" Trey Songz ft. Fabolous 2010 Ricardo Foster Simple 2 2011-07-19 July 19, 2011

Oblio 7 2 Studio 675
"Break Your Heart" Taio Cruz ft. Ludacris 2010 Chanel Thompson Moderate 3 2011-07-19 July 19, 2011

Dare 6 2 Studio 675
"Planet Rock (Original 12" Version)" Afrika Bambaataa & The Soul Sonic Force 1982 Devin Woolridge Hardcore 6 2011-07-19 July 19, 2011

Mo 7 Toprock Avenue
"Get Up (I Feel Like Being a), Sex Machine Pt. 1" James Brown 1970 Ricardo Foster Moderate 3 2011-08-16 August 16, 2011

Maccoy 6 2 Free Skate
"Get Busy" Sean Paul 2003 Frenchy Hernandez Tough 4 2011-08-16 August 16, 2011

Taye 7 2 Toprock Avenue
"Get It Shawty" Lloyd 2007 Marcos Aguirre Moderate 3 2011-08-16 August 16, 2011

Angel 6 2 Toprock Avenue
"Don't Cha" Busta Rhymes 2005 Frenchy Hernandez Simple 2 2011-09-20 September 20, 2011

Miss Aubrey 6 2 Studio 675
"Tempted to Touch" Rupee 2004 Devin Woolridge Simple 2 2011-09-20 September 20, 2011

Angel 7 2 Studio 675
"The Way I Are" Timbaland ft. Keri Hilson 2007 Nick DeMoura Off The Hook 7 2011-09-20 September 20, 2011

Mo 6 2 DCI HQ

^a Free with Best Buy code.


Aggregate scores
Review scores
Giant Bomb4/5 stars[10]

Critical reception

Dance Central received positive reviews from critics. It received a score of 83.22% on GameRankings[2] and 82/100 on Metacritic.[3] It received a rating of 8/10 from IGN and a rating of 8.5/10 from GameSpot.[7][11] Video game talk show Good Game: Spawn Point gave the game an 8 out of 10 calling it the best launch game for the Kinect and a step forward for dance games. They said workout mode was a nice addition which will definitely give you a workout and the Dance Battles would be a big hit at parties.[12] Nintendo of America's President, in an interview, said that "Dance Central is, by far, the best Kinect game".[13]


  1. "E3 2010: Harmonix Demos Dance Central at Microsoft's E3 Press Conference". 2010-06-14. Retrieved 2010-06-14. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Dance Central for Xbox 360". GameRankings. Retrieved 2010-11-18. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Dance Central for Xbox 360 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2010-11-18. 
  4. Troup, Christina. "Dance Central Review for 360". Retrieved 2012-10-25. 
  5. Gibson, Ellie (2010-11-04). "Dance Central Xbox 360 Review". Retrieved 2010-12-11. 
  6. "Internet Archive Wayback Machine". 2010-11-09. Retrieved 2012-10-25. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 Watters, Chris (2010-11-04). "Dance Central Review for Xbox 360". GameSpot. Retrieved 2010-12-11. 
  8. "Dance Central Review". GamesRadar. 2010-11-05. Retrieved 2012-10-25. 
  9. "Dance Central Video Game Review". GameTrailers. 2010-11-04. Retrieved 2011-03-26. 
  10. starts in (2010-11-10). "Dance Central Review". Giant Bomb. Retrieved 2012-10-25. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 Clements, Ryan (2010-11-03). "Dance Central Kinect Review". IGN. Retrieved 2010-12-11. 
  12. Bendixsen 8/10, O'Donnell 8/10 (29 November 2010). "Kinect Round Up Review". Season 5. Episode 42. ABC Television Missing or empty |series= (help)
  13. "Archived copy". Retrieved 2011-01-07. 

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