Today at the Fashion Valley Mall in San Diego (California), they had a few demo booths of the system for anyone to try out. After getting some nice 'Wii Fit socks' to use, I hopped on the board. Right from the start I was forced to engage my core (abs) in order to perform the necessary functions to score points in the game. This is due to the fact that you must maintain balanced on the Wii board while tilting your body to move the items on the screen. This became increasingly difficult in the Yoga excercises, where for example, you need to extend your limbs while maintaining balance on one leg. While describing these actions in words may be trivial, they are actually much harder to do when forced to control, isolate, and alternate muscles at 'game speed'. I began to immediately see the benefits of working these stabilizer muscles in my legs. They are essential when doing quick footwork and spins.
Now I'm sure most of these mechanics can be replaced with manual exercise. That is really what it all comes down to: simple core training. However, if you are like me who has been told to try out Yoga class but has been scared do to lack of testosterone (other guys) in the room, this might be a good substitute - especially if you enjoy casual gaming. Another way to integrate technology to help you become a better salsa dancer right in your living room.
I only wish there was enough dance gaming demand in the world to encourage developers to produce highly engaging dance gaming experiences. Creating an interactive 2-player game experience for the Nintendo Wii that teaches allows for leading and following in salsa dancing while teaching proper use of pressure (dance connection), posture (core) and foot position (lower body) is something I hope like to play someday. It would even be amazing if you could download 'new pattern sets' through the Wii Online store to enhance the game... of course, this would be the basis of an entire new article for me to write.
[More at NintendoWii]
[Guy Lost 15 pounds using Wii Fit]