Dance Central

Dance Central

Made by famed music-game developer Harmonix Music Systems, this is the original dancing rhythm title that utilized the Kinect for Xbox 360.


Dance Central is a dance rhythm game for the Xbox 360, developed by Harmonix, published by MTV Games and distributed by Microsoft Game Studios. Using the Kinect peripheral, the game is able to scan your body and register the dance moves you are performing. The game was revealed at E3 2010 during the Microsoft press conference. It was released alongside the launch of the Kinect on November 4th, 2010 in the US and November 10th in Europe.

Going on to be one of, if not the top seller out of all the Kinect titles, Harmonix went on to releasing Dance Central 2 the very next year as well as Dance Central 3 the year after.


That girl is poison!
That girl is poison!

The on-screen action is divided into three parts: Your score, the dancer, and the dance slides.

A boombox to the left hand side displays your score and multiplier as well as your star rating. You are scored on how accurately you perform each move and aim to achieve a 5 star rating, not too different from star ranking system found in the Rock Band and Guitar Hero series'. As you perform a string of successful moves, you build up a score multiplier gaining you more points for each step. Due to the lack of a life bar as in previous Harmonix games you are unable to fail songs, basing it all on how well your score and star rating are. The main screen shows dancers demonstrating the moves you must mirror in order to score points. If you fail to match the movement of the dancer, the part of your body which is at fault lights up on the center dancer model. Success is also measured by a ring at the feet of the center dancer which fills as you perform the correct steps. To allow the player to know which steps are coming up, the right hand side of the screen displays dance slides. These small diagrams, complete with a name for each one, allow the player to see which move he should currently be performing and which move will follow. As with previous Harmonix titles, varying difficulty determines the complexity of the moves, allowing players of all skill levels to enjoy the game.

The game features three modes:

  • Break It Down! mode runs the user through each dance move used in the selected song. Every move is separately practiced, at slower speed if desired. Then of 3-4 moves are then put together in a small recaps similar to the actual song performance. Every song song is broken down in 2-3 practice and recap segments.
  • Perform It! mode runs through the song from start to finish giving the player a rating on their performance. Additionally the "Workout Mode" option will display time played and estimated calories burned.
  • Dance Battle mode is the multiplayer mode in which two players face off in a hotseat style dance battle.

There is some minor player progression available in the form of being able to unlock new outfits for the dancer avatars, by earning stars with them. Similarly new venues are unlocked by increasing total stars on all songs, or by completing challenges. There is also an additional unlockable dancer avatar.

Included Songs

Dance Central comes with 32 songs of varying genres, ranging from the 1970s to today. Each song's routine is categorized under one of seven difficulty levels. Each difficulty level is finished up by a challenge. This is a combination of all songs of this difficulty, which unlocks once the player has scored at least 4 stars on each song.

ArtistSong Title
Audio PushTeach Me How to Jerk
Basement JaxxRendez-Vu
Beastie BoysBody Movin' (Fatboy Slim Remix)
Beenie ManKing of the Dancehall
Bell Biv DevoePoison
Benny BenassiSatisfaction
CascadaEvacuate the Dancefloor
Christina MilianDip It Low
The CommodoresBrick House
Craig MackFlava in Ya Ear (Remix)
Dirty VegasDays Go By
Eric B. & RakimDon't Sweat the Technique
FannypackHey Mami
Jay Sean ft. Lil WayneDown
Kool & The GangJungle Boogie
Kylie MinogueCan't Get You Out of My Head
Lady GagaJust Dance
Lady GagaPoker Face
Lipps, Inc.Funky Town
M.I.A.Galang '05
Nelly FurtadoManeater
Nina SkyMove Ya Body
No DoubtHella Good
PitbullI Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)
Quad City DJ'sC'mon N' Ride It (The Train)
RihannaPon de Replay
Salt-N-PepaPush It
Snoop Dogg/PharellDrop It Like It's Hot
Soulja Boy Tell 'EmCrank That (Soulja Boy)
TechnotronicPump Up the Jam
Wreckx-n-EffectRump Shaker
Young MCBust a Move

Xbox 360 Game Installation

When installed on the Xbox 360 Hard Drive, the game takes up 1.6GB of space. There are no performance gains to be had when installed.

Downloadable Songs

Harmonix offers downloadable content for Dance Central. Each song will cost 240 Microsoft Points, which is more expensive than anything on the official Rock Band Music Store, due to the choreography, motion-capture, and voiceovers required for each new routine. Harmonix have also included a forum within the games official website which allows users to vote for which songs they would like to see released as future DLC.

ArtistSong TitleRelease Date
CameoWord Up!November 4, 2010
Ne-YoBecause of YouNovember 4, 2010
Lady SovereignI Got You DancingNovember 4, 2010
Sean PaulTemperatureNovember 23, 2010
Tag TeamWhoomp! (There It Is)November 23, 2010
The Black Eyed PeasI Gotta FeelingNovember 23, 2010
BlurGirls and BoysDecember 21, 2010
Janet JacksonControlDecember 21, 2010
RhiannaDisturbiaDecember 21, 2010
ChicLe FreakFebruary 15, 2011
Missy ElliottWe Run ThisFebruary 15, 2011
Rick JamesSuper FreakFebruary 15, 2011
AmerieHeard 'em AllFebruary 15, 2011
Fatboy SlimWeapon of ChoiceMarch 15, 2011
Gwen StefaniHollaback GirlMarch 15, 2011
Keri HilsonTurnin' Me OnMarch 15, 2011
Paula AbdulStraight Up!March 15, 2011
JusticeD.A.N.C.E.April 19, 2011
Dem Franchize BoysLean Wit It, Rock Wit ItApril 19, 2011
Tone LocWild ThingApril 19, 2011
SnowInformerMay 17, 2011
Fergie feat. will.i.amFergaliciousMay 17, 2011
N.E.R.D (feat. Lee Harvey and Vita)LapdanceMay 17, 2011
Taio CruzBreak Your HeartJuly 19, 2011
Trey SongzSay AahJuly 19, 2011
Afrika BambaataaPlanet RockJuly 19, 2011
James BrownGet UpAugust 16, 2011
Sean PaulGet BusyAugust 16, 2011
LloydGet It ShawtyAugust 16, 2011
The Pussycat Dolls ft Busta RhymesDon't ChaSeptember 20, 2011
RupeeTempted To TouchSeptember 20, 2011
Timbaland ft. Keri Hilson and D.O.EThe Way I AreSeptember 20, 2011

Exporting songs

Harmonix announced at E3 2011 that all songs (including DLC) from Dance Central can be exported to Dance Central 2. The export function costs 400 Microsoft points and is achieved by entering a 16 digit code found in the Dance Central manual into Dance Central 2.