November 20, 2001

Dance Craze Night Hits Cornellians on Fridays

Print More

Perhaps the most curious spectacle on North Campus this fall has been the phenomenon known as Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) that has taken over Robert Purcell’s TV Lounge every Friday and Saturday night from 8 p.m. until 2 a.m.

A real-time, Twisteresque game, players tap their toes onto a square pad with compass-like arrows, as they follow the beat and the screen’s commands.

One fan, Linda Obioha ’05, offered her reasons for playing: “It’s stress relieving; it’s a study break; it’s great for exercise; and it’s really, really fun. I like that we all look stupid doing something new.”

Eugene Cheng ’05, founder of the Cornell DDR Club, described how DDR came to RPCC.

“A year ago I saw it at some party and I kind of liked it. Two months ago, I decided to bring it to the TV Lounge, and it was an instant success; within the first 10 minutes we had 20 people.”

The Club has over 100 members on its e-mail list, and includes two dozen regulars.

On a typical night, bemused crowds of upwards to 50 people gather to watch two people dance to the video game.

“The game naturally attracts people, they either want to watch or play,” said Cheng, adding, “the only thing that attracts a larger crowd is a car accident.”

While many stop by, not all participate.

“In America, it’s not our culture to make a public display. They’re afraid they’ll look stupid. Eventually, they try and then they get hooked,” said a grinning Cheng.

Scott Buxbaum ’05, who had seen the DDR happenings for many weeks, tried it for his first time on Saturday night.

“I think it’s pretty cool, it takes lots of coordination that I don’t have, but I usually go out on Friday and Saturday nights, rather than playing video games,” he said.

Cheng says in the future there may be a DDR tournament as well as expansion to other areas of campus, but for someone who just likes to dance, he quickly added, “I try to keep it really informal.”

Archived article by Peter Norlander