One week Osawatomie Middle School students flew around the gym on skates, and then the next, they danced, danced, danced and danced to C’motion, the music-driven exergaming experience designed to keep the mind and body in constant motion.Dylan M. Stewart (center) makes a small jump while trying to keep up with the music and directions. (Photo by Kevin Gray)The idea is to combine the age of technology with physical exercise, said physical education teacher Nancy Gagnebin.“It already has our legs hurting and our heart rates up,” she said.Coach Dave French said students and staff were still learning how best to use the equipment.“On Tuesday, when we used it the first time, we weren’t sure if we could keep them active the whole period, but they liked it. Instead of lining students up in rows on the practice pads, we set up two teams in a circle and rotated. It worked well, and they liked the competition. It’s called Battle Mode with half the court against the other half,” he said.

The C’motion franchise, located in Oklahoma City, sends a large-screen television, two electronic platforms and pratice pads.Dancers follow directions on the television screen while music the students like blasts from speakers.

The Cmotion can be found at the Exergame Fitness website here

“They follow the arrows on the screen and with their feet hit the same arrows on the dance pad. Right step, left step, hops, jumps forward and then back. Mines, like landmines, will cost them points. There are also ability levels from novice to excellent. We’re mainly running novice, easy, and medium, but that medium is pretty difficult,” French said.

Reacting to a misstep up front or a funny scene on the television screen, Hanna Butts keeps on dancing. (Photo by Kevin Gray)As two students dance on the electronic pad, the others follow the same directions on practice pads beneath their feet.French said they are constantly programming new songs or steps in as they go along.“We could leave the system running all night, and it still wouldn’t run through every song programmed in,” he said. Eighth-grader Matthew Petrie said he liked how the interactive nature of the system appealed to younger people.“It’s pretty fun, and it gets you going. Plus the music’s great,” he said.

OMS rented C’motion for a week or three class periods, French said.Sixth-grader Emmaline Cochrane, with eyes glued to the television screen, kept in step.“It really works you out. And it makes you feel more energetic,” she said.Heather Machiel thought the school should provide the students more gym time like this.