Mrak Korak is the first Croatian club where children are encouraged to be physical active, via the iDANCE Multiplayer. The first iDANCE club just recently opened in Zagreb. Take a look at what machine dance is and who can participate in it!
Machine dance has received a lot attention worldwide. This concept of dance games and technology that combines playing and exercising into what’s called “Exergaming” is fun for both children and adults.
Exercising with a computer game like iDANCE should be based on a system that both follows body movements, reaction and provides the preset step patterns.
Exergaming refers to different activities that use various devices and computer games that make exercising fun and motivate both children and adults to be physically active, which is extremely important in today’s culture.
At the moment there are workshops for the children, who draw several physical benefits out of their 60 minutes of exercise.
iDANCE, i.e. machine dance, improves cognitive abilities through participation in physical activities and has a positive effect on memory and concentration. Good timing, good coordination of movements, perception, ability to predict the next move and a good sense of rhythm are just a few of the key elements to iDANCE.
“What we have noticed with the children who did not show very promising results at first, is that their skills improved considerably within a relatively short amount of time after two months of training,” says Mrak Korak of the Machine Dance Club.
The arrows, music, points and exercise are all elements of a game that can be played by as many as 32 players at three different levels simultaneously. This allows for a better group based game and more multiplayer options.
iDANCE does not have any preconditions for the game, which is one of the reasons why both children and adults can play it together. Children interested in iDANCE come from a variety of different interests, including; those who like to play video games, those who find this to be a challenge, the children who like to dance and those who simply like to discover new things, spend time with their peers and to compete.
Getting to score points for every song and earn a percentage for correctly performed steps is a kind of competition in itself, and is an easy way to observe progress for each individual.
To get started, you only need good will and a pair of sneakers. The iDANCE Multiplayer system, which you can try out at Mrak Korak’s facility, was made by Positive Gaming.
To get started you need a screen, TV, projector or monitor. The dance mats are wirelessly connected to the computer. An image is projected on the screen and the players can follow their results and precision of movements in real time.
Each training session at Mrak’s gym starts with a warm-up followed by dancing at the lowest levels and gradually progressing toward the higher ones. Experience shows that the lowest age limit for iDANCE is five, even though school-age children are the best at following the tasks. To be successful at the game, it is essential to follow the arrows that travel from the bottom of the screen to the top. When they reach a pulsating line, you need to step on the arrow pointing in the given direction.
Timing and position are very important. When these two combine, you earn a certain percentage, which you can follow in real time. There also is a number on the screen for every dance mat and every player. For every step that earns you points, you get stars of different colors as feedback. If you get three yellow stars, your step was perfect, both in terms of timing and position.
The idea of the club Mrak Korak started is to popularize machine dance in Croatia and beyond. In Norway and Finland, it has already been recognized by the Olympic Committee and received the status of a sport. Hopefully with Mrak’s hard work we may see the same in Croatia soon.