Dance Dance Maniacs started six years ago from a group of students in the Anime Organization that started playing DDR for fun, but so many people began showing up to play that they created a new club.
You know those people you see in Findlay Commons on the DDR machine? Yup, they are most likely a part of Dance Dance Maniacs. And yes, they are awesome. But, the club has their official meetings on Thursdays in Waring Commons in West from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. and the atmosphere isn’t as competitive. They set up two dance mats and project the game on the wall and play for fun.
“We have about 40 active members but some people show up every week and some people show up once in a while,” says vice president Adam Stirzel. “We provide the set up and people just pop in and play.”
They also provide late night activities on certain Saturdays. They’ll set up the mats in the HUB outside of Starbucks for anyone who wants to play.
“It’s loud music, flashing colors, expending energy – no skills required,” says junior Stirzel.
Dance Dance Maniacs has also been contacted on numerous occasions outside of Late Night to provide set-ups for people. They have been asked to set up for socials, public events and were asked to be a part of THON this year. They were able to bring their equipment down on the floor and people were able to play for an hour and fifteen minutes.
For some of the members, however, there is more behind this club than just hitting the right arrows with the right feet. The game they play is called Stepmania 5 and they have their own custom set up. Club members can download songs for free, can make arrow patterns, mix different songs together, write songs, make background videos and create surprises during the song (like making the arrows spin, shaking the screen, etc.) that make it even more fun.
They have a computer dedicated to DDR and the hard drive is 40 gigs of arrows and music to dance too.
“Everything from Beethoven to the Black Eyed Peas in on there.” says graduate student, Devin Pohly.
The difficulty levels for most players goes from 1- 10 but now they have created patterns that brought their difficulty level up to 20 and beyond. They know they aren’t going to pass the songs (they would need robot legs to do that) but it’s just a lot of fun to try.
After all the technology talk that left me extremely confused, I got the chance to watch Stirzel and president Rebecca Krish, play on level 9 to a song called “Money Business” and it was one of the most impressive things I have ever seen.
Dance Dance Maniacs is full accepting and fun loving people of all different majors and of all ages who can move their feet really freaking fast.
So come out on Thursday and give DDR a try, or check out the experts practicing in Findlay Commons. Either way you’ll be impressed.
Photo by Jessi Korch