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A Note On Getting Fit With Dance Central From DC's Community Manager

Prior to the October launch of Dance Central 2, I kicked off a weight loss competition among my colleagues at Harmonix to encourage us to find creative ways to use DC as a fitness tool – and more importantly get fit in the process. We’re in month four of the competition and so far we’ve seen awesome results! My “opponents” have been doing an excellent job keeping a consistent, healthy pace week after week as the competition rages on. One of our participants has already lost 10 percent body weight with proper diet and exercise (mix of DC and drumming). Impressive! I on the other hand haven’t been doing so hot.

The holidays are never an easy time to follow through with a weight loss plan. With that said, at this point in the competition I’m right back to where I started. I’m currently in last place in the competition that I initiated. And it SUCKS. I was disappointed in myself and the setback, but have regrouped and realized it is the motivation I needed to get my act together. I’m leading Dance Central Fitness Month and I should lead by example. Exercise is now part of my daily routine and I’m no longer making excuses for my diet (“I was stressed,” “Just one won’t hurt,” “I’ll burn off this dessert with my work out tonight,” etc.) I’m hoping you’ll join me in making 2012 the year you meet your fitness goals, too!

Prior to the holidays I had lost a total of five pounds over the course of the competition – I was halfway toward my competition end goal of 10 pounds! Then I went to Puerto Rico for Christmas to visit family – a place where just about everything you consume is fried and portion control is non-existent. “I’m on vacation, who cares!?” I figured I could eat a couple empanadas here, a couple servings of rice there and would easily burn off the excess weight upon returning to Boston and get right back to my pre-holiday weight. Then poor eating habits continued when friends visited for New Year's Eve. Bad on my part.

As of our last weigh in I'm right back where I started (blog update coming soon). In just two weeks I gained the five or so pounds I worked so hard to lose when our competition started in October. Sticking to healthy habits is a struggle I’m sure just about anyone on a fitness and weight loss regimen can relate to. There are highs and lows with both your numbers on the scale and self-esteem alike. The biggest challenge in a weight loss program isn’t maintaining a consistent workout schedule and sticking to your diet (though it’s undeniably tough) – it’s sticking to this regimen after experiencing disappointing results. Lesson learned: Don’t let numbers get you down.

I’ve been on a weight loss journey since 2010 and it’s been a long road to get to where I am now. In two years I’ve lost about 30 pounds at a slow, but steady pace and Dance Central played a significant role. With regular DLC releases I always had something to look forward to whenever I’d power up my Xbox, which kept my interest in cardio and keeping up with a fitness program high. I didn’t have to go to the gym and pay a ridiculous amount of money for a membership and could still break a sweat doing what I love doing most – dancing.

After starting up at Harmonix last year as Dance Central’s Community Manager I hit the road with Dance Central 2 and played for countless hours with fans around the world at conventions. That combined with play sessions at home and a healthy diet helped me get in the best shape of my life. I can now play through a 20-song playlist on Hard with plenty of energy to spare (my average before working here was about 10 before I’d get winded). I’ve even kicked up my routine by carrying weights during sessions for toning and additional resistance and it’s been great for my arms! I had shoulder surgery in 2010 so incorporating light weights in my dance sessions has been instrumental in building shoulder strength.

Even though I can say with all confidence that I am in the best shape of my life the scale hasn’t exactly been representative of my efforts these days; however, that shouldn’t really matter. If you feel great then keep doing what you’re doing. Maybe you’ve only lost two pounds, but you’ve also doubled the number of songs you can play through in a DC session. That speaks volumes in itself.

I had a setback with the holidays, but I’m not going to let that deter me from continuing on. I’ve re-worked my diet to eat smaller, healthy meals more frequently and am exercising daily. Along with Dance Central sessions I’m also taking dance classes with DC choreographers and am simply finding more ways to be active in my day-to-day – always take the stairs, get off the bus a few stops early and go for a walk, etc. – and I feel better already.

If you’ve been following our progress so far in the Harmonix Fitness Challenge and have been reading our blogs on thanks for checking in with us! Even though January is designated as Dance Central Fitness Month I’m hoping you’ll stick with me all year long so we can reach our fitness goals together! We have lots of fun content planned and more DLC to roll out over the course of the year to keep padding your fitness playlists so stay tuned!


Community Manager, Dance Central