Back to Blog

Dance Central Fitness Club Success Stories: Alli

This past winter I sustained a pretty bad injury that affected the muscles that sit under my rib cage – they were completely torn. Unfortunately, with that type of injury there’s nothing you can really do about it except take it easy until it heals (it takes months to heal since every time you breathe you’re re-injuring yourself). With the injury I went from regularly attending dance classes and going to the gym to sitting on my butt a lot. Then suddenly clothes weren’t fitting as well and walking up and down stairs became a chore because I was spending so much time sitting still. To make matters worse, my asthma started up again which I hadn’t had a problem with for nearly 10 years. I even had to get a prescription inhaler. Needless to say, I didn’t really feel healthy or feel very good about myself.

In June I got the go-ahead from the doctor to start working on mobility and it was suggested I try light dancing and other physical activities to see how it made me feel. That was really exciting because outside of work at Harmonix I’m also a performer and I hadn’t been able to get on stage, (or even backstage) for months. Because of my injury I actually missed my first big solo performance. Being able to move again meant being able to get back to doing what I love to do outside of work; however I didn’t feel like I was ready yet. Part of being on stage is loving yourself and loving your body and I wasn’t quite there yet because I couldn’t move the way I used to and had such a poor range of motion. I didn’t feel like myself.

Once I returned to work on Dance Central 2 with the doctor’s permission I started to dance through routines. Just to get moving a little bit I started working on Easy and Medium routines. If you’re familiar with our choreographers, Frenchy Hernandez’s choreography is pretty fluid and on easier settings, low impact, allowing me to stretch a lot more, which helped loosen up my injured muscles. Since then I’ve been able to go from dancing through a routine once or twice a week on Easy and Medium to dancing a large chunk of the game’s set list almost every day on Hard.

Working with Dance Central 2 has helped me take the stage as a performer again which has been pretty awesome. It’s also great being able to go on long walks without having to use my inhaler as much. My muscle tone slowly returned and clothes fit a lot better, too. Dance Central has been really helpful in terms of helping me get my confidence - When you feel better about yourself, you feel more creative, motivated and energetic overall.

If you ever find yourself in a similar situation, just remember to never get down on yourself or feel defeated. Just take baby steps, get up and do an Easy routine. Don’t sweat your scores or whether or not you got a Flawless. Just be happy to get an Almost and worry more about simply moving and stretching as much as you can. Once you improve and get a good rhythm, slowly keep pushing yourself. Always remember to be forgiving of yourself. Worry less about the numbers on the scale and focus instead on the great progress you’re making.

-HMXThrasher (Alli Thresher)
Junior Choreography Designer (Authoring Team), Dance Central 2