Dance Central 3 Game Poster Image

Dance Central 3



Fun and active dancing game for groups, now with story mode.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids can learn about dance and healthy activity in this instructive, engaging, and highly physical game for Xbox 360 Kinect. The game shows players how to perform famous dances from the past 40 years, from classic YMCA arm movements to modern hip-hop popping. A fitness mode, meanwhile, counts calories burned and outputs data to Microsoft's free Kinect PlayFit app so players can track their exercise over multiple games. Dance Central 3 is meant for fun and education and succeeds nicely on both counts.   

Positive messages

This game is about dancing and social interactivity. It gets players moving and creates a spirit of light and pleasant competition. A special fitness mode could become part of the player's regular physical health regimen. Just keep in mind there's a sexual undercurrent to many of the dance moves and song lyrics.

Positive role models

The game's dancers come off as skilled performers, but sometimes show a bit of attitude. Female characters are as talented as the men, but a bit more sexualized due to occasionally revealing outfits.

Ease of play

Kids can choose their skill levels and select from songs sorted by difficulty. Onscreen instructions in menus and while dancing ensure that players are never at a loss as to what to do. New voice-enabled controls make actions like pausing the game and switching modes quick and simple.

Not applicable

Some of the female dancers wear suggestive clothing, including short shorts and low-cut tops that reveal modest cleavage. Women's breasts move independently of their bodies, creating an authentic jiggling effect when dancers shake their torsos. Many of the songs focus on sexuality (like "Da' Butt" by E.U., which includes the line "Doin' da butt, hey sexy, sexy"), but more explicit lyrics have been faded out so the player can't hear them.


Light profanity, such as the word "bitch," can be heard in some songs.


This game features plenty of popular songs. Some players will likely be moved to buy those they like outside of the game. Plus, it facilitates in-game purchases of additional music.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

One song mentions Bud Light.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Dance Central 3 is a dance simulation game that teaches players authentic dance moves and then evaluates their performance. It encourages social interactivity in group play modes and facilitates plenty of healthy activity (players will be sweating after just a couple of songs). Parents should be aware, though, that an undercurrent of sexuality permeates many of the dance moves and can be heard through song lyrics. Tracks like Niki Minaj's profanity-laden "Starships" have been edited to remove the most offensive bits, but the music's focus on sex is still plainly evident.

What's it about?

DANCE CENTRAL 3's story mode -- a first for the acclaimed series -- has kids taking on an evil dance genius on a journey through time. The tale starts back in the 1970s then moves through the '80s, '90s, and '00s all the way up to modern music. Kids play simply by mirroring dancers, checking diagrammatical instructions scrolling along the side of the screen for cues as to what they need to do next. Friends can jump in at any time by stepping in front of the camera, and a new \"crew throwdown\" mode allows up to eight players to challenge each other in dance tournaments. Long-time Dance Central fans can import music from previous games, and the series' popular fitness mode returns for players who want the game to double as a regimented workout.

Is it any good?


Dance Central 3 follows in the footsteps of its predecessors in taking the title of most advanced dance game. Unlike its competitors, which are made for multiple platforms with varying interfaces, Harmonix's game is built from the ground up to make the most of Kinect. That means it's tuned to track every part of your body, and can tell with surprising accuracy whether or not your feet, belly, arms, and head are all in the right spot at any given moment. It can make for a more challenging experience, but you'll be a better dancer for it.

This latest iteration moves the series forward in several meaningful ways, from a story mode that helps flesh out the game's catalog of songs by era to multiplayer modes that let different players seamlessly jump in and out of the game with hardly a break in the music. It's a deep enough experience to recommend an Xbox 360 and Kinect to anyone who loves dance, even if they only use Microsoft's hardware for this one game.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about keeping fit. What do you like to do for physical activity outside of video games? Have you ever taken lessons in your favorite sport or joined a league or club?

  • Do you think of dance games as exercise or fun or both? What makes a dance game good?

Game details

Platforms:Xbox 360
Subjects:Arts: dance, movement, rhythm
Hobbies: sports
Skills:Collaboration: cooperation, teamwork
Health & Fitness: exercise, fitness, movement
Creativity: imagination
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Microsoft Studios
Release date:October 16, 2012
Genre:Music and Dance
Topics:Music and sing-along
ESRB rating:T for Lyrics, Mild Suggestive Themes

This review of Dance Central 3 was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

  • Feel-good rhythm action game promotes physical activity.
  • Gun-slinging puppet on Kinect is more creative than violent.
  • Kinect physics puzzler makes razing castles a hoot.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Kid, 11 years old February 14, 2013

Good game

This game is an awesome games that teaches you dance moves including the dougie
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Safety and privacy concerns
Parent Written byRobbyboy37 July 14, 2014

This is pushing the Teen rating

This is a dance game where you basically copy cat the moves that are shown to you on the screen. There are plenty of suggestive dance moves including guys shaking their pelvis area and women shaking their breast. Some songs also have suggestive hip movement as well. There is some language such as damn, hell, ass, and words that are blooped out like " f*ck who you want and f*ck who you like" but are blooped out like on the radio. Some of the worst lyric phrases in this game are " I've got passion in my pants and I'm not afraid to show it " " Man she's really got some boobies" There is no explicit language but you can clearly know what word they are blooping out. My rating: 15+ for lyrics and some suggestive dance moves. I am not saying this is appropiate for all 15 year olds but in general its ok.
What other families should know
Easy to play/use
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Kid, 9 years old December 1, 2013

this is not for kids

I think this is not a game for kids because it has inaproprate language and lots of other not kid stuff
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Safety and privacy concerns