What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this active-play dance game is built for use with the Wii Balance Board -- a large flat controller that players stand on to use -- which is sold separately. The game can be played without the balance board, but girls looking for a virtual ballet experience will not get what they want from simply using thumb controls. Parents should also understand that while the game uses real ballet terms and will show children what different steps look like, they should not expect the game to actually teach their kids how to dance.
What's it about?
MY BALLET STUDIO is a dance school simulator. By using the Wii Balance Board and the Wii remote to register their movements, players will need to take steps, shift their weight, swing their arms, and strike and hold poses on cue. A series of lessons preps players for performances in which they will use all the actions they've learned in dances from famous ballets like Giselle and Don Quixote. The game can be played without a Balance Board, in which instance the Nunchuk controller is used to guide the \"lower body\" movements.
Is it any good?
As long as there's a Wii Balance Board available, My Ballet Studio can delight young tutu-wearers. Even if the child's actual movements bare little resemblance to what they're seeing on screen (I don't recall ever seeing a real ballerina shaking a remote before), it's likely she'll be satisfied with the idea that she's performing ballet. Kids who are really into dance -- who are the ones who are going to want this game, anyway -- will put more effort into it and pull off something more akin to real choreography. And either way, the game will get kids up and active. In one way of looking at it, My Ballet Studio is like a kiddie version of Wii Fit -- players will hone their balance, they'll be given flexibility exercises, they'll engage in brief step aerobics. The game's biggest flaw is that it without a Balance Board, the game loses 90% of it's appeal. When performing ballet, using a thumbstick is simply no substitute for kicking your legs.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the importance of physical activity. How can this game help you in terms of balance and flexibility?
Parents can also discuss with their children the difference between playing a game and engaging in proper dance training. Can a game like this be a short cut to real dance training? Or should it just be viewed as fun?