NICKELODEON DANCE lets kids choose a song and then dance to it by following motions shown on the screen. Much of the music is familiar, including theme songs from popular Nick Jr. TV shows: Dora the Explorer, The Backyardigans, The Fresh Beat Band, and Go, Diego, Go! Parents may recognize kid-friendly versions of "Locomotion," "The Lion Sleeps Tonight," and "Rockin' Robin." There is also a Christmas song, "Santa Claus is Coming Aqui." The songs are grouped into four categories: Starting Steps, Smooth Moves, Fancy Footwork, Workout. The first three categories reflect the progressive difficulty of the dancing, while the Workout category uses special moves that are fitness related (such as lunges and jumping jacks).
During a song, kids watch lead characters, including Dora and Diego, as well as familiar faces from The Backyardigans and then try to mimic the moves that the characters are doing on screen. As in other dance games, upcoming moves slowly scroll across the screen. As kids perform the moves, they are given one, two, or three stars based on their accuracy. These stars fill up a "star meter" that calculates their score at the end of the game. They can receive one, two, or three golden stars, although they are given positive feedback regardless of their end score. Most kids should be able to get two stars just by continuing to move. The third star is more elusive.