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Friday, 22 May 2009

Dancing is Fun!!

One of the things I love about SL is dancing!!! Yes, I suppose it’s a bit weird to people who have never tried SL, that you can enjoy the experience of your little avatar rocking the night away, or dancing posh in a grand ballroom, and guess what? everyone dances fantastically, you don’t have to worry about falling on your bottom or stepping on your partner’s toes!!

One of my favourite things after a long day is to take myself off to the Underground Club in SL Knightsbridge. It is such a friendly comfortable place to be, that you don’t feel at all odd going there on your own. There’s a variety of music and the dj’s and hosts work so hard to keep everyone happy during the evening.

I suppose I am writing this for new people really! No end of newbies come into the club during the evening asking how to dance, plus some can’t hear the music when they first arrive. The hosts keep an eagle eye out for new people who come through the door, greeting them with a nice ‘Hello.’ As well as this, they give them instructions on getting the music to play, and also what to click on to animate their avatars to dance, so all in all the hosts deserve every penny they earn, especially if the club is crowded. (if you can’t hear any music in SL you need to go to the top menu, then choose Edit, Preferences, Audio and Video and then make sure that the box is ticked for streaming music. Once you have done this, the music button is down on the right hand side of your screen, just toggle it to make it work.)

There are different ways to dance in SL, and I remember being new and going into a club and looking around nervously for the object that you touch to make you dance. It’s usually a ball up above the dance floor and fairly easy to spot. All you do is right click on it and you get a notice asking to ‘animate your avatar’, agreeing to this, you are off boogying the night away. I do remember once though, a long time ago I clicked on a ball and chose the ‘sit’ option in my menu, as ‘dance’ wasn’t there and I had the humiliation of being drawn up to the ceiling and sitting on the spinning ball, how embarrassing!! Well I’d have laughed now, but then I was cringing with shyness!! Don’t worry though, that hasn’t happened for a long time, the dance balls normally work!! If you want to stop dancing you click the ball again and choose the option to ‘stop’.

Another way to dance is to click the poseballs scattered around the Underground Club, you will see red pose balls with ‘Caramel’ written above them. Caramel is a very popular dance in SL and seems to fit most music, the Caramel balls are all in line as well, so you can have fun being part of a chorus line with other people. Just right click on the poseball to join in the fun. Getting this one to stop is also simple, you will see a small notice at the bottom of your screen that says ‘stand up’, by clicking this you will instantly stop dancing.

Above the dance floor there is a double dance ball for couples who wish to dance together. One of the avatars will click on this and you will see pink and blue pose balls appear near the av who has clicked on the double dance ball, the pink pose ball is the female one, and the blue one the male, the couple then click the pose balls to dance together. You will also get a blue tag in the corner with a menu, so that one of you can choose the type of dance you want.

You can buy dances to keep in your inventory, Brie Janick who does some great moves told me where I could go to get some and I have three or four that I stick to. I simply find them in my inventory and click to them to appear. You get a little tag on the screen and you can either ‘play in world’ or ‘play locally’. Playing in world is the one you want, as playing locally means that only you can see your av dance, you will be standing still to everyone else! You simply click the tag again to stop the dance when required.

Dancing in formation is great fun in SL and Clive and Pink, who go down the Underground club, are really good at it, they have some great routines! A way to dance with lots of others this way is called a ‘Dance Chim’ and a person who has the routine dance in their inventory can invite all the others to join in (as in the main picture). This is fascinating to watch and you feel so good as you get all the steps right, once again great fun to be a part of. I wasn’t too sure how to stop myself dancing with this, but tried the top menu again for ‘World’ then ‘Stop All Animations’ and this seemed to work ok.

Of course SL being what it is, sometimes you have stopped dancing, or thought you have, and go walking out in the street, only to have people tell you that you are still jigging about. You can’t see this yourself and think they are telling porkies, but in fact you probably are still dancing and you can try the ‘Stop Animations’ again, but alas this doesn’t always work. I do have something in my inventory that I can use to stop this too (if anyone wants one just let me know and I will send it!). If everything else fails and you are still dancing down the street, the only thing to do is to log off and on again, dear old SL, it always gets you in the end!!

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