Les Mills XR Dance got my hips moving

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VR fitness on Quest 3: Les Mills XR Dance got my hips moving

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Looking for more variety in my VR fitness routine, I came across Les Mills XR Dance for Quest 3. Find out how the mix of dance and aerobics plays out here.

Movement-intensive games are made for Virtual Reality. I love fidgeting to driving beats and hitting glowing balls. VR fitness has been an integral part of my fitness routine since I first tried Beat Saber when it came out on PSVR 1. For some time now, these routines have consisted of some yoga, Synth Riders and VR boxing in Les Mills Bodycombat.

To stay motivated, I wanted to shake things up a bit. Since the Beat Saber alternative Beat the Beats is currently only available for the PSVR 2 and I prefer wireless VR headsets for sports, I ended up sticking with Les Mills XR Dance for the Quest 3, leaving my usual VR fitness comfort zone.

Les Mills XR Dance: The facts

Les Mills XR Dance was released last December for Meta Quest 3, Quest 2 and Quest Pro and costs $30. At its core, it has a similar structure to Les Mills Bodycombat. You can choose from over 25 classes, ranging in length from 3 to 20 minutes, and are guided through the sessions by real instructors who appear as holograms.

 

The choreos are divided into the genres pop, club, vibe, and jam and are accompanied by over 40 songs, all from the electro label Monstercat. Three difficulty levels ensure a pleasant learning curve. Although there is no direct multiplayer mode, leaderboards are available, and you can view your fitness statistics and achievements at any time.

VR fitness experience with space requirements

Not being much of a dancer in real life, I found myself struggling with Les Mills XR Dance within the first few minutes. If you are new to the game, you should definitely complete the tutorials and training sessions first.

After being greeted by the five completely over-excited but likeable instructors, I am introduced to the basic mechanics. Unlike Les Mills Bodycombat, where I take up a fixed position, in XR Dance I use all the space available. It should be 2 × 2 meters at least. Otherwise, it gets cramped. In the game itself, the dance floor is clearly marked on the virtual floor.

During the dance steps, it is less important to hit flying objects as hard as in Beat Saber or Synth Riders. Instead, I have to move my whole body, create a flow and, ideally, hit the targets automatically.

Helpful coaches ensure quick success

The coaches move in front of me as holograms during the sessions, so the dance movements are always clearly visible. Details such as hip and shoulder movements, which are essential for the success of the training and the choreography, are also clearly visible.

There is always a small wall behind each instructor. Les Mills XR Dance projects both his and my shadow onto it. This allows me to check that our movements are congruent. The second indicator of success is the two-colored bars and balls that you have to hit with your hands. You don’t have to punch the target, you just have to move your hands to where the balls land. If your timing is right, the VR controllers will confirm your success with slight vibrations and the high score will shoot up.

The instructions are precise and easy to understand. They perfectly introduce even complete beginners like me to the game mechanics and the most important basic movements. After being overwhelmed at first, I got better and better with the short beginner courses and was able to complete the first choreographies without mistakes after a short time.

Verdict: Les Mills XR Dance becomes part of my fitness routine

After my first full class with Les Mills XR Dance, I am blown away. I never thought fitness dance could be so much fun. The moves are well explained, the hologram instructors make it easy to see the moves, and the colorful arenas look great.

The rhythmic movements are perfect for people like me who sit in an office chair all day. The hips, wrists, and shoulders rotate, the legs work, and the chest and spine are not neglected either. After an hour and a half of Les Mills XR Dance, I was soaking wet, in a great mood and definitely wanting more.

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Sources: Les Mills XR Dance (Quest Store)


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