How Fortnite Dance Classes Are Using A Popular Video Game To Get Kids Moving

They're recreating "emotes" in real life.

Video games may not usually be associated with increased exercise, but a recent trend inspired by a popular multiplayer game is actually getting kids on their feet and moving. A report from BBC Radio Bristol revealed the existence of Fortnite dance classes, and the internet is divided.

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For those who don't know, Fortnite is a video game from Epic Games that has taken pop culture by storm in the past year. According to NBC News, the game became popular when a free version called "Battle Royale" was released, attracting 10 million players within weeks. In this version of the game, "100 people square off against each other in a fight for survival." In June, Epic Games revealed that Fortnite had grown to 125 million players.

You may be wondering what dancing has to do with all of this. The answer is that one of Fortnite's features is something called an "emote," which players can use to make their game characters move. This includes dance moves such as the "Floss" and the "Orange Justice."

Now kids are learning how to recreate these moves in real life, and the social media reaction is mixed. Some are embarrassed by the phenomenon, saying the idea of these dance classes inspires a "cringe." However, many others are defending it, arguing that it uses something many kids enjoy to get them moving and associate exercise with fun. 

A Texas PE teacher posted a video of her kids performing the dances in class, writing, "I learned so many new dances this week and my classes LOVED IT!"

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity affects 18.5 percent of children and adolescents between the ages of 2 and 19 years old in the U.S., so teaching kids to enjoy exercise is always a positive thing. As one Twitter user wrote, "if parents have a hard time getting them to exercise but they're willing to attend these classes then where's the harm?"

Meanwhile, although sitting behind a game controller for hours may not necessarily seem like the healthiest form of play, there are conflicting conversations over whether video games are indeed a contributing factor to childhood obesity. In fact, a 2012 article from Slate pointed to a study that found one fighting game actually raised kids' heart rates in a similar way to walking at 3 miles per hour, and while kids' screen time increased by two hours per day between 1999 and 2010, childhood obesity rates didn't change much in that time.

Regardless of whether video games are a cause of the problem, it certainly can't hurt to get kids moving and having fun together. As far as the cringe factor goes, one user pointed out that "every kid is cringey at some point." And many of us have the photos to prove it.

(H/T: GameRant)

Cover image: Jennie Book / Shutterstock.com

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