A Jewish version of “Dance Dance Revolution” is coming to a shul near you. Just in time for Hanukkah, “Step It Up” is a new game designed for Orthodox Jews who’d prefer to get down to techno versions of Hebrew and Yiddish tunes than to Lady Gaga’s racy lyrics.
The game’s inventor, Faigy Grossman, 25, told The New York Post, “The game meets our standards for modesty. Many [Orthodox Jews] just won’t listen to non-Jewish music. They’re also offended by graphics showing women dancing in the background.” Enter “Step It Up” (see video below), which features images of (fully-clothed) popular Jewish music stars like Lipa Schmeltzer, whose techo-infused songs are biblically inspired. The game’s website boats “Turn your computer or laptop into a dance machine!” and promotes the game as an ideal fitness regime.
Grossman, a former teacher from an all-girls yeshiva, created the game’s concept three years ago after a field trip with her students. They encouraged her to give “Dance Dance Revolution” a try, and while she had fun with it, she felt “the music just wasn’t appropriate,” according to the Post. So she got to work, learning the program and financing her own version of the game.
Earlier this month, Grossman’s creation hit Jewish-owned toy stores in Brooklyn and New Jersey. Michael Tool, manager of Toys for Thought in Lakewood, N.J., says it’s already a hot item. Tool is happy to have it on his shelves. “Finally, here’s something that’s kosher,” he explained. Amen.