Tag Archives: ballet

“Ballet Lite/Ballet Index” by Cannonade

Price: Lite=Free; Index=$0.99

App Overview: This app is a Ballet dictionary with over 200 terms. Some of the terms have corresponding photos. There is a also a flash card feature to test yourself. The only difference between the free version and the paid version is that the paid version loads the information onto your phone so there is no need to have internet connection to access the app where as the free one does not permanently “live” on your device.

Pros: It is a relatively large and useful index of terms with some cross-reference where it links one definition to another. It also often includes a literal translation and a description of the movement.

Cons: I wish all the movements had a corresponding photo for visual learners.

Overall: There are many ballet terms that are not included in this app but its is often updated by the developer to include more terms and definitions. It is a handy reference for those who have familiarity with ballet terminology.

 

Lesson Plan Central – a Goldmine of FREE Lessons!

Name of the website: Lesson Plan Central

Cost: Free, no sign-up needed!

About the website: Okay… I just found me a goldmine! This website has a mountain of basic lesson plans, which can be adapted to match the needs of your students. Some lesson plans are just a thought, but others are quite extensive and include video elements and assessments.

Possible classroom applications: This website prepares you to be a champion educator. Some lesson plan links include assessments, video, and other materials that one could use during learning segments. It’s a goldmine for novice teachers that have to build their curriculum in a short amount of time, but also offers inspiration for seasoned dance teachers.

Pros: Nothing but pros… There are so many ways to pick up new lesson ideas. And all for FREE! The lessons have everything you need, including being aligned to learning standards. What else could one need. Did I mention it’s FREE!

Cons: Truly… I couldn’t find any!

Rating: 5 out of 5

Puzzle Maker

Name of the website: Puzzle Maker – Discoveryeducation.com

Cost: Free!

About the website: the website is a great platform for anyone – dance educators, parents, or other – to create word search puzzles from scratch. The website application only needs you to insert the words and puzzle size, and… VOILA!

Possible classroom applications: The site offers a platform that enables you to make these puzzles from scratch. This means that teachers can have these puzzles match learning content and give this to their students as homework assignments. A second alternative is for teachers to create these puzzles for substitute teachers. As dance teachers we all know that substitutes generally don’t teach in our content area, so this is a worthy alternative.

Pros: The word search puzzle can be created to match your content area and current unit plan. Also, the puzzles can be created to match the cognitive level of the students, so it can be applied over the entire K-12 spectrum.

Cons: I’ve run into problems creating longer compound words (e.g., grand plié, grand battement). These are separated at all times, and using commas between these words doesn’t work. This may limit the word bank during the creation of the puzzle.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Choreoloop

Name of the application: Choreoloop

Cost: Free!

About the app: the app is created for dance makers and is the perfect tool to loop music excerpts. Choreographers can custom-create a loop anywhere in a song, and practice their movement sequence. The app is also perfect for musicians that wish to practice a song excerpt.

Possible classroom applications: the app is perfect for rehearsing freshly taught movement phrases. Young dancers often learn through repetition and Choreoloop is a great way to practice a sequence without having to find a starting point in the track time and time again.

Pros: The app is easy to use and helps public school dance educators save valuable time during sessions. It’s the ultimate set-it-and-forget-it during any type of movement rehearsals.

Cons: The app works seamlessly with your iTunes library, but unfortunately can’t be used with other music apps like Spotify. Also, the iTunes search engine cannot be used through this app. Graphics look grainy when used on larger iPad screens.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Memory King!

Name of the application: Memory King

Cost: Free, with additional in-app purchases of $0.99 each

About the app: The app is an app version of the classic card game Memory. The platform is free, and there are many adaptions possible to tailor to diverse age groups and their corresponding needs. In settings you can fluctuate the number of card sets from 2 to 32 pairs, and the reveal time can also be adjusted from one second to five. The version offers memory cards of animals and toys, but decks can also be self-created by the user. There are additional decks available as an in-app purchase for $0.99 each. These decks are all highly educational, and consist out of numbers, letters, shapes, colors, fruits, and musical instruments.

The app functions on both the iPad and iPhone, and can be used for one or four players. Memory King has two “wild cards.” The first is Total Recall, which once more reveals the cards that have been turned in the game. Crystal Ball, the second “wild card,” shows all cards in the game. These two enticing cards can be omitted out of the game in the settings.

Possible classroom applications: The customization option of this game offers a great opportunity for educators to give their students a playful entry point to learn content-specific words. It could be applied in ELA classes, math units, and of course the arts! Yesterday, I created a card set of ballet terms that my dance students have learned over the last few weeks, and just had a first trial run with them. I linked the iPad to the smart-board, so the pictures looked bigger than on the iPad. The students loved the interactive aspect of the smart-board, and it was a playful way to reiterate key ballet definitions. Like in the real game, students take turns, and the child who wins the most (virtual) cards wins! I used laminated gold stars as a tangible substitute for each matching pair made.

Having a distinct knowledge of the ballet idiom is essential for every dance student, but since learning ballet jargon can be perceived as a tedious task for dance students, the game offered a covert way to get the proverbial job done! The game offers audio and visual hints offering support for ELLs and other children that need strong aural and visual supports. Again, the reveal time can also easily be adjusted. This, and the opportunity to adjust the number of cards make the game suitable for all age groups.

Lastly, it’s important to note that the game doesn’t only (covertly) build and reiterates the ballet (or other) vocabulary of the participants, but also aids in the overall retention skills.

Pros: The app can be adapted in many ways, which makes it a great tool for all ages. The number of decks, the reveal time, and presence of the “wild cards” can all be altered. Additionally, the audio and visual hints tailor to students varied intelligences (i.e., music, spatial, linguistic, kinesthetic).

Cons: Unfortunately, the created decks can’t be shared between different devices or between users.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Passe-Partout, a NYCB app

Name of the application: Passe-Partout

About the app:
Passe-Partout is a pretty straight-forward app designed specifically for iPads. Five complementing dance solo’s and duets are layered with one another by the user, building on the notion of choreographing a dance. The choreography is by Justin Peck, who many people know as a soloist and Resident Choreographer of New York City Ballet. The app is $0.99, and is designed by 2wice Arts Foundation.

Possible classroom applications:
The Passe-Partout app is great to use as part of units that focus on contemporary ballet, male ballet dancers, New York City Ballet, or elementary choreographic devices like unison, canon, or mirroring movement. The app can also be used in a unit based on the work of Justin Peck. This is a hot-topic since he just had his theatrical release of his dance documentary film Ballet 422.

Pros:
The app is a wonderful tool that highlights men-in-dance. In modern-day society this is rather important, especially in low-income areas like Hunts Point where I currently teach. Passe-Partout is perfect to use to illustrate choreographic devices on the smart-board, but make sure to only tap one of the colored tabs to make sure only one layer of the dance is showing.

Cons:
I initially had high hopes for this application, but was rather disappointed with the product. Besides the beautiful dancing, and choreography by Justin Peck, there’s not much to it. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the many layers the app offers, and can make students feel overwhelmed. It’s also not usable on smaller devices. The buttons are too close to one another, even for small children’s fingers.  Additionally, while creating the 2-dimensional dance, the user can’t pause the composition. Worst of all, the top bar that generally indicates time and battery power is invisible while in the app. When on older iPad models, the app also crashes and freezes. Not good when you’re in the middle of a 40-minute lesson!

Rating:
1 out of 5 (A two thumbs down… A rotten tomato… A Vaudeville hook yanking Peck off the stage!)

Ballet Index- one of many language tools for dance.

Name of Application: Ballet Index

Cost: 99 Cents

Pros: Gives both the literal translation of ballet vocabulary and also what it refers to in terms of ballet class and terminology. Gives phonetic pronunciations.

Cons: Not many photos of what things look like, though entries like ballerina have cheesy photos of a “ballerina.”

I use this app for my own knowledge of how to exactly translate and spell terms in ballet and in other styles of dance as we use ballet vocabulary throughout many dance forms. I use these terms with my pre-K students and my Middle School students. Using terms based in the French language is helpful at my job because many of my students are bi-lingual in French and English or are English Language Learners. This allows us to discuss cross-cultural use of language and other uses for their mother tongue.

I recommend this App, it is a clear interface and very well laid out and very clear. However, I think that the free ballet dictionary that is available through the American Ballet Theater, (http://www.abt.org/education/dictionary/), is a bit more comprehensive and clear. This website would be more useable by students on their own for defining and spelling ballet vocabulary because of its accessibility on the computer as well as the fact that it is free. Ballet Index is only 99 cents, but not all students have their own iPad or iPhone access or want to/can afford to buy an app for dance class (students would also need parental permission to buy their own version of applications).

Number of Stars * * * (3/5 stars)