Tag Archives: dance

Dance Me Lite

Name of the app: Dance Me Lite

Cost: Free, but only 10 games can be played before having to pay for the $0.99 full version.

About the app: the app is pretty basic reaction game in which the player has to press 4 directional buttons to stay in the game.

Possible classroom applications:The app builds on eye-hand coordination, but can be adapted for the classroom if used with a smart-board and having elementary student-dancers match the directions with their feet. I haven’t tried this yet, but it might work using polyspots for the group, asking one student to press the buttons. Perhaps a fun introduction-to-tap lesson?

Pros: Children are obsessed with technology, and this might be a great way to reel in unmotivated students.

Cons: The app is designed for the iPhone platform, so it looks grainy when using on larger devices for students with gross motor skill challenges. It also looks grainy when using on a smart-board. The avatar of the app is a triangular looking character that does not look dynamic at ALL.

Rating: 1 out of 5; not really worth the download…

“One Flat Thing, Reproduced” website

Name of the website: Synchronous Objects

Cost: Free!

About the website: the website is multi-faceted, and highlights the choreographic work “One Flat Thing, Reproduced” by William Forsythe. The web pages are incredibly interactive and will mesmerize any teen dance student.

Possible classroom applications: Certain aspects of the website discuss the interaction between the dancers, which directly ties into “Relationship” within the BSTER concept. Students can add and remove the soundscore, voice-over of the choreographer, but also change perspective of the work. Students can explore the concept of kinesphere learn more about the choreographic process. It includes a range of other art forms, so is also a wonderful way to connect to other art disciplines

I have used this as a base for dialogic classroom conversation, but also homework assignments. The list of classroom applications is endless.

Pros: Children are obsessed with technology, and if anything will pull them into learning more about the culture, history, and future of dance, it’s this website. It’s interactive, and offers multiple ways into the work. Because of the multiple entry points and the fact that the site is visual and aural, there are myriad of ways to learn about the arts (and its connection to technology.

Cons: The website needs a lot of VRAM to operate, so it might take a while to load or have glitches when visiting it from an older computer. It might also be too overwhelming for ELLs or students with more severe cases of ADD/ ADHD. A way around it would be to look at the content with guidance of an adult.

Rating: 6 out of 5 (yes, it’s that good!)

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

“Dances for an iPhone” – a gem of an app…

Name of the app: Dances for an iPhone 3 (a.k.a. iDances 3)

Cost: Free!

About the app: the app is a collection of choreographic works created especially for iPhones and iPads. This is the third episode of the app, and previous renditions are currently unavailable. Recently iDances 4 came out, which is dedicated to Stephen Sondheim. More info can be found at dancesforaniphone.com.

Possible classroom applications: The app offers a salient alternative for performance reviews. Students can select one of the dances and write about the work in their journal or answer a prompt for an essay. Since many of the dances are performed by NYC dance icons, it’s also a valuable addition to biographies of them. Some of these icons are Carmen de Lavallade, Risa Steinberg, Deborah Jowitt, and Janis Brenner.

Pros: These days youth is obsessed with mobile devices and technology. This is a terrific way to build on their interests! iDances 3 is a worthy alternative to live performances, and can be used as the basis of dialogic conversation, written essays, and comp study classes.

Cons: Dance-for-film is a terrific medium that can integrate everyday-life and the performing arts. It baffles me that the videos all have been filmed in dance studios. What’s stopping the makers of this app (Riachard Daniels a.o.) to venture out to the streets and perform the dances on interesting NYC locations? Last but not least, these dances expire after a while. iDances 1 is currently unavailable, and iDances 2 will disappear soon as well!

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

“Dance Magazine” by DanceMedia

Cost: Free (In-App Purchases)

Description: This app is basically a mobile version of Dance Magazine, and offers the same information in digital form.

Pros: The app is easier access then the actual print magazine and it is very easy to scroll through the pages.

Cons: The app version of the magazine is not the exact same as the magazine, yet you are still charged a subscription fee.

Conclusion: I think this app would be perfect if it was just another way to access the magazine, like eSubscription. It is still a good reference tool and easy-access, but I think it would be more useful as the electronic replica of the print magazine.

Stars: ***

“iACE” by Jesse Bactad

Cost: $2.99

Description: ACE stands for “Achieve Choreography Excellence”. The app lets you video record your choreography with additional features. These features include flagging portions of the choreo, text or voice notes, draw on the screen, cut the video, slow motion and fast forward.

Pros: The app allows you to do all the things you would normally do on multiple forms of media in one place. It is also very easy to use.

Cons: Not much at all other than that it isn’t free.

Conclusion: This app is a must have for anyone in dance. It allows for review of errors and places where choreography needs improvement. This app is very useful for reviewing choreographic progress.

Stars: *****

“Formations” by Joe’s Apps

Cost: $0.99

Description: Formations allows you to create, edit, and save multiple formations for various dances or routines.

Pros: The app is simple and nicely organized.

Cons: It is difficult to maneuver the position of the x’s in the formations section of the app.

Conclusion: The idea of this app is great and I think it would be very useful to dance makers. However, until the app is developed further, I think you would be better off writing down your formations.

Stars: **

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

Dot Dot Dot, an app by 2wice…

Name of the application: Dot Dot Dot

About the app:
Dot Dot Dot is an app that offers a maze of video dances filmed from various perspectives (i.e., bird’s-eye view, eye level). The user can switch perspectives by swiping the screen. This digital tablet platform features one male dancer that performs in a white world covered in red and black dots and pillars. Choreography is by NYC-based Tom Gold, who’s work is classical ballet based.

Dot Dot Dot is $0.99 and is worth every penny! It combines dance, music and interaction. When seeing the dance from above the app is interactive, and great fun for younger students. It was launched in 2013 by 2wice Arts Foundation.

Possible classroom applications:
The red and black dots seen on certain screens are reminiscent to spot markers often used for younger children. This offers a great opportunity for kids to connect to the dance on-screen. I plan on using this as a culminating event to an elementary school unit that plays with these dots, kinesphere, and general space. Students can compare and contrast their dances to the one offered in the video in a classroom discussion.

Pros:
The app offers countless screens that guarantees hours of classroom fun. It’s effective for younger students, and offers soothing and playful choreography and music. The app can be the basis of movement explorations, but also can offer a culminating event to a unit.

Cons:
I have so far not found any glitches or problems with this app, but will report if I do in the future.

Rating:
5 out of 5!! (Gold star, A++!!)