Dance: There’s an App for That

March 10, 2014

Is there anything that our iPhones can’t do? Apparently, no. In the past four years, several dance apps have been added to the iPhone and iPad repertoire of business, food, health, finance, social media, sports, games and education apps. Just when we thought that dance was one of the last face-to-face forms of communication, these tutorials swoop in and virtualize our favorite instructors’ lessons.


Tap App:
No tap experience is necessary to practice with this app. Each of the 12 foundational steps are presented as a set of images, a video demonstration or a written explanation that appears on your screen. If the first 12 leave you hungry for more, you can purchase 2 expansion packs of 11 steps each. The app places an emphasis on “proper technique, body placement and rhythm,” all essential qualities of a well-rounded tap dancer.


Ballet for Beginners:
With over 200 lessons, this app is accessible for both beginner and intermediate students. Video tutorials cover everything from pliés to piques to pirouettes. The app also provides answers to practical questions about ballet life, such as “How to Sew Pointe Shoes” and “When is it too late to start ballet?”


Bboy Step by Step:
Master b-boy teacher Jeromeskee guides users through warmups, freestyles, footwork exercises and freezing drills. Fifteen videos incorporate what is called a “follow me” style of virtual teaching, where the user follows the instructor as if he or she were in an actual class (similar to those Pilates DVDs that we try to keep up with in our living rooms).


While some dancer students use these apps simply as a guide to practice at home, other novices are relying on them to acquire the basics. In this world of rapid technological advances, will we see young hopefuls gravitate toward virtual dance classes? Will the experience of entering a dance studio be foreign to a future generation of dancers? Probably not, but we won’t know until there’s an app that can predict the future. Stay tuned—I’m sure it will arrive shortly.