There's an App for That: Dancer Edition

Most of our modern inconveniences come with a simple solution: there's an app for that. For dancers, it's no different. There are hundreds of phone applications that exist to help us learn and share dances, find and edit music, track down the nearest dancewear store, make sure our bodies our healthy, and pretty much anything else you might need. Here's a roundup of some of the best:

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Ballet Lite. (Free) Whether you're new to ballet or just can't keep track of the terminology, this app provides explanations, photos, and pronunciation notes for the trickiest of ballet's French terms.
  2. Waterlogged. (Free) Staying hydrated in the studio is essential for dancers to remain energized and safe. Sometimes it's hard to remember to drink enough water when you're busy moving (and sweating!). Waterlogged keeps track of your water intake and reminds you to drink enough throughout your day.
  3. Shazam. (Free) Ever hear a song on the radio that sounds perfect for your upcoming choreographic project/class/workout routine, but you can't figure out what it's called our who it's by? Use Shazam to solve the mystery so that your dance playlists are always well stocked.
  4. Blogilates. (Free) Whether you're on tour, vacation, or just having a busy day, sometimes it's hard to find the time to cross train. Blogilates has hundreds of 5–10 minute videos jam-packed with fun and challenging Pilates sequences. You can even choose which muscles you want to focus on.
  5. Notetracks. ($4.99) For choreographers, teachers, or dancers looking for a new way to remember choreography, Notetracks is a unique, interactive option that allows you to take notes on the audio file, so that your dance notes are synced with the part of the music they match.
  6. Sleep Cycle. ($0.99) If you struggle with mid-afternoon exhaustion, it may be because your body's sleep schedule is off. With Sleep Cycle, you can set a 30 minute window in which you'd like to wake up, and the app's alarm will go off when you're in the lightest sleep phase, so you wake up naturally.

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Stark Photo Productions, Courtesy Harlequin

Why Your Barre Can Make or Break Your At-Home Dance Training

Throughout the pandemic, Shelby Williams, of Royal Ballet of Flanders (aka "Biscuit Ballerina"), has been sharing videos that capture the pitfalls of dancers working from home: slipping on linoleum, kicking over lamps and even taking windows apart at the "barre." "Dancers aren't known to be graceful all of the time," says Mandy Blackmon, PT, DPT, OSC, CMTPT, head physical therapist/medical director for Atlanta Ballet. "They tend to fall and trip."

Many dancers have tried to make their home spaces as safe as possible for class and rehearsal by setting up a piece of marley, like Harlequin's Dance Mat, to work on. But there's another element needed for taking thorough ballet classes at home: a portable barre.

"Using a barre is kinda Ballet 101," says 16-year-old Haley Dale, a student in her second year at American Ballet Theatre's Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School. She'd bought a portable barre from Harlequin to use at her parents' home in Northern Virginia even before the pandemic hit. "Before I got it, honestly I would stay away from doing barre work at home. Now I'm able to do it all the time."

Blackmon bought her 15-year-old stepdaughter a freestanding Professional Series Ballet Barre from Harlequin early on in quarantine. "I was worried about her injuring herself without one," she admits.

What exactly makes Harlequin's barres an at-home must-have, and hanging on to a chair or countertop so risky? Here are five major differences dancers will notice right away.

GO DEEPER SHOW LESS
December 2020