The Best Apps for Dancers Who Are Social Distancing

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We're living in unprecedented times, and for many of us, that means unprecedented screen time. (So please cool it with your Screen Time notifications, Apple.)

For dancers used to moving their bodies and working collaboratively, social distancing at home can come with particular challenges—not to mention the fact that many dance artists are out of work and losing income.

We rounded up the best apps to make this difficult period a bit easier—whether you need a distraction, a workout, a meditation or some inspiration:


For mental and physical health:

Headspace

Headspace offers guided meditations for stress, anxiety, sleep and more, and well as movement exercises. The popular app has a 2-week free trial, and for a limited time is offering a collection of free meditations to all users.

Waterlogged

A woman fills up a glass cup with water at a sleek black sink. A bowl of fruit sits beside the sink.

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When we change our routines, it's easy to forget to drink enough water. Waterlogged gives personal reminders to ensure you're staying hydrated, and allows you to set goals and track your water consumption over time.

Reflectly

If social distancing has you feeling disconnected, or if you're struggling to just keep track of what day it is, you're not alone. Reflecty is a journaling app that uses artificial intelligence to ask personalized questions about your day, helping you reconnect with your emotions and keep a record of your thoughts.

For entertainment:

Marquee TV

Live performances may be canceled, but there are still plenty of ways to get your digital dance fix. One of them is Marquee TV, which has full-length works from The Royal Ballet, Paul Taylor Dance Company, The Bolshoi Ballet, Kidd Pivot, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, Gallim Dance and more, plus a series of dance documentaries and films. They are currently offering a 30-day free trial.

All Arts

Created by New York's PBS stations, All Arts has free programming featuring dance, theater, music, visual art and more. Watch excerpts from your favorite pieces, interviews with the stars, documentaries, tv shows and unique selections like the full video of last year's Bessie Awards.

For training and cross-training:

1on1 Ballet Studio

Created by National Ballet of Canada star Svetlana Lunkina, 1on1 Ballet Studio uses artificial intelligence to record and analyze your body's movements while executing barre combinations, strengthening exercises and more. In-app purchases range in price.

Peloton

No, you don't have to own a Peloton bike or treadmill to use the app. There are plenty of workouts you can do at home with minimal props, including HIIT, strength training, cardio and more. They're currently offering free 90-day trials.

Down Dog

A woman does downward dog on a fluffy white rug in her bedroom. Her pug sits underneath her, and she gives it an upside down kiss.

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If yoga is more your speed, try Down Dog, which features a wide variety of classes—now free, at least until April 1.

Nike Run Club

A woman runs on a deserted street, with trees on either side.

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Depending on where you live, it's still safe and permissible to go for a run (as long as you stay six feet away from others!). Plus, it's probably good for everyone's sanity to get outside once a day. The free Nike Run Club app has guided runs from both trainers and celebrities like Bill Nye and Kevin Hart.

For learning something new:

Liz Caplan Vocal Coach

A young woman sits on her coach with headphones in and a laptop in front of her, singing expressively.

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If you're a dancer who's always shied away from using your voice, now's the perfect time to strengthen your singing skills. Let Liz Caplan, vocal coach to the Broadway stars, teach you her ways, with vocal warm-ups, breathing exercises and more on her app.

STEEZY

Odds are STEEZY has classes in a dance style you've never tried. Mostly focused on urban dance, you can attempt everything from whacking to dancehall to krump. One-week free trials are available.

Teaching Tips
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After months of lockdowns and virtual learning, many studios across the country are opening their doors and returning to in-person classes. Teachers and students alike have likely been chomping at the bit in anticipation of the return of dance-class normalcy that doesn't require a reliable internet connection or converting your living room into a dance space.

But along with the back-to-school excitement, dancers might be feeling rusty from being away from the studio for so long. A loss of flexibility, strength and stamina is to be expected, not to mention emotional fatigue from all of the uncertainty and reacclimating to social activities.

So as much as everyone wants to get back to normal—teachers and studio owners included—erring on the side of caution with your dancers' training will be the most beneficial approach in the long run.

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