Studio Owners

Ask the Experts: I Need Help Keeping Track of the Latest Classroom Apps


Q: How do you keep track of the latest apps to use in your classroom?

A: Well, as they say, "There's an app for that." For Mac users, an app called Setapp creates a new paradigm for how you find and manage apps. Think of it as the Netflix of computer apps. For a monthly subscription fee, you get access to the latest apps, categorized into 1 of 11 topics—including creativity, productivity and education. You can find apps to help you with writing, blogging and more. You may even find some that you didn't know you needed, which will help you work more efficiently. Setapp makes sure the apps you download are updated and lets you know when new ones come out.

Declutter, for example, is an app found on Setapp that will clean up your desktop and sort your files for you. Workspaces will take apps, files, e-mails and websites—all located in different places in your computer—and create a single place to click and open everything you need for a specific project. Remote Mouse will turn your phone into a mouse for your laptop and allow you to move freely around the classroom while still controlling the music from your phone.

Allie Burke, courtesy Lo Cascio

If you'd hear it on the radio, you won't hear it in Anthony Lo Cascio's tap classes.

"If I play a song that my kids know, I'm kind of disappointed in myself," he says. "I either want to be on the cutting edge or playing the classics."

He finds that most of today's trendy tracks lack the depth needed for tap, and that there's a disconnect between kids and popular music. "They have trouble finding the beat compared to older genres," he says.

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Courtesy Lovely Leaps

After the birth of her daughter in 2018, engineer Lisa McCabe had reservations about returning to the workforce full-time. And while she wanted to stay home with the new baby, she wasn't ready to stop contributing financially to her family (after all, she'd had a successful career designing cables for government drones). So, when she got a call that September from an area preschool to lead its dance program, she saw an opportunity.

The invitation to teach wasn't completely out of the blue. McCabe had grown up dancing in Southern California and had a great reputation from serving as her church's dance teacher and team coach the previous three years (stopping only to take a break as a new mother). She agreed to teach ballet and jazz at the preschool on Fridays and from there created an age-appropriate class based on her own training in the Cecchetti and RAD methods. It was a success: In three months, class enrollment went from six to 24 students, and just one year later, McCabe's blossoming Lovely Leaps brand had contracts with eight preschools and three additional teachers.

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Courtesy Shake the Ground

Dance competitions were among the first events to be shut down when the COVID-19 pandemic exploded in the U.S. in mid-March, and they've been among the last able to restart.

So much of the traditional structure of the competition—large groups of dancers and parents from dozens of different studios; a new city every week—simply won't work in our new pandemic world.

How, then, have competitions been getting by, and what does the future look like?

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