Teaching Tips

Ask the Experts: Do You Prefer Apple Products or Google for Class?

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Q: As a dance teacher, which products do you prefer, Apple or Google?


A: Having reliable technology you can trust is essential. Devices that are protected, durable and up-to-date provide nearly every teaching technology tool I've recommended in this column.

Many people pick an affiliation and stick to it with religious zeal. In some ways, you have to, since each sets you up for their specific "ecosystem" of devices and apps that all work together. Personally, I'm a fan of Apple. Android is an open-source platform, meaning different people can make devices, components and apps for them. Apple is closed and runs on one system that Apple monitors and controls. This makes their products less susceptible to malware, and they all work together seamlessly. Apple is generally considered to be better at protecting your private information. The main downsides are price and less ability to customize. Android phones allow you to download a third-party launcher, which means you can make changes to things like your home screen. They allow you to hide apps, create different actions for the home button and change which browsers are your default on the phone—unlike iPhones, where Safari is always the default.

Google has come a long way in terms of the hardware of their devices. The Pixel phone, a smartphone created and sold by Google, is a respectable choice with an amazing screen, though the latest models are not any cheaper than the iPhone. The Pixel Slate, Google's tablet, can do so much that it borders on being a laptop. The price is less than Apple for the base device, but with add-ons like keyboards, there isn't much of a difference. Chromebooks, laptops running on Google's Chrome OS, can be incredibly affordable. These devices are designed to be connected to the internet, so most of their apps and docs live in the cloud. If you use Google apps like Gmail, Google Drive and Google Photos, you'll find it easy to access all of your data on a Google device. Keep in mind that this can be a real con for those who don't have good internet connections or need to work offline.

In the end, there are pros and cons to both. Decide what things you value most, and choose the company that will best assists you in and out of the studio.

Leap! Executive Director Drew Vamosi (Courtesy Leap!)

Since its inaugural season in 2012, Leap! National Dance Competition has been all about the little things.

"I wanted to have a 'boutique' competition. One where we went out to only one city every weekend, so I could be there myself, and we could really get to know the teachers and watch their kids progress from year to year," says Leap! executive director Drew Vamosi. According to Vamosi, thoughtful details make all the difference, especially during a global pandemic that's thrown many dancers' typical comp-season schedules for a loop. That's why Leap! prides itself on features like its professional-quality set design, as well as its one-of-a-kind leaping competition, where dancers can show off their best tricks for special cash and merchandise prizes.

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Health & Body
Getty Images

The term "body shaming" might bring up memories of that instructor from your own training who made critical remarks about—or even poked and prodded—dancers' bodies.

Thankfully, we're (mostly) past the days when authority figures felt free to openly mock a dancer's appearance. But body shaming remains a toxic presence in the studio, says Dr. Nadine Kaslow, psychologist for Atlanta Ballet: "It's just more hidden and more subtle." Here's how to make sure your teaching isn't part of the problem.

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News
Courtesy Russell

Gregg Russell, an Emmy-nominated choreographer known for his passionate and energetic teaching, passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, November 22, at the age of 48.

While perhaps most revered as a master tap instructor and performer, Russell also frequently taught hip-hop and musical theater classes, showcasing a versatility that secured him a successful career onstage and in film and television, both nationally and abroad.

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