Ask the Experts: Video Apps for iPads

Q: I need a dance film project that my students can create with their iPads but that requires more than just the iPad. What special video apps for iPads have you used?

A: I am fortunate enough to teach in a school that gives every student an iPad and encourages faculty to find ways to use technology in the classroom. One of the apps that my school purchased for everyone was iStopMotion, a stop-motion movie-making app that also does time-lapse.

Though it might not seem like a typical dance educator tool, having your students create a stop-motion film really can push them to think outside the box. They’ll need to plan each and every move, so they’ll know their piece forwards and backwards. Students can easily create a special effect—think of David Parsons’ Caught, where the light only catches him in the air after a jump—and “fly” in their dance by jumping in each frame they shoot.

Using the time-lapse feature, students can experiment with extremely slow movement and see it differently as it’s sped up; they can also see what happens when that process is applied to movement originally performed at regular speed. You can add sound within the app, but I personally prefer to open the video in iMovie to add sound and titles, because it gives me more control over those elements. iStopMotion isn’t the only stop-motion app out there, and at $9.99 it might seem pricey. I think it’s worth it, but there are plenty of free options for you to try: Stop-Motion Camera; Frame X Frame; and Stop Motion Cafe.

Barry Blumenfeld teaches at the Friends Seminary in New York City. He is an adjunct professor at New York University and on faculty at the Dance Education Laboratory of the 92nd Street Y.

Photo courtesy of Barry Blumenfeld

Teacher Voices
Getty Images

I often teach ballet over Zoom in the evenings, shortly after sunset. Without the natural light coming from my living room window, I drag a table lamp next to my portable barre so that the computer's camera can see me clearly enough. I prop the laptop on a chair taken from the kitchen and then spend the next few hours running back and forth between the computer screen of Zoom tiles and my makeshift dance floor.

Much of this setup is the result of my attempts to recreate the most important aspects of an in-person dance studio: I have a barre, a floor and as much space as I can reasonably give myself within a small apartment. I do not, however, have a mirror, and neither do most of my students.

Keep reading... Show less
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.

Keep reading... Show less
Teachers Trending
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.

Keep reading... Show less

Get Dance Business Weekly in your inbox

Sign Up Used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.