New iPhone Game Makes Players Perform a Pas de Deux

…Or at least spin around until you get dizzy or tangled with your partner. But seriously, this is some high-tech stuff. To play Bounden, partners hold onto a single iPhone and then swing, tilt and turn it to make visual cues on the screen match up in the correct timing, sort of like the movement version of Guitar Hero. (And you thought learning choreography from videos was tough!) Watch game-makers explain the concept and demonstrate here.

Developers from Game Oven worked with choreographer Ernst Meisner and a dozen company members from Dutch National Ballet to translate six dances for the app, plus one piece choreographed specifically for Bounden. Dancers also created video tutorials for users. Watch an example of Bounden choreography here.

Even with virtual guidance from the pros, Bounden will probably get users about as close to actually doing ballet as Guitar Hero gets you to actually shredding Black Sabbath solos. But if the company's behind-the-scenes videos are any indication, players will have just as much fun doing it! Watch dancers (including Michaela DePrince) give the game a try here.

Bounden - Gameplay Trailer from Game Oven on Vimeo.

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.

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Music
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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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.

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