Technology: Tempo Magic Pro App

Music tempo application for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch; $4.99 in iTunes

It’s the classic problem: You’ve created a great dégagé combination for your ballet class, and you already have the accompanying piece of music in mind that you know your students will love—only to discover, minutes before class starts, that the tempo isn’t right. With Tempo Magic Pro, you can change the beats per minute, or BPM, of any song, without changing the pitch. You can even change the tempo multiple times within the same song. Say good-bye to high-speed chipmunk lyrics and mega-slow zombie vocals! There are no lengthy uploads or importing required, either—Tempo Magic Pro adjusts any playlist straight from your iPod.

It’s the versatility of Tempo Magic Pro that makes it ideal for dance teachers: You can jump to any point in a track or within the playlist itself without needing to reset your desired BPM. Or, if you prefer not to fuss with your music during class or rehearsal, you can set your playlist to play continuously, without gaps, allowing you to transition from one combination right into another. Your music will play perfectly in the background, too, if you need to use your device to multitask.

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"Nutcracker is a tradition that is ingrained in our hearts," says UBC co-founder Lissette Salgado-Lucas, a former dancer with Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Joffrey Ballet. "We danced it for so long as professionals, we can't wait to pass it along to dancers through this competition."

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Robbie Sweeny, courtesy Funsch

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Originally from central New York State, Funsch spent 20 years performing in the Bay Area, where she also started her own company, Funsch Dance Experience. "My choreographic work from that time is in the dance-theater experiential, fantasy realm of performance," she says. "I also started blending genres and a lot of urban styles found their way into my choreography."

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Movement was more than a metaphor for the fight for women's suffrage—dancers played a real role, most notably Florence Fleming Noyes, who performed her riveting solo Dance of Freedom in 1914 to embody the struggle for women's rights.

This fall, Middle Tennessee State University director of dance Meg Brooker is reconstructing Dance of Freedom on 11 of her students. A Noyes Rhythm teacher and an Isadora Duncan scholar, Brooker is passionate about bringing historic dance practices into a contemporary context.

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