You might be asking yourself, “what are some good apps in order for me to learn belly dancing or to actually teach belly dancing?” I wanted to go over a couple apps that I have personally found very helpful in either learning or teaching my students.
The first one I wanted to talk about is Anytune. This application on your phone and I believe it’s only for iOS as of right now. It allows you to slow down a piece of music that’s on your playlist without losing the quality. I think this is fantastic for when you’re teaching or learning, because when you’re trying to teach your students and you need to take your time to go through a combination but often still want to time it with the music. You can still run through the dance moves while the music is timed to it as well.
If you search in your app store for slowing music down applications or music applications, you should be able to find one that works for iOS or for Android. This should give you a few options and I would highly recommend getting one of these apps that slows the music down without losing the quality.
The next one I want to talk about is a metronome app. I personally use this one and like it because if you are practicing something like Zills, you can match the pace of the way you’re playing with the metronome and you can see how many beats per minute you’re at.
When you find out that information, you have a baseline and it can slowly work your way up into faster tempos. This is particularly helpful when you are starting slow, but you don’t know how fast to actually bring up your tempo and still stay on beat. This can be challenging when you’re just starting to learn a dance or raq sharqi in general.
I really recommend getting one because it helps keep the even spacing of your movement going along as well as it gently challenges you to bring your movement to a faster pace. It can also challenge you the other way by going at a slower pace. So if you’re drilling something that you typically drill faster, bringing your tempo down, really up your game and technique. Typically it’s harder to do a movement slower than it is to do it faster because you really have to suspend the movement as you continue the energy. So in order to help yourself keep time with that, using a metronome app can really help.
Spotify is fantastic and you can get a free account. The free version has ads, so if you don’t like ads you can upgrade to get ride of those with their paid version. This app is perfect to practice listening to music, hearing the language, hearing different pop songs, seeing what’s popular and listening to playlists that you just love in general.
Spotify is a great resource because it allows you to access to many different artists and songs in one area. So I find it particularly helpful, especially if you feel like you keep listening to the same songs on your playlist over and over. It’s also good for finding new music to improve to. As a student, I love using anything that can make my job practicing a lot easier and sometimes you don’t want to think about the playlist. You just want to put it on and you want to drill, or you want to improv and new music makes it easier. So I highly recommend Spotify.
If you love learning rhythms, which is a part of being a dancer, then you’re going to like the app Darbuka rhythms. This is by Artem Uzunov and you can download it on Android or on iOS and it allows you to identify the rhythms as well as quiz yourself on if you know the rhythms. There are quite a few rhythms on there, which is awesome.
If you’re trying to make sure that you understand more of the music theory behind belly dancing then it’s really good to have an app to help you listen to the music in that way that you can test yourself. You can practice how you would locate the drums, and the teks within 4 counts, within 6 counts, within 12 counts, 10 counts and other similar things. It’s really important for us to know that information. Darbuka rhythms is a great way to support a musician in our community, as well as get the practice that you need.
This might seem a bit weird but this is an application on your computer. I’m a huge fan of QuickTime for multiple reasons. One of the reasons is because if you need to quickly send a video of yourself to your students then you can video yourself through QuickTime send it to them.
If for some reason you can’t get your phone to transfer the file over to your computer, or it’s too big and you just need to send it from your computer then Quick time is a great way to do it.
Another thing you can use it for is when you’re giving your students feedback. I personally do this by playing their video, while I’m screen recording at the same time, and then it records my voice while the video is capture and I’m giving feedback step by step. So what that means is in real-time, as I watch their video, I can give them feedback.
And I can’t tell you how helpful that is as a teacher, as well as a student. It just eliminates a lot of miscommunication about what you wanted to get across to your students when reviewing their videos.
Another reason that I like QuickTime is if you need to take whatever is on your phone and transfer it to the computer, like a second screen, you can do that. All you need to do is you have to go to a new movie recording. You choose you, connect your phone, new movie recording, and when you choose your phone as the camera that’s being shown and it actually reflects whatever’s on your camera, onto your screen.
This is really helpful if you are in a class or you’re doing zoom and you can’t see what’s going on because your screen is too small, you can transfer that to your phone in real-time. There’s going to be a delay of course, but you can see it bigger, which if you don’t have a separate television screen or a separate computer monitor. This makes it super helpful for you to see your teacher or your students much larger.
So I personally use this one right now. It’s called pro movie. You do have to pay for it if you don’t want their emblem on your video. This is important if you don’t want it watermarked by their brand, but it’s only a couple of dollars. Pro movie is awesome because you film within the app and it produces 4k videos, which is really important if you’re doing prerecorded classes or shooting videos for YouTube.
If you’re wondering how I shoot my videos this is the app I use. You can also use an external microphone with it and then it exports as a 4k video. You can also use 1080p as another option. It’s really customizable and honestly, it’s simple to use.
When you’re looking for a simple editing tool there are two apps that I recommend. Videoshop is one of them and the other is iMovie. These are the two that I’ve come across and like because I have a Mac and an iPhone.
Videoshop is really easy to use. It’s customizable enough for your videos and to easy to edit with. You can do the transitions, you can trim your videos, you can do certain filters, and you can export it into 15 second chunks or 20 second chunks for your Instagram and Facebook stories.
You can change the formatting so it’s a square, or horizontal easily. You can also add your music to it, which is really nice, and then you can trim that also. I really like Videoshop because it’s easy to use overall. I can do all my video editing on my phone and that is always convenient when I don’t want to be working on my computer. I can also export the video straight to my camera roll. So then it’s not some random file that I have to now convert to a different file format in order to get it off my computer or upload it somewhere else.
You can also export to Facebook and Instagram and Vimeo. You can also get this off your app store and for this one there is a free version and a pro version.
I believe costs $30 but that’s a pretty good price for editing software. I haven’t tried this one personally, but I’ve seen a lot of great reviews for it. I just haven’t needed it yet because I have Videoshop. Luma Fusion is way more detailed, way more robust, and has way more options. If you need simplicity this might not be the app for you. But Luma Fusion is where you can really create some awesome graphics, some transitions, overlays, all that other more detailed stuff. So you’re looking for something more robust and a little bit more impressive to people with the complexity of the design, maybe Luma fusion is the way to go.
I’m sure there are a few more apps I didn’t mention but these ones I’m using in my own teaching and learning journey. If you have another app that you found really helpful, please leave it in the comments below because it will be really helpful to me as well as other people.