Smart Tech for Bellydancers

We live in a remarkable time where technology exists to help us get through daily life, did you know it can also help you with bellydance? I am going to share with you some apps and tools I’ve integrated into my dance business and instruction. Most of these can be used on your smart phone. Some may require a computer or tablet/iPad.

Bellydance “Smarter” not harder

1. Smartwatch – These delightful devices cover a wide range of functions: such as your calendars, reminders, heart rate/activity monitors, and control of your music playlist. I have a Pebble Time and with it I can control what track I want to play next in class and the volume, all without having to disrupt class by walking over to fiddle with my phone.  These devices work via bluetooth pairing and come in a range of price points. To see the variety and explosion on the market, check out this article with reviews.  You don’t have to break the bank and it counts as a business expense come tax time.

2. Song Looping – Rather than frantically trying to figure out all stop start points of your song as you or your group works through choreography, find an app that allows you to break the song into chunks that you can work with. I’ve kissed a lot of toads in my search and give many thanks to Ashley Lopez for sharing her find last year.

Its a FREE app called  The Amazing Slower Downer (ASD).  ASD allows you to repeat a loop and keep the pitch even if you slow the loop down. It may seem overwhelming with all the buttons and it’s worth learning how to use. You can save the loops and know exactly where you are in the song while creating your loop. ASD is available for pretty much any platform, mobile or computer. It integrates with your music library and Spotify. Also, it’s compatible with most smart watches so you can control the currently looping track from your wrist.

3. Crossfading & Playlists – For some classes you want a break in between songs, some you don’t. Sadly the crossfade feature that used to work in iTunes doesn’t work reliably for playlists on other devices. Djay2 by Algoriddim is an app (has a FREE version) that allows me to view the BPM (beats per minute) and set up a list that flows seamlessly from one track to the next. It also integrates with Spotify for adding music you don’t have in your library. I use this app for my Improvisation workshops that are often 2 hours of music. Bonus is that you can play with the turntables in the app to learn a bit about being a DJ, or just watch the album art go round and round.

4. Music Editing – I’ve never gotten the hang of Garageband, in fact I hate it. On a laptop/desktop I use Audacity (FREE) for music editing. If I’m on the go, I use TwistedWave ($9.99) on my phone/iPad, it’s also available for Mac and Online versions for any platform. It has many of the same features as Audacity and I like the ability to put my fingers on the screen to edit the music. It can copy, paste, import, and export (iTunes, Dropbox, Soundcloud). Being able to see the wave form in both programs is pretty neat and helps me see where it makes sense to snip a song so it retains continuity. Nothing is worse than a poorly edited song that jars the audience into wondering what happened, don’t be that dancer. It’s worth spending a little time with the tutorials to learn these programs, they make music editing less scary.

You may know about some of this technology and I hope you also found this information useful.  Do you have other types of technology that you could share about in the comments? Also, if you want to use these and would like my help, drop me a message, I enjoy educating others.