Improve your dancing using your smartphone

by Jeff Huang

Thanks to improvement in portable technology, an estimated 47% of Canadians today are carrying smartphones. Having a mini-computer with you can be great for salsa dancing, because it provides you with a powerful resource wherever you go. Here’s how your smartphone can improve your dancing:

As a music player
The most obvious, and a very common use for smartphone nowadays is a mp3 player replacement. Listening to music plays an important role in developing musicality, understanding the beat, and getting used to the salsa rhythm. Plus, who doesn’t love some fun Latin music to liven up their day?! So get some salsa tunes on your phone – for practice AND enjoyment.

As a music finder
Apps such as SoundhoundShazam, and Spotsearch are all popular programs for dancers to find songs during congresses and social events. Like what the DJ is playing? Just open the app of your choice, record a snippet of the music, and it will identify the title of the song, the artist, and the album. Some of the more full-featured apps can even provide lyrics in time with the music, or recognize songs by you singing or humming the tune! (Disclaimer: this function really depends on how good your humming is). I personally have found many great songs this way, and have been introduced to many amazing new artists as well.

As a rhythm/timing device
There are a number of apps that help develop musicality and rhythm for dancers. The best-known one is Salsa Rhythm, which is a port of the popular web app Salsa Beat Machine. It is a great learning tool for mastering salsa timing and instrument identification, letting you to fiddle with instruments commonly used in salsa music to become familiar with how they sound. You can use it to practice your timing On-1 and On-2!

As a video recorder
Most dancers will tell you that the best way to improve your dancing is to see yourself dancing – either in a mirror or on video. Countless times I have cringed after seeing myself on video, and it made be practice even harder to be a better dancer. Since most smartphones nowadays come with a video recording function, take full advantage of it! Set your phone up and record yourself dancing (or ask someone to do it for you). It will make you immediately aware of your bad habits, and make you swear up and down to change them as soon as you can. Because hey, we all want to look good right?

Has your phone helped your dancing? Leave a comment, and tell us how!

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