A: Dancers of all ages should have some knowledge of the skeletal and muscular systems. Today, there’s no shortage of 3-D interactive anatomy apps that allow you to rotate and easily zoom in and out of the body with the touch of a finger.
These apps, while thorough, can be expensive. But there are some good, free options: Zygotebody.com lets you use a series of sliders to fade in and out on what you want to see, locate parts with the touch of your finger and swivel the body around. (An app with more functionality costs $19.99.)
Another alternative is the BioDigital Human app. The free version gives you access to the muscular and skeletal systems and allows you to identify, rotate and layer those systems. You can save whatever specific version of the human body you’re working with for future use or create a snapshot for use elsewhere.
These types of apps and websites pair well with a SMART Board or projector. Your students can go up to the board and actually touch the muscle or bone and move the body around. If you’re working with a projector and a tablet, you can have students manipulate the tablet.
For free study tools that are fun to use, check out anatomyarcade.com. The site’s games ask you to identify parts of the body in ways students will love, like scanning underneath the skin to find and name muscles or bones or whacking bones to identify them.
Barry Blumenfeld teaches at the Friends Seminary in New York City. He is an adjunct professor at New York University and on faculty at the Dance Education Laboratory of the 92nd Street Y.
Photo courtesy of Barry Blumenfeld