Put your best foot forward

13th June 2003 at 01:00
ABCD: Any Body Can Dance is a multi-featured CD-Rom designed by Scottish Youth Dance to offer specialist advice and support for dance students and teachers.

It's an attractively packaged toolkit that is fresh and contemporary, using the best devices in multimedia presentation to animate and explain dance construction. It borrows from the best computer game technology, allowing you to have fun with the body on screen and manipulate it using 3D imaging to try out your own choreography. You can also add music and layer it over your new dance piece. It's impressive and a lot of fun.

The CD-Rom works on various levels. As you navigate through the different components, there is a strong focus on building dance skills, knowledge, and practice. It is well written and researched and provides an easy to follow information portfolio of skills from warm-ups to workshops, examples and information on devising, developing and refining choreography.

It's what teachers have been dreaming of. It won't replace hands-on teaching and the physical experience of creating dance - and it does not pretend to do that. But it does offer an exciting and sophisticated teaching and study aid that is hugely informative.

Here technology is used well for a reason, bringing your ideas to life in a way that goes beyond what other teaching aids have tried to do in dance education. The message is clear - anybody can dance.

ABCD is a recipient of Scottish Arts Council Lottery Funding and has been copied to all of Scotland's cultural co-ordinators in schools via the Scottish Arts Council and Executive Education Department.

It is an inspired resource that captures the imagination and has the potential to transform dance education. But the formula must include real and not just virtual dance teachers and animateurs.

Jacqueline McKay is director of the North Edinburgh Arts Centre and former head of education at Scottish Ballet

ABCD: Any Body Can Dance CD-Rom. pound;50 plus pamp;p and VAT. download an order form from www.ydance.org

Minimum system requirements: 400Mhz Pentium processor, 128 Mb RAM, 485Mb of free hard disk space + Adobe Acrobat Reader (free download) Windows 98Mac OS 9.1 compatible (not Windows 95 or OS X)

Scottish Youth Dance. Unit 5, Ladywell Centre, 94 Duke St, Glasgow G4 0UW. Tel: 0141 552 7712 email: info@scottishyouthdance.org

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