Using video to improve

West Coast Swing Online Grab Bag

If you want to get serious about evaluating how your dancing looks, then you should check out Ubersense. It’s a free iOS application that lets you take video and break down your movement all on your device.

By now, most people in the WCS community have embraced video as a teaching tool. We know that video helps us to remember how a movement is supposed to look and it also allows us to view how we look in reality (instead of our mind’s eye, or how we appear in the mirror out of the corner of our eye while we’re also trying to dance). Ubersense takes video to a whole new level by solving several problems:

  • Dancing happens too fast to break down the movement. Ubersense has a slow-motion playback mode, as well as a frame-by-frame scroll, that allows you to see exactly what happened. You can easily watch the exact segment you need to analyze at a slow enough speed to process what you are seeing.
  • You can’t figure out the difference between your movement and your professional. Ubersense allows you to put two clips side-by-side, so you can watch what your pro is doing at the exact same time as you watch yourself. The side-by-side comparison makes it easy to see what you need to do differently.
  • Your coach doesn’t live near you. Ubersense has a “Review” mode that allows your coach to watch the video and record comments. The coach can pause the film, add markup (like circling key areas or drawing lines to show where your body parts should be), and save it all as another video. Once you get the review back, you can record yourself again and use the side-by-side comparison to see if you fixed the issue.

There are a couple of other coaching apps out there; I’ve been using Ubersense for about a year as I’ve been working on a Rising Star routine, which is why I feel comfortable talking about it. (I’m not associated with Ubersense, and although they have a premium service I have no idea what it offers, so I’m not shilling for them.) The app is currently only available for iOS devices, although they are hoping to launch an Android version in late June.

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