Join the Dance in Fancy Nancy Ballet School — iPad App Review

Even though she’s grown no older, and no less fancy, in the 8 years since the publication of Fancy Nancy, the bejeweled protagonist of the series now stars in several iOS apps, the newest of which, Fancy Nancy Ballet School includes an easy-to-read story as well as innovative interactive features.

In addition to reading about Nancy’s ballet adventures, the reader can choreograph ballet steps for Fancy Nancy to dance, and then film video, using augmented reality, to dance along with Fancy Nancy. Did you just hear a collective squeal from six-year-old girls across the land?

Upon opening the app, the reader has three options: let’s dance, read, or my dances. Choose read to enjoy Fancy Nancy’s story, which is narrated.

When the story ends the reader is invited to dance. Tap on the Let’s Dance button and the reader sees Fancy Nancy doing a ballet routine, that follows a film strip of different dance positions located at the bottom of the screen. To dance with Nancy, the reader needs someone to tap the pink camera button. The stage is replaced with real life, yet Fancy Nancy continues to dance.


The reader can choreograph Nancy’s moves by tapping the Change button on the pink ribbon. Slide through the 11 choices to make a combination, such as first position, second position, arabesque, passe, plie, and end with grand jete. Fancy Nancy walks the reader through how to do each of the positions.

Tapping the button that looks like a wrapped present will auto-create a dance, which adds variety even for readers who don’t want to assemble their own routine.

Don’t tell the ballet teacher, but there are a range of musical choices including a country tune, a garage rock number, and something that approximates techno as well as a waltz, and other Classical music choices. The app is also Air Play-enabled, so a child can watch herself dance on the big screen.

This app lets the user choose to record and save videos, located in the My Dance section. To share a video tap Edit, then Share, an auto-generated post to Facebook reads, “Having and exquisite time with the Fancy Nancy Ballet School app.” Choose Save to Gallery to send your video to the iPad’s camera roll.

The instructional video below is included in My Dances, so it is available to all users as a tutorial:

Download Fancy Nancy Ballet School from the App Store for $1.99

What I liked: The app was incredibly easy to figure out and fun to use. I think even the littlest ballerinas could navigate the instructions with a little help.

What I didn’t like: I wish the story was longer, but otherwise Fancy Nancy Ballet School has all the right moves.

To buy or not to buy: Fancy Nancy Ballet School has great replay value. It encourages creativity in its user, and its interactive features are among the best I’ve used.

About Emily: Emily is a freelance writer who loves discovering new apps whenever she can pry the iPad away from her children or husband. You can contact her via Twitter: @whatwentwrite