Design An In Home Dance Studio

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Whether it's ballet, hip-hop, tap or modern style, if you have a passion for dancing, creating your own home dance studio will go a long way toward helping you perfect your style and technique. For those who also teach, a home studio offers the opportunity to give up commuting and run a business from home.

Choosing Your Space

The first step in creating a home dance studio is choosing your space. Where in the house would you like to spend your time dancing? These factors should help you decide on which of your rooms will best adapt as a studio:

  • Floor space: No matter what style of dancing you study, you'll need lots of space to move around. Choose a room with lots of floor space.
  • Privacy: Try to find a room away from high traffic areas of your home so you won't be interrupted while you're practicing, or disturb anyone else.
  • Quiet: A room that's somewhat protected from outside sounds would be a good choice. If this isn't possible, you may even want to add some soundproofing panels.
  • Lighting: A room with bright, natural light provides a great start for your dance studio.
  • Ventilation: Dancing is vigorous exercise and you'll need fresh, clean air. Choose a room with windows you can open, or one with a good ventilation system.

Home Dance Studio Flooring Options

The next important factor to consider is your dance floor. Not all floors are created equal, and when it comes to dance floors, safety should be your first concern:

  • Dancing on rigid surfaces such as cement and pavement can damage your knees and other joints, so if you're building your studio in a basement or patio area, you'll almost definitely have to install some more forgiving flooring.
  • While carpeting is easy on the joints, it isn't ideal for dancing in most situations. Area rugs present a tripping hazard and thick wall-to-wall carpet makes turning difficult. If you must go with carpeting, consider a thin indoor/outdoor variety.
  • Hardwood is the ideal dance floor choice, providing some protective give and a smooth surface to dance on. Laminate flooring is an acceptable and more affordable alternative.

Many experts recommend a marley covering for your wood floor to optimize the dancing surface. Unfortunately, marley mats can be costly. If they're beyond your budget, consider PVC shower pan liner as an alternative. For a fraction of the price, it feels very much like marley underfoot.

in home dance studio  in home dance studio

Home Dance Studio Mirrors

Mirrors are a must in any dance studio, acting as a valuable tool to help you be aware of and improve your style and technique. Dance studios should have at least one mirrored wall, and preferably more than that. When it comes to mirroring your studio, you've got a number of options:

  • Fully mirrored walls: This is your best and most expensive option. You might choose to mirror all studio walls, or just one or two.
  • Sliding mirror doors: If you want full-length mirrors on a budget, consider mounting some sliding mirror doors designed for closets.
  • Portable mirrors: If your budget only permits one large mirror, consider a mirror on rollers so you can move it wherever you need it.
  • Mirror stick-on squares: These allow you to cover a large wall area on a very small budget.

Home Dance Studio Barre

Even if the room isn't being used for ballet, a barre is an excellent tool for stretching to gain the flexibility needed for all dancing styles. Here are some options for including a barre in your studio:

  • Wall mounted barre: The traditional sturdy favorite allows a number of students to stretch at once and preserves your floor space.
  • Freestanding barre: Position your barre wherever you like and move it out of the way when you're ready to dance.
  • Homemade barre: Create your own bar with a thick dowel and mounting hardware.

Home Dance Studio Lighting

Proper lighting helps you see what you're doing so you can dance at your best. These lighting choices all work well in a studio environment:

  • Natural lighting: For daytime dancing, nothing beats natural sunlight or even the soft, even light of a gray day.
  • Ceiling lamps: Preserve your floor space by installing ceiling lamps with bright, full-spectrum bulbs.
  • Floor lamps: This is your easiest electric light option, as no installation is required.
  • Accent lamps: Occasionally you may just want some soft mood lighting as a background while you're doing expressive dancing. Experiment with colorful bulbs and electric tea lights that safely mimic candles.

Completing Your Home Dance Studio

To get the most from your studio and make it uniquely your own, add a few finishing touches. You'll want to include some or all of these:

  • Music: Bring in a stereo system, an iPod and dock or even just a small boom box. For a real luxury, consider a piano or drum set for live accompaniment.
  • Video camera with tripod: Create a visual record of your dancing that you can study in order to improve your technique.
  • Prop storage area or stand: Have a place to keep or hang veils, hats, dance shoes, costumes and other dancing supplies.
  • Personal touches: Display some favorite pictures on an un-mirrored section of wall or door, hang curtains in your favorite color or add a few meaningful decorative items to your studio décor.

Your home dance studio will help you develop the best technique of your life, and with the money you save commuting to a practice studio every day, you'll be able to buy lots of great dance shoes and costumes.

Last Updated: June 4, 2012
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About Roberta Pescow Roberta Pescow holds a bachelor's degree in communications from City University of New York, Queens College and is a freelance writer and editor in the NJ area. The author of "A Life In The Service" and "A Monster's Tears," she enjoys writing informative articles, personal essays, fiction and music.  Roberta is a proud mother of two. Her other interests include fitness, photography, sculpture and meditation. She is a voracious reader and holds a 2nd degree black belt in Tae Kwan Do. Roberta enjoys decorating her hectic, but happy home and garden in original and affordable ways.  

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