How to Build Your At-Home Dance Studio
We have all heard that a clean home is a happy home. Feeling good correlates with looking good. Well, when it comes to ballerinas and dancers in general, a clean and de-cluttered space is enough to work on technique and move creatively. Smooth floors, a mirror without smudges or cracks, and a firm ballet barre are the three key elements for creating a successful dance studio. Making space at home for your little ballerina is just as important as not missing any lessons. Building an at-home dance studio is completely doable, as long as you know the important equipment to include along with a set budget.
Claim and Clear Your Dance Space
First and foremost, it is important to claim the space where your ballerina will be dancing in your home. While not every home includes extra recreational space, there are still ways to make room for a home dance studio. If you are lucky enough to have a game room, a garage or even a large living room, you are ready to create your at-home dance studio! With a little bit of rearranging of the furniture, and envisioning the dance space, you can easily craft your ballerinas dance studio in no time. For example, picking out a space in a corner of a room is a good option when using a multi-purpose room like a living room or game room. With this designated area, your dance studio can be spacious enough yet does not disrupt the already established purpose of the room.
Step One: Have your dancer stand nice and tall in the space you have selected and measure the height of your dancer.
Step Two: Take this measurement and use it for the dance area length as well as width, creating a square.
Step Three: Set the ground rules for the dance studio with household members. Then envision what your at-home dance studio will look like in the measured space.
Tip: Continue to measure in other areas or rooms of your house until it feels right for your ballerina.
Most dancers need a barre and a cleared to make the basic techniques feasible. A firm barre that supports your dancer when finding balance and warming up is essential. There are several types of barres that can work for various spaces. The two best options for your dancer are either a portable free-standing barre or a wall mounted barre. Both options come in choices of either wood or aluminum.
Free standing portable barres
are an excellent choice if your ballerina is still growing and is below the age of 10. You will have a choice of either single or double, which allows for more range of motion for your dancer. The free standing portable barres will allow you to move around the space and store if need be. You will also be able to adjust the height once your ballerina starts growing healthy and strong over time.
Wall mounted barre
on the other hand, are great for mirrored walls and you can DIY ballet barre to match your dancer's height once they are in the teenage years. If you choose to build a wall mounted barre, you can contact your local Home Depot or Lowes for the proper pieces that will work for your space. This option is ideal if your dance studio is a private room or garage in your home, making the barre permanent.
Tip: There is also the option of ordering the barres online. Website stores such as VitaVibe will be able to help you with building your at-home dance studio for a reasonable price. Always be sure to read reviews before investing in this equipment for your tiny dancer.
Find Your Floors Galore
Marley floors are the most used for dance studio spaces, which can be costly if you are covering an entire room. Laying out the material takes at least 24 hours and requires specific room temperatures
However, this is your at-home dance studio and therefore, you do not have to follow the norms to complete your dance studio. Here are some other options that may interest you if your floor is tile or carpet, which is not a safe floor for dancing.
Practice Dance Tile Kits
These practice dance tiles are thick and provide spring, which is great if your ballerina is working on jumps or is a tap dancer as well. Given a specific section these tile kits are portable, you can remove the flooring all in one piece or pull apart and put away in a storage bin or small closet allowing your dance studio to be multi-purpose.
Rosco Marley Mat
This flooring is taped down, therefore is harder to remove and would be best used in a room solely dedicated to your at-home dance studio. This type of floor is good for all dance shoes, including tap and jazz shoes as well.
Tip: The rule of thumb with dance floors is if you wear your shoes outside, you do not wear them in the studio. It would be best to keep this rule for your home dance studio to preserve your floor.
From an audience perspective, dancing is all about the visual appeal. Does your posture look good? How is your turn out? Could you jump a little higher? Looking good is a very important part of the environment where ballet training takes place. Having your personal dance studio means that your dancer is able to have their own space to focus on dance skills without the pressure of an entire class watching. Therefore, including mirrors in the dance studio will help to create confidence in your dancer and allow for technique accountability. Whether you are turning and spotting the mirror, or pointing your feet in a jump, technique must be applied.
Full-length mirrors are preferable for your at-home dance studio. You can place the mirrors side by side onto the wall with some Command Velcro strips. Place them about 6 inches above the floor in the edges of your room that is solely dedicated to your dance studio. The alternative for a multi-purpose room, is to lean them up against the wall side by side along the width of your designated area. Play around with the location of your mirrors, as some locations can give the illusion that your dance studio is bigger.
Tip: Invest in a few dry erase markers for your ballerina to write reminders, notes from dance lessons and long-term or even short-term goals.
Last but Not Least, Get Your Sound Checked
The last piece to the puzzle, now that your space is set up for use, is music! These days everyone uses Bluetooth speakers, which allow you to control the music from your phone. This is a great option for music in general! Especially a speaker that is wireless and includes a hand-held remote. Having control of the speaker with a remote allows your ballerina to focus better without the periodic interruptions of a phone.
Test it out and enjoy!
The final step is to dance it out! Have your ballerina give the dance studio a try. Include turns and jumps during this time. It will be helpful to ensure all the pieces work together nicely and feel right for your ballerina.
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