Whether you hope to launch a professional dance studio or just dedicate a room of your home to your art, there is quite a bit that goes into building the perfect performance space.

As with many building and remodeling projects, once you have your zoning and permits squared away, you can begin building the perfect dance studio.

Selecting Your Dance Floor

If you have the option of building your own floor, you may want to consider birch plywood, or Marley-type PVC floor covering to offer controlled-slip. Ideally, you don’t want a concrete subfloor, but a sprung/floating subfloor. If your options here are limited, you can at least soften the floor with a layer of rubber between the vinyl flooring and the concrete subfloor.

A Floating Subfloor with a Marley-Type Dance Floor Covering (accepted worldwide as the best surface texture for ballet) allows dancers to slide, with a degree of “controlled slip.” A Marley-type PVC vinyl floor is ideal for ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, modern, and many other forms of dance.

Note that PVC floor rolls can be used over concrete, but will not provide any shock absorbency. It will only serve as a surface texture. Even a grain of sand will show, so clean, clean, clean before laying.

Ballet Barres and Dance Studio Mirrors

The selection of ballet barre and mirrors will be a matter of taste. That is one part quality and one part personal preference.

Ballet Barres

You’ve likely seen ballet barres made of plastic, steel, aluminum and wood in studios. Some prefer the modern appearance of aluminum and don’t mind the cold temperature to the touch, while others feel that wood is more aesthetically pleasing, and feels soft and warm to the touch. Poplar is a hardwood which many prefer as it is a replenishable tree source and cost-effective, while some prefer the look of oak or maple at a higher cost per foot.

Dance Studio Mirrors

Glassless dance mirrors are worth considering over conventional glass mirrors for a number of reasons. If you can’t cover an entire wall in floor-to-ceiling glass, glassless mirrors are easy to place in front of doors and windows and are the best choice for shared studio spaces where you may need to move mirrors in and out of the room.

These lightweight metalized polyester-film mirrors are easy to install and impossible to shatter, making them far safer an option for a dance studio. Being a single layer, they do not create the hazy “ghost image” you get from a conventional glass mirror.

The very best feature of the glassless dance studio mirrors: They don’t bounce sound as glass does. Which brings us to our next feature:

Alvas Glassless Mirror Panel
$531.00 – $903.00

The Sound System

Dance and music are perhaps the most tightly intertwined art forms. You might imagine a painting without a hand-carved frame or a sculpture with no paint, but it is difficult to imagine dance and music without one another.

No matter the effort you’ve put into the physical space in which you perform, it is the sound system that puts the icing on the cake. Dance studios are typically echoing chambers with hard walls, floors, and mirrors that reflect sound. The room is part of the sound system and should be treated with some sort of sound absorption material.

Dance studio sound systems need to be two things above all: Dependable, and easy to operate.

Today we have the option of wireless speakers, so it may not be necessary to go to such lengths when installing your new sound system. There are audiophiles who argue that they can hear the difference, and wireless speakers simply cannot achieve the same fidelity as speakers connected with a sturdy set of cables, but that’s for you to decide. See more here about Sound Isolation Solutions.

Some additional tips on building your studio:

  • Keep at least one mirrored wall uncovered by ballet barres, or ballet barre mounts, for an unobstructed reflection.
  • Bear in mind how the sun is coming into the room throughout the day. Tinted windows or a canopy outside can help to keep the light out of your eyes and off the “Marley type” floor to control the expanding and contracting of the vinyl.
  • If you are using vinyl floors, remember that they will expand in heat and contract in cold. Making temperature-control important for reasons beyond the comfort of the dancers.
  • Remember that a studio is just a stage but without the audience. When in doubt, the more your studio feels like a stage, the better it will serve as a practice-space.

It takes a lot of time and a lot of sweat to build the studio of your dreams, but there is no substitute for having your own dance space.

If you have any questions about building the perfect dance studio, don’t hesitate to contact Alvas Barres Floors Mirrors. We are an American manufacturer, dedicated to providing the dance world with the highest quality equipment and supplies needed to create a professional or home performance studio.