Once you find your ideal location, the next step is setting up the space and determining the best, most cost effective and functional way to fill the space. When you find your space, you will have a tangible element to begin constructing your dream and your studio. As mentioned before, the layout of your dance studio floor plans is critical to maximizing your business capabilities. Your design should be smart, sleek, and efficient.
Free Space vs Common Space
At The Dance Exec’s Studio as much space as possible was dedicated to actual dancing space. Out of 4,200 square feet, about 1,050 square feet is dedicated to common spaces like a lobby, office, hallway, bathroom and storage space. When designing your overall space keep in mind that about three-fourths of your space should be dedicated to income producing (danceable) space.
An important question to consider is: how much free space does a dancer need? If there is a 1,000 square foot room, how many teenage dancers can fit into that room comfortably?
Lobby space should be minimal. The lobby does not need to be a large space for parents to loiter, as that encourages gossip and detracts from studio space. The Dance Exec’s Studio’s lobby is about 240 square feet and can accommodate 24 seated parents plus their children in laps during the transition times in between classes.
Sometimes, there are upward of 35 adults and their small children bustling through the lobby. Though it is uncomfortable with that many people in the space, the way the dance studio floor plans were designed encourages people to be expeditious and transient. You are running a dance education business, not a hang out spot for parents or idle students.
Necessary spaces like office space, bathrooms, and hallways should be practical (often, minimum size is dictated by building codes), but should be kept as small as possible.
Dressing room areas should be large enough to accommodate a few changing students but should not be so large as to encourage students to loiter. A student in the changing room should be there solely with the purpose of preparing for their next class (or storing a few items while they attend class).
Storage room should not be neglected in planning your space. Storage should be large enough to keep all items for studio operations organized and out of sight. Though very important, storage space too should not be huge and should be organized in a structured manner.
In creating your dance studio floor plans and finalizing a layout, maintaining dance space as the priority is key. Homework areas and places to eat and hangout should be avoided. Schedules should be planned in a way that students at the studio are there to take class. If the time arises for activities such as a snack or homework, the lobby space should be sufficient to serve as a temporary spot for such tasks.
It’s important to think about all the different pieces of equipment and dance gear that will make up your dance studio space, because each feature has an important role. Whether it’s the height of the ceiling, deciding which of the dance floor types is most suitable, what kind of mirrors you’ll need, what kind of barre you’ll want, have a picture in mind of what you want your ideal school to look like (and have a budget ready to work with). And, make sure to have fun in your decorating; allow your personality and passion to shine!
Walls & Ceilings
When outfitting your space, it is helpful to install insulation in the walls to assist in reducing noise transfer between studio rooms. It is not always required to install insulation in interior spaces, but this can be an inexpensive way to keep your space quieter (lobbies, bathrooms, if you have multiple rooms)
A high ceiling can make a space feel larger, and, conversely, a low ceiling can make a room feel smaller. The Dance Exec’s Studio has 12-foot ceilings in the studio rooms, making the area feel open and spacious. In comparison, some studios with lower ceilings and similar sized rooms do not feel nearly as large.
Some spaces will not be able to accommodate high ceilings, but you certainly want them to be as high as possible. Ceiling materials can also affect noise transfer, so be sure to take that into consideration in your planning and product selection.
The single most important feature in a dance studio is quite possibly the dance room floor. Which of the dance floor types you select will largely be dictated by budget, but a nice sprung floor system can easily be constructed for around seven to nine dollars per square foot.
There are also several flooring companies that install dance floors, though their prices are considerably higher. Sprung floors can greatly reduce risk of injury, and increase the overall health and well being of the instructors and dancers at your studio. For the health and longevity of your students and instructors, this is absolutely not a corner you can afford to cut.
There are several choices when it comes to dance floor types. What you choose will be dictated by your use of the dance room (ballet only, tap only, multipurpose floor, etc.).
The size of your studio’s mirrors can also make a big difference in how large a space appears. The Dance Exec’s Studio has mirrors that are 8 feet high, which makes the space appear much larger than studios that opt to use 4 or 6-foot mirrors.
For walls with mirrors, it is important to have an open wall with minimal obstructions (electrical outlets, light switches, etc). The cost of working around switches and outlets can significantly increase the cost of mirror installation.
There are several companies that sell wall and floor mounted barres. Wall mounted or floor mounted barres can be expensive, but are a great permanent installation for your space. The Dance Exec’s Studio chose to use portable barres. This allows barres to be pulled into the middle of the floor, and they can be oriented so they face the mirrors as well.
Portable barres are an optimal, flexible option for studio space. They can be built with PVC piping or metal piping (iron or galvanized is a great option). Your choice for barres will likely depend on your budget and how you would like to utilize your space.
Your sound system selections should be professional, functioning, and appropriate for your studio space.
Sound systems should play CDs, iPods, iPads, laptops, etc. Make sure your equipment is up-to-date with the current technology.
Closed-Circuit Monitoring System & Options
Observation windows are likely the biggest deterrent from creating a focused learning environment for dance studio students. Younger students are easily distracted and will likely want to wave or blow kisses to their parents through the observation window.
The parents reciprocate communication, thinking it is cute without realizing that it is drawing every single students’ attention away from the reason they are there: to receive a dance education. As the students age, they become self-conscious about being observed, which can be equally distracting.
In order to remedy this problem, The Dance Exec’s Studio installed a closed circuit monitoring system. In the lobby, there are 4 flat screen, wall-mounted, television monitors. Three of them display our three dance rooms, and parents have the ability to watch their students’ entire classes without creating a distraction.
On studio tours, this is pointed out as a huge selling point to increase focus in the classroom, while allowing parents to watch the entire class without crowding around an observation window. It is a win-win for students, instructors and parents! The other TV monitor is used to show DVDs of previous recitals, pictures of dancers put on DVD, or other items that can be further selling points to prospective parents.
***This is a project that you can accomplish independently. Several home security systems are built to provide closed circuit monitoring (you can even include digital recording options). These systems are fairly inexpensive and relatively simple to install. Security companies are also able to install a similar system, but are more expensive to hire.
Studio Security Options
You may choose to have a security system installed that has monitoring that is paid through a monthly fee. If you are considering a closed circuit monitoring system, these can connect into one system that will provide your space with a heightened level of security to ease your mind and serve as a part of your parent observation system.
One thing that many studio owners do not consider is: “Who has a key to your studio?” Inevitably, someone will wind up with a key, and you will wish they did not have one. Even if they return the key, how do you know they did not have a copy made? Do you want to change the locks every time this happens?
The Dance Exec’s Studio has a keypad with a code that owners/employees have to type in that unlocks the door. This was a relatively expensive installation fee upfront, but the functionality has made it worth the investment. We never have to worry about having the locks changed for fear of someone having a key (or incur such an expense). Changing the code to the front door is about a 2- minute process.
The front desk person is always present to allow parents to enter (by pressing a button that “buzzes” them in). A doorbell was also installed for clients to ring in the event the front desk person has stepped away. This may seem like overkill, but many daycares and preschools are implementing this level of security, so in many cases, parents in this area are familiar with the concept. Hopefully, you have chosen a safe location, but this truly prevents people from entering your studio without someone in the building knowing that they are there.
This can be used as a selling point to parents as it also helps ensure that children are not running outside without a parent, and parents also know that you work hard to keep potentially unsafe people out of the studio. At one point in The Dance Exec’s career (at another facility), someone came into the office (where staff members kept their purses during classes) and stole all of the purses. A locked front door would have easily prevented this incident.
Please note that these systems run on electricity, so having a key backup is necessary in the case of a power outage or if the keypad entry system fails for some reason.
Select your décor, paint colors, and thematic concept to fit your niche market within the dance industry. If you are a training facility for children, make sure your look and set-up is reflective of your mission. If you are a classical ballet conservatory, make sure your look reflects that, too.
This Halloween, get yourself and your dancers into the spooky spirit with these costume ideas and Halloween decorations for dance studios!
6 Easy DIY Halloween Costumes for Dance
These six costume ideas are great for a dress-up dance class day, and can even let dancers leave the studio and head straight out to trick-or-treat!
Halloween Spider Bun
Check out this super cute and fun bun hair design! Beware…..spider lovers only!
Halloween Decorations: Flying Bats
Grab some black construction paper, scissors, and use your favorite TV show time to fill your studio with some flying friends! You can find the full instructions here.
K-Cup Recycled Ghost Garland
If any of you are big fans of Keurig coffee machines (our office drinks coffee like nobody’s business), it turns out you’ve got tons of little craft-able ghosts waiting to light up your dance space! Check out the full instructions here.
Trash Bag Spider Webs
Part of the classic DIY Halloween decorations tricks, these easy spider webs can make your studio space pop without taking too much of your time to put together.
Pirouetting around the kitchen or using a countertop as a barre might be fun, but it’s not safe or practical. A better place to practice is in a home ballet studio. Although building a home studio from scratch may sound overwhelming, there are simple and creative ways to create a home dance studio suitable for every household and wallet.
It’s not enough to just throw down a mat and prop up a mirror, however. To build a home ballet studio that will be truly beneficial, and not detrimental, to a dancer’s development, serious consideration should be given to the location of the studio, the materials used and what the studio will be primarily used for. Dancers might want a home studio to practice their skills in between classes, to put in extra preparation before a performance or to simply stretch and do conditioning exercises. Dedicated dancers looking for a quiet space to practice choreography and skills should build a larger studio, while those simply looking for a comfortable place to stretch can get away with a smaller space or portable studio.
Location, Location, Location
One of the most important aspects of building a home studio is determining its location. The main thing to consider is the floor type. Home studios should not be built in rooms and areas with concrete floors, like the basement or garage, since the hard and unforgiving surface can damage the joints. A room with a wood floor is the best option, as it is more forgiving. The space you select should be away from busy areas, be well-ventilated, and have a free wall where mirrors and a barre can be hung. If the only available space for building the studio is the basement or garage, you should build a padded wooden floor over the concrete.
Start From the Bottom
Even in rooms with hardwood floors, a thin layer of padding or laminate is necessary to provide comfort and proper support and decrease slipperiness. If you have a large budget, you can spring for marley floors, the standard floor type in ballet studios, however, rolls of the vinyl flooring, are very expensive. ISport suggested using PVS shower pan liner instead, which feels similar to marley but can be bought for a bargain, at around $4 to $8 per linear foot. The source also recommended installing an underlay of foam-lined subflooring or cushioned laminate to hardwood floors for further support.
Use gaffer’s tape to attach the PVC or other top layer, making sure to smooth it out completely to get rid of any air bubbles. The source also suggested applying a layer of rosin on top to provide greater traction and cut down on the risk of falls and slips. If you’re installing a wooden floor in a garage, basement or other concrete area, varnished ACX plywood is relatively inexpensive and makes for a great base.
Install a Barre
A wall-mounted barre will maximize space in small rooms. While you can order a barre from a studio equipment company, there are cheaper alternatives that you can use to make your own barre. Wooden dowels with a diameter between one and three inches work well, are inexpensive and can be easily found at a hardware store. Basic handrails can also be used to create an inexpensive barre, though you should make sure that they are thick and sturdy and won’t easily break.
Add in Mirrors
Mirrors are essential to the home studio. Dancers need to be able to easily see their form, especially since their instructors will not be there to correct them. If dancers consistently perform a skill poorly, their bad form can become a habit without them even realizing it. You can find large mirrors at a hardware or home furnishing store, but a cheaper option is putting a bunch of small mirror tiles together to form one large mirror. ISport suggested using 12 x 12 inch mirrored tiles, which typically cost only $1 per square foot. Use extra strong sticky tabs or tape to securely adhere the tiles to the wall.
“A wall-mounted barre will maximize space in small rooms.”
Make it Portable
If you can’t permanently designate a room as a home dance studio, you can create a portable studio that can be hidden away when not in use. Although marley is expensive, it is available in smaller, padded versions, like a 4 x 6 feet piece. Purchase a free-standing barre instead of mounting one to the wall, and use a long mirror that’s set on wheels. With these portable pieces, it will take just seconds to put together your home ballet studio.
Creating a home studio gives dancers a quiet space to focus and practice their skills. It only takes a few components, all of which have cheap alternatives, to put together a studio that will serve as a valuable supplement to a dancer’s regular classes and routines.
If you’re a new studio owner looking for some ideas on decorating your new space or just looking to refresh your current space, you might be seeking out a DIY way to create dance studio decor that won’t break the bank! Decorating can be so stressful, time consuming and expensive—especially when you’re doing DIY projects on the floors, walls and furniture. However, with some good tutorials and a long weekend you can transform your space in no time!
When starting up a new studio some of the essential items can be the most expensive to buy. A large cubby or shelving unit can be very expensive to buy brand new. This DIY project from a blogger on “My Love 2 Create” suggests a way to take a cubby shelving unit from the dumpster to a dance studio! This blogger found her cubby unit abandoned by the side of a dumpster, but you could also check various re-stores or the local dump. Once you have your unit, let the fixing begin!! She shows you how easy it is to transform a piece of furniture from shab to fab!
Top Hat Light Fixtures
Lighting can be one of the hardest projects to do on a tight budget! Especially something as fancy as a ceiling fixture. However, this DIY tutorial on top hat light fixtures shows you how to brighten up your studio or lobby space (with a twist!). The best part is that you only need 3 simple (and cheap) materials to get the project done! If you have more room and want to create some additional desk lamps to match your fixtures for your studio or lobby, all you have to do is use a lamp base and screw top with the hat as a shade. The linked blog has the details of the project, including a step by step tutorial on creating both the ceiling and the desk top hat fixtures.
Polka Dot Wall
Tackling a wall decoration project can seem like one of the most overwhelming and expensive projects to tackle from the kind of paint, to all of the professional supplies involved to make your wall a work of art. But what could be easier, cuter and more fun than a polka dot wall, made with sweet potatoes!? This tutorial shows you how to create your own fun and colorful polka dot wall with acrylic paint, sweet potatoes, and materials that you can find around the house. It’s an easy project to do by yourself, or you can grab a friend or even the kids! The best part is that this project saves you a day full of headaches and frustration at the home improvement store looking at paint chips and the tutorial writer even suggests mixing some of your own colors with the acrylic paints. The blog post linked gives you the step-by-step instructions to creating this fun work of art!
Paper Bag Lobby Floors
Flooring in the lobby can be such a hassle to figure out! There is constantly traffic coming in and out, moms with their coffee, little siblings with snacks, and not to mention those rainy days where keeping the floor clean can seem impossible. This tutorial shows you how to transform your wood or concrete lobby floors into a durable floor that will take a little bit of a beating, with a few simple supplies. The feature of this project is that the look of the floors is so rustic and simple, it’s easy to clean and it hardly shows the wear and tear! The blogger that posted this DIY idea, even made a post linked to a year later to show how well the floors held up after much use.
If you have a defined vision of how you want your dance studio to look, that will make the task of decorating a lot easier. However, many new studio owners may have a lot of competing ideas or no clear path when it comes to interior design. One of the best ways to get inspiration for your dance studio’s design is to browse sites like Pinterest to see what other schools are doing. There are many creative individuals who are happy to share their ideas for others to use. Here are five inspired dance studio design concepts that you may want to incorporate into your new or existing dance studio.
1. Gallery Walls
One of the hottest interior dance studio design trends right now is the collage or gallery wall. This unique decor style can be used in just about any space, from a bedroom to a foyer or even a dance studio! If you have a blank wall in your studio space that you’re not sure how to decorate, a gallery wall will really showcase your personality while adding interest and dimension to the room.
What can you display in the collage? Anything you want! Some framed inspirational quotes may be a good place to start. If you have any ribbons or plaques from dance competitions, throw those into the mix as well. You can also include less conventional items like clocks, wooden initials or chalkboards.
2. Glittery Glamor
If your studio caters mostly to females, you may want to give the rooms a magical feel. What better way to do that than with everyone’s favorite crafting supply?
When you paint the walls of your studio, mix a packet of paint crystals into each gallon. You can pick up this inexpensive product at most home improvement stores, and they usually come in your choice of silver and gold. Then you just paint as usual, but your walls will be instantly glam with their sparkly sheen.
3. Strikingly Mod
A glittery pink wall may be good for your preschool ballerinas, but it’s not the best way to make your studio appealing to male dancers. If you’re trying to attract more boys to your school, make sure the design is “unisex,” so to speak. You can achieve an aesthetic that’s appealing to both boys and girls with a modern-inspired look.
Choose a few bold and vibrant colors, such as electric blue and lemon yellow, to paint the walls with. Make your signage, chairs and tables simple and in a plain color like black or white. The stark contrast will look elegant and sophisticated without being overly feminine.
4. Eclectic Decor
When you are torn between a few great dance studio design ideas, you don’t necessarily have to just pick one. Eclectic decor is especially popular with homeowners, but you can incorporate the premise into your studio. Gather up your favorite decorations and see which unlikely pairings look good together. Sometimes mixing a few sleek modern pieces with more rustic, unfinished elements creates a perfect balance that wouldn’t be possible if you just stuck to one theme.
5. Trophy Displays
If you’ve been teaching dance for a number of years, you’ll likely amassed an impressive collection of trophies. You could simply line them up on shelves for students to see, or you can get creative and think outside the box with your displays.
One fun option – if you have a little bit of money for a renovation – is to install recessed cavities where trophies can be arranged. This will keep them from taking up too much space and create a professional look for your studio. You could also install a narrow shelf around the top of your walls for prominent, yet out-of-the-way storage.
You might not have the cash available to purchase new floors and mirrors for your dance studio, but there are other improvements you can make to your facilities that don’t cost quite as much. Even small changes here and there can go a long way toward bettering the space for dancers and their parents. Use these dance business ideas to make a notable difference in your studio’s efficiency and atmosphere without breaking the bank.
Organize the Front Office
Many studio owners focus their improvement efforts on the classrooms, but the front office can often use a little love. If you find that your desk is covered with messages, clipboards and stray papers, you could probably benefit from an updated organizational system. Not only will this help you to keep track of all your paperwork, it will translate into more efficient service for parents when it comes to paying bills, scheduling meetings and ordering merchandise. Invest in some filing cabinets, mail organizers and a studio management program, if you haven’t already.
Consider a Cleaning Service
If you regularly take time out of your schedule to clean your studio, you’re missing out on an opportunity to work on marketing, class planning or teacher scheduling. Dance studio owners are notoriously busy, so why not give yourself a break and hire a commercial cleaning service? This will ensure that every corner of your facilities is immaculate for your dancers and parents. A thorough weekly cleaning can go a long way toward maintaining a professional appearance. If you’re worried about the cost, United Contract Services noted that you can usually get a discount if you sign a year-long contract with a local cleaning company.
Bring in a Little Greenery
Did you know that there are a number of documented benefits of having plants in your workplace? Research has shown that a little bit of greenery can help boost the moods of employees and patrons, as well as improve air quality. Consider purchasing a few plants to brighten up your offices and the waiting rooms. Don’t worry if you have a “brown thumb” – there are plenty of plants that can survive with minimal attention. The Today Show recommended peace lilies and spider plants as two low-maintenance options to display indoors.
If you just opened a studio or are in the process of revamping an old one, you’re likely working with a tight budget. It can be an overwhelming process to cover the blank walls in your hallways, waiting rooms and bathrooms if you’re stuck thinking inside the box. With a little imagination, you can use these dance studio decorating ideas to create a warm, welcoming atmosphere with beautiful, inexpensive items.
When you think of wall decorations, pictures, posters and canvasses probably come to mind. However, wall decals have been gaining popularity because they’re fun, easy and inexpensive. You can get unique decals from Amazon.com for under $10. There are lots of different quotes, silhouettes and images to choose from. It’s a great way to quickly fill up your wall space with dancers, butterflies, flowers or whatever else suits your aesthetic. This is great for new studios, as you can simply peel the decals off if you find a great picture to hang later.
Old dance costumes
When you’re redoing an established studio or just moving locations, another inexpensive way to decorate is with costumes from past performances. If you’ve been to a busy sports restaurant, you’ve probably seen shadowboxes with jerseys in them. You can use the same idea to display some of your favorite costumes. It makes a great centerpiece for a collage of competition photographs and awards. You can also include ballet shoes, hair accessories or other items you’ve collected. If you don’t have any old costumes on hand, contact your alumni. Sentimental parents are sure to have kept a few items and might be willing to give them a new home.
You don’t need to buy new furniture to decorate your office and waiting room. In fact, that’s probably the most expensive way to go. When looking for dance studio decorating ideas, ask your friends and family if they have any furniture they’re looking to get rid of. You’ll be amazed at how many handouts you get, especially if you offer to do the transport yourself. There will probably be some pieces that are too old or worn for use, but you’ll definitely find some gems that just need a little love.
Better Homes and Gardens explained that furniture with good bones can easily be turned into new treasures. If you’re willing to put in a little bit of handiwork, you can create a beautiful array of custom furniture for your studio. Sand down each chair, bench, desk or table, then prime, paint and seal them. You can add accents with scrapbook paper and new drawer pulls. If you take the time to redo furniture handouts, you can customize them to perfectly fit your tastes, and you’ll only be paying for paint!
Another option is to let your students help decorate. Dance Advantage suggested dedicating one class session to creating artwork with your students. Make it a learning experience by incorporating different types of music into artwork. Ask the students to draw the emotions that a song makes them feel or have them “dance” to the beat with crayons. Learning to connect art with dance will add a unique perspective to their education! After the class, you can ask if anyone would like to have their artwork displayed in the studio. Having hand-draw artwork will give the facility a sense of personality and make your students feel at home.