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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Rehearsal space at home


rokmiller

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Has anyone created a rehearsal space in their home? I'm considering turning a portion of our basement into a rehearsal facility for my two daughters and am looking for some guidance from anyone who's been down this path.

 

Some of the things I'd be interested in include: what size space you created; what type of floor you put in; where you got the floor (buy it, build it yourself, hire someone to build it); what else did you build into the practice space; if your children actually use it (I have a fear that my kids love the "idea" of a practice facility but won't really use it after it's built!).

 

Any guidance from someone who's done this type of project would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks.

rokmiller

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What a timely topic for me...I am just catching my breath from installing a small practice space for my daughter's birthday today! (Can't wait until she gets home from school to see her "surprise!")

 

Anyway, after a summer of research, talking with her teachers, etc, here's what we ended up with....

 

The space is in her bedroom, as basement is concrete, cold and (according to her) overly peopled with spiders. Also, bedroom has hardwood flooring, which is easier on the feet, etc. We chose to go small with the practice space, because dancing is really done in the studio and on stage...but I have been driven CRAZY by her using every horizontal surface in my house, safe or not, as a barre.

 

She has a 5 foot metal barre from balletbarrenet.com. It seems to be of very good quality, was easy to assemble, and is sturdy. It also was about the best price on the market, and is adjustable for a growing dancer. Downside? The company is in Tampa...and Florida is very much in my thoughts right now. Don't know if building barres is the company's top priority, in light of the hurricane's approach.

 

The flooring is the DanceStep mat from StageStep, 4 x 6. The idea is that she will work on familiar barre exercises here at home, so we stayed small. The mat appears to feel a lot like the sprung floor at her studio...but remember, we're on hardwood here.

 

Finally, (and I am so proud of my new ability to use wall anchors!!), I installed mirrors from the hardware store (about 3 x 5 tall) and, since this is her bedroom, and not every young adolescent wants to look at herself in the mirror upon waking each morning, I installed a curtain rod over the mirrors, and simple curtains she can pull across when she want to cover the mirrors.

 

It looks really cool, if I do say so myself! :) Now I've just got to get her posters back up, the computer plugged back in, etc. I've got a few more hours before she comes home...wish me luck that I get it all done!!

 

Will report back soon with her response...and the usage it gets.

 

msd

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We are lucky in that our basement has a plywood sub-floor, raised 2-3" above the cement . We simply painted and varnished the plywood. It's quite a big room - about 15' by 20', but bigger would be even better. We have a portable barre and some ballet posters down there, as well as CD's and player. We use a small space heater in the winter. I was thinking of hanging some tulle around the windows and arch-way, and maybe adding some costume storage!

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We have an extra bedroom 12 x 20' (ish).

Hardwood over a basement 2 x 8" joists.

The floor definately is "sprung" it bounces very noticably when

DD does jumps.

Bought a $200 barre, $350 stereo, long mirrors & some dance related art.

Only one problem...

DD is at class/rehearsals on average 6+ days a week.

As a (now) Junior in HS she really doesn't have time

or energy.

Anyway, as with most of our DKs, she dances whenever & wherever

she wants! :(

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We're right with you dadof2... We were considering putting something in at our new house but Dd is at the studio six days a week which includes all day Saturday. Not much time for "class" at home. She still dances around the house and out to the mailbox or while she's walking the dog. There is a spot in the gameroom just big enough for her to do her floor barre routine, a portable barre at one end of the room that she uses on occasion, and an air hockey table, dart board, pinball machine and TV that take up the rest of the room for Dd to spend her spare non-dancing minutes and for non-dancing brothers to enjoy when they're not playing sports! Not quite a rehearsal room but we do hear lots of happy noises coming from in there.

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When we remodeled our house some years ago, we put a patch of hardwood floor against one wall where we intalled a mirror and a wood handrail/barre in dD's bedroom. The barre has served as a great place to hang a bathing suit, towel, pocketbooks, etc! Not sure if it was EVER used as intended/requested. Not long after construction, dance became ever more intense, and home is now, and has long been, the venue for rest and relaxation.

 

The "best" dancing my daughter does in the house is when we can prod her into giving kitchen renditions of pieces that she is in. As these are speeded up/reduced versions where she must also hum the music and perhaps give a hint of other roles, they are sort of a combo comedy sketch/hint o' dance. But when we have not been able to travel to see her - well that will be our image of the piece forever! (I have no doubt, based on the quality of the original construction of this house that the kitchen floor is much better "sprung" than the bedroom). :):shrug:

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Before we moved DD had a barre and mirrors in her room. It had wide board pine wood floors. The barre was made from wooden hand rail with handrail brackets mounted to 2x4's to extend it out from the walls. The mirrors we got at Family Dollar for $5 each and took off parts or the frame and reframed the whole section once it was on the wall. We adheared the mirrors to the wall with Liquid Nails. For jumping like sautes ect. we placed a small ergonomic foam mat (Home Depot), designed for prolonged standing, in one area.

 

Here she said "I'm taking six classes a week. If I need to use a studio I'll do it there."

 

She is working on jumping higher at home. We have a body pillow that she jumps on and tries to touch her ceiling.

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DH will be happy to hear that a home studio isn't much needed as dk's dance schedule expands. He is looking foward to carpeting this room and adding a big tv! Right now, it is used more as a "playroom" for dress-up and running around with only occassional use for practice`(especially before performances).

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Thanks to everyone for the feedback. I appreciate the comments.

 

I'm pretty sure I'm going to install a sprung floor with a marley type surface in a 12' x 15' space in our basement. I'd love to just lay a heavily-padded vinyl surface over the concrete slab, but my DDs want to practice jumps and I'm afraid there's no vinyl surface thick enough to soften the concrete.

 

I just hope that they use the facility as much as they say they will. The comments here about practice time at home decreasing as the number of classes increases has me concerned. But, you never know until you try!

 

I'll let you know how it all turns out once I get it done.

 

Thanks again.

rokmiller

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Husband was able to make a portable barre out of PVC (?) pipe. It is sturdy, lightweight and cheap! We also used a small piece of marley flooring. But as others have said, she did not have a lot of time to use it unless the studio was on a break.

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And, finally, a barre for a home studio and this one seems to be even better, at least it's a great deal longer! :wub:Building a barre for home use. :jump: And, finally, this thread has a link in the last post about a portable barre one can send away for.

 

I just happened to come across these last two threads mentioned while not even looking for them. Good luck to you! :grinning:

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