According to the Center for Educator Development in Fine Arts (CEDFA), the ideal size and dimension for a dance studio remains “100 square feet per student. If the studio also serves as a performance space, it should be at least 4,800-5,000 square feet. A ceiling height of 20-24 feet is ideal, but 16 feet is the minimum height.”
For the most effective practice, a dance studio space is expected to be designed to reflect a performance venue, which entails a wide, rectangular area. It is innovative or quite cheaper to design a rounded space as irregular shapes like spheres and circles make it challenging for dancers to easily determine the front of the room.
In the same vein, CEDFA also recommends that there “be no posts or columns in the interior space” and that every dancer must have “a minimum of 5 feet of barre.” Barres are expected to be 36-48 inches from the floor and mounted 6-8 inches from the wall. In addition, there should be mirrors on the walls, and the CEDFA notes that these mirrored sections should be at least “6 feet by 8 feet and strongly pinned to the wall approximately 6 inches from the floor.”
Coupled with these spaces for instruction, a well designed dance studio is expected to have plenty of square footage for things like restrooms, costume and prop storage, office supplies, and dance equipment, an office space for maybe the dance studio manager, or more. But understand that the less room you have to work with; the more challenging it will be to manage your dance studio.
However, it is imperative to note that the exact style of dance training you offer will dictate what the required size of your studio should be. For instance, a tapping dance will require relatively little space compared to ballet. Classes can be subdivided into orderly groups to fit in more students in a smaller space. Portable ballet barres can allow for additional students in a smaller studio.
Generally, the most common sizes of studios are 20 x 20 small, 20 x 30 medium, 30x 40 large and anything over is extra-large. Have it in mind that a small studio should contain up to 16 students, while a medium studio should carry up to 24 students and a large studio up to 48. Therefore designing your dance studio space with the number of students you have in a class is a talent you will have to develop yourself. Many studio owners have learned how to make do. However, bigger is usually better.
When designing your dance studio space, it is imperative to opt for a space where you can grow your class size. A good number of studios perform the Nutcracker and/or stage recitals, and it is always a good feeling to have a studio the size of your performing space so you only have to space the work once.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Dimension and Size for a Dance Studio
Once you find your ideal location, setting up the space and noting the ideal, most cost effective, and functional way to fill the space is one of the toughest tasks in starting and building a successful dance studio. Notably, the layout of your dance studio floor plans is very important to augmenting your business capabilities. And as much as the design needs to be smart, sleek, and efficient, there are things to consider, and they include;
Indeed, your lobby space is expected to be minimal and may not need to be a large space for parents to linger, as it will encourage side talks and distraction from studio practices. A good rule of thumb for a lobby is about 240 square feet and this space can put up with at least 24 seated parents in addition to their children in laps during the transition times in between classes.
Although, sometimes you will have to witness a bigger crowd and less space can make things genuinely uncomfortable with that many people in the space, however, ensure to design the dance studio floor plans to encourage people to be swift and not spend so much. Always have it in mind that you are running a dance education business, not a coffee shop for parents or idle students.
Have it in mind that most dance studios frequently cater to minors and children who want to learn. Therefore it is always very necessary to take the safety (actual or perceived) of your location into extensive consideration when designing your dance studio. Ensure to ask yourself if you would feel comfortable leaving your own child in a particular venue?
Note that you can run the best dance curriculum in the world, but if it is not a suitable, safe location, people will not be that eager to bring their children. Although the cost of ensuring adequate security in your dance studio can be exorbitant, but this is not an area to be meager with your budget.
You have to understand that no dance studio is ever complete without mirrors, and they are very critical for perfecting form and technique. According to experts, mirrors should be installed flawlessly, so one single smooth image is assured, and dancers should be able to see their feet on the ground when looking into them. Also note that you can install barres in front of some of the mirrors, but always ensure you have one wall with mirrors that are completely clear.
It is a bad omen to leave figuring out your lighting until after your studio is designed and built. According to experts, the cost of installing wiring and sockets can be more expensive later on – after the studio is finished – than it is at the onset of the construction process. Notably, all overhead lighting should be soft and florescent, and equally spread out across the room.
In a dance studio, the wrong type of floor can have a critical impediment for dancers and can damage joints and muscles. It’s very pertinent to weigh your bottom floor layer and top it with steady padding and support. Wooden, sprung floors are the perfect match for a dance studio.
Cement floors are always not advisable, but if you’re designing your studio from the ground up, it can be quite challenging to avoid using cement as at least the bottom layer of the floor. You should also look into building a wooden, sprung dance floor slightly above the ground to ensure dancers are fully supported.
In a dance studio, other useful spaces like office space, bathrooms, and hallways will have to be feasible (most times, the minimum size is allowed by building codes), but should be kept as small as possible. Although your dressing room areas should be designed to be big enough to house a few changing students but should not be too big to encourage students to laze around.
Have it in mind that a student in the changing room should be there primary with the intention to get ready for their next class (or storing a few items while they attend the class). Do not also forget about your storage room when designing your space. Storage should be made big enough to contain all items for studio operations organized and kept of sight.
This particular decision can make or break the design concept of your dance studio. With so many things to look into, you might just decide to hire the first contractor that pops up in a Google search. However, note that it is advisable you take the time to find the best contractor to build your studio.
Take your time to research and analyze thoroughly the credentials of any contractor you’re considering hiring. Consider calling at least three previous clients as references for each company, requesting for a copy of their licenses, and making sure their insurance is adequate and at a minimum includes liability and workers’ compensation.
Have it in mind that building and designing your dance studio is a huge process, and you will need extensive research, planning, and preparation to build a studio that helps you reach all your dreams. Note that maintaining a good and sizable dance space should be an utmost priority.
Homework areas and places to eat and hang out should be avoided. Every other thing should be planned in a way that students at the studio are there to learn and not play. A successful dance studio requires a strong foundation, so always ensure you keep that in mind when designing your dance studio.