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Do you love the flexibility of online dance classes, but still haven’t found the right place to practice at home? Follow our step-by-step guide and create your home dance studio with these few simple tips.

Online dance classes are a great way to incorporate movement into your daily routine, particularly if you have a tight schedule or no convenient dance studios nearby. Practicing anytime, anywhere allows you to experience the benefits of dance in the comfort of your home.

However, building a dance studio at home can be a challenge: finding space to move, a comfortable floor or suitable equipment. The great news is that everyone can adapt the space they have and to create a practical and safe dance studio at home.

5 Steps To Build Your Home Dance Studio:

1. Pick the perfect spot

Don’t let having a small space stop you from dancing at home! The truth is you don’t need a lot of space to make it work: you just need to clear an area in advance. Even if you can’t perform your grand jetés, you just need to make sure that you will be able to move freely in your online dance classes, by marking out the space with a few steps first.

If you have more space in your house, why not try choosing an area that you can return to regularly? Top tip: find areas with furniture that you can easily push away or move back after class.

Another aspect to keep in mind when choosing the space is to prioritise a room with enough light and ventilation.

My favourite place to dance at home is the living room, as it’s usually the biggest space in the house. However, in some cases even the living room feels too small! My previous house wasn’t big at all, so I tried to move all the furniture as much as possible to create a square place (1.5m×1.5m). We can always create the space if we’re really keen to dance at home.
Haruhi Otani, English National Ballet Soloist

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Crystal Costa leading a BalletActive class

2. Set up the floor and mirrors

Struggling to perfect those pirouettes on your carpet? If so, you might consider a portable dance mat (there are many options and sizes readily available online).

Alternatively, consider which might be the most suitable floor in your home to dance on? Try to use a space where you can turn but that isn’t too slippery. You might also want to test if the floor is comfortable for your joints whilst moving. And if you don’t want to disturb your neighbors while practicing your jumps, you could try using a yoga mat. Not only will it absorb sound, but it also adds an extra layer of comfort and softness.

Our Engagement team at English National Ballet recommend not only carefully considering the floor, but also the footwear you are dancing in. From ballet shoes to socks or barefoot, find what works best for you.

I found it helpful having a yoga mat as a support for little jumps in the case you want to challenge yourself
Emilia Cadorin, English National Ballet Artist of the Company

I loved my dance time at home during lockdown, and still keep some of it up when I have days stuck at home or feel like moving on a day off! Firstly I like to use pillows for basic stretches like quads, hamstrings, and gluts. Then easily with blankets or pillows some different Pilates core exercises (clams, glut bridges, cat/cows).
Angela Wood, English National Ballet First Artist

Your perfect home studio might not be finished without a mirror. Many dance students find that mirrors are a big help when they’re trying to learn to dance. Mirrors can help with positioning and posture, as they are a useful tool to improve technique.

Full-length mirrors are a perfect option for checking your whole body. Try reusing an old mirror and place it in a corner of your home dance studio, safely out of your way. You could even mount the mirror behind a door if you want to save space.

3. Get your ballet barre ready

Can you take a ballet class without a barre? The answer is yes, absolutely! All you need is a bit of creativity to find places and objects that you can use as a ballet barre.

Whether you decide to purchase a portable ballet bare for home or not, make sure that your support is at the correct height, so you can keep the correct posture. With that in mind, have a quick look around you and see if you can spot a potential ballet barre at home; this could be the back of a chair, the window sill or even the kitchen sink!

Another tip to practice ballet at home would be holding onto to something a bit higher than hip height as substitute for a barre, in my case it worked out for me to hold on to the ridge of my window.
Emilia Cadorin, English National Ballet Artist of the Company

I turned my living room into my new studio by shifting majority of my furniture, using a chair as a barre and moving an old mirror to use. I loved having a flexible but consistent routine in the mornings.
Chloe Keneally, English National Ballet, Artist of the Company

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4. Prepare your sound system

Shuffle your favourite playlists when dancing at home! You can use a small portable speaker to amplify music from your phone. If you’d like to stream your ballet classes, try to use a device with great sound quality: your tablet, laptop, or even your TV.

You might also consider wireless earbuds if you are trying not to disturb others around you. Music can give you an immersive experience, while also lifting your mood and helping you focus during the exercises.

Using speakers made such a difference to fill the room and create a fun class atmosphere.
Chloe Keneally, English National Ballet Artist of the Company

I love putting some music on and doing some light jump-roping or plyometrics (moving the feet quickly like in the American football movies!). Above all having fun and turning off from the outside world, and making it feel like a mini-party is the fun of it all for me!
Angela Wood, First Artist

5. Decorate your dance space for an extra dose of motivation

Last but not least, it’s time to decorate your home dance studio. Adding a personal touch is a fantastic way to bring joy and motivation into your online dance classes.
Why not try hanging some inspiring dance posters?

You could also display some objects that are meaningful to your dance journey. This can be your first pair of ballet shoes, a picture of yourself dancing, or even your lucky charm. Adjusting the lighting might also help you create the best environment for you class.

Making your own home dance studio can be such a cute thing to build. If you love dancing, you can dance anywhere, anytime!
Haruhi Otani, English National Ballet Soloist

Looking for more ideas to create your home dance studio? Read below for additional tips:

While we all wish for a big space, sprung floor, mirrors and barres, for most of us that’s not possible at home. But here are some tips that my friends and I have found useful:
1. Find the best floors in your house. Polished wooden floors are great. Tiles in the kitchen will do for barre but not for jumps as there is no shock absorption. Carpet is ok for barre and maybe jumps but not great for turns. Try switching rooms for barre, centre and jumps. Buying a sheet of MDF or plywood to put over the floor can give you a good surface to work on.

2. Using wireless ear buds means you can dance without worrying about disturbing others or being restricted by wires.

3. The kitchen bench works as a barre though if you can, get hold of a sturdy portable barre.

4. Windows at night can act as a mirror

5. The outdoor deck can be lovely when the weather is good. And you get to show your neighbours how to dance!

Emily, BalletActive subscriber