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  1. #1
    Advanced BHUZzer joanneraks's Avatar
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    Where do you practice?

    How would you describe your space?

    Explanation: I'm trying to figure out if I'm normal. :) For those that remember my other thread a few weeks back, I've just recently upped my rent by a LOT so that I can have a room entirely devoted to dance. I'm feeling some financial pain. My secret fear is that it's just a coverup for my own laziness. I imagine most successful dancers don't require a full room to themselves, and that I've just mistakenly convinced myself, "I can't practice until I have my space", when really I've just been lazy about practicing.

    So what is your set-up like? Where do you log in the hours? :)

    I'm curious about specifics: size, location, mirrors. Are you in the living room with the kids running around, do you go across town to a real studio, etc.

    Where does it happen for you?

    All thoughts and replies will be much appreciated.


  2. #2
    Ultimate BHUZzer zorba's Avatar
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    I have a dedicated dance room with mirrors across one wall...


  3. #3
    Advanced BHUZzer antimony's Avatar
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    I have a room to practice in. My basement is my practice space/library. The room is the size of my living room, and has amost no furniture, just a wall of bookshelves, a sofa table, and a chair. I don't have mirrors, but I haven't found that to be a huge loss, I've found it is a good supplement to my weekly class to have to practice without a mirror to rely on.


  4. #4
    Official BHUZzer gwyncara's Avatar
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    Although I'm not currently dancing... I have 3 spaces that I typically use for practicing.

    1 - My living room. The space size is approx. 8ft x 10ft if I move my coffee table.
    2 - My bedroom. This is my smallest area and, unfortunately, the space I have to use the most. It's the only space where I can close the door, lock it, and get away from the kids. I use the space at the end of my bed and it's about 4ft x 6ft. Mostly, this is my area for "working out" what I'm going to do in a choreography or perfecting individual moves.
    3 - The Jazzercise studio. I used to use this space weekly because the floor space is tremendous, but it only has 1 mirror in the back of the room. Also, I don't like having to drive anywhere when I want to practice. When I have the urge to practice, I want to just get up and do it.

    I wish I had a full size room with mirrors and lots of space to move around. Oh well... you'll just have to enjoy your room for me!


  5. #5
    Advanced BHUZzer joanneraks's Avatar
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    oh, this is great info! Thanks so much for the fast replies! Keep 'em coming!


  6. #6
    Established BHUZzer Uulady's Avatar
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    I used to have my own dance room with mirrors in Canada. Now we have a much smaller flat (rockin' view though!) so I really only have about 4 feet by 7 feet of dance space in front of our TV and a big cabinet. I have to move the couch and coffee table to practice double veil. Swinging a cane is made more challenging by low ceilings. I will tell you though, if you can dance in a small space, you can dance in a large one no problem!! ..l;, If the weather is good, I use our rooftop but it overlooks a marina so sometimes get cat calls from the boats. .w.:


  7. #7
    Established BHUZzer Uulady's Avatar
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    Oh, instead of mirrors I use my video camera to record all my practices. That way I can pick apart my practice afterwards and correct from there. I watch the video as I go along as well to check technique.
    Love my camera!! It never lies.
    Last edited by Uulady; 08-17-2007 at 11:32 AM. Reason: just 'cause


  8. #8
    Advanced BHUZzer joanneraks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uulady View Post
    Oh, instead of mirrors I use my video camera to record all my practices. That way I can pick apart my practice afterwards and correct from there. I watch the video as I go along as well to check technique.
    Love my camera!! It never lies.
    I was just coming to these same conclusions! I have never felt like I had the money for a video camera (probably cuz I want to get the fanciest one possible, I should just get a "meantime" one...) but I thought about it, and I think it's probably more important than mirrors!
    Last edited by joanneraks; 08-17-2007 at 11:35 AM. Reason: spelling


  9. #9
    Advanced BHUZzer joanneraks's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for sharing!

    gwyncara - thanks specifically for mentioning how often you went to the jazzercise studio. That's part of the type of info I'm craving - what is realistic for others. And you're right, I better make good use of this space while I have it, I don't know if I'll be able to always have a full room to myself.


  10. #10
    Established BHUZzer Uulady's Avatar
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    Mine is just a cheapie. I love it...does exactly what I need it to do. And it's pink!..l;, I got it primarily for practice. Mirrors are funny things...you can convince yourself that what you are seeing is correct...somehow video playback can tell a much different story.

    And sometimes you are pleasantly surprised! ..g.:




    Quote Originally Posted by joanneraks View Post
    I was just coming to these same conclusions! I have never felt like I had the money for a video camera (probably cuz I want to get the fanciest one possible, I should just get a "meantime" one...) but I thought about it, and I think it's probably more important than mirrors!


  11. #11
    Advanced BHUZzer Nepenthe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joanneraks View Post
    How would you describe your space?

    Explanation: I'm trying to figure out if I'm normal. :) For those that remember my other thread a few weeks back, I've just recently upped my rent by a LOT so that I can have a room entirely devoted to dance. I'm feeling some financial pain. My secret fear is that it's just a coverup for my own laziness. I imagine most successful dancers don't require a full room to themselves, and that I've just mistakenly convinced myself, "I can't practice until I have my space", when really I've just been lazy about practicing.

    So what is your set-up like? Where do you log in the hours? :)

    I'm curious about specifics: size, location, mirrors. Are you in the living room with the kids running around, do you go across town to a real studio, etc.

    Where does it happen for you?

    All thoughts and replies will be much appreciated.
    I used to practice in a bedroom, but my dance practice has improved immensely from having an unencumbered space, where I do not need to clear off the floor, or worry about knocking into things. I also put in a wood floor into the studio room, which is much nicer than the carpet I used to dance on. It's not a huge room but I can actually use Isis wings in there! (But I don't really like Isis wings as I've found out.) The studio room is just an average sized bedroom, but with no furniture in it, it is plenty big for one person. It is as big as some stages I've seen! I also put in an old tv and dvd player, so that I can do my videos. I've allowed an elliptical to be moved on - that was part of the deal when we remodeled this room into a dance/exercise studio is that I would share it with a machine that lookd unsightly in the living room.

    I haven't put my mirrors up yet. I have them sitting against the wall. When I do have it set up, I dance TO the mirror. that's bad. These are just small mirrors as i couldn't afford giant wall mirrors, so dressing-type mirrors. I find that sometmes I can dance more freely if I'm not looking in the mirror. Sometimes I turn my mirrors around for this reason.

    I practice far more because it's easier to do so. The closet in that room has also become a costume closet and it's really easy to find everything I need. I probably practice every day now - I can spend hours in there.


    Renting studio space is great but it's a lot of hassle around here - a lot of competition for space. I love having my own space. In fact, I will never give it up - I'v decided we are not selling this condo unless the next place also has a dance studio room!


  12. #12
    Master BHUZzer Adishakti's Avatar
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    My "dining room" is my practice space. It works out well because my kitchen is large enough to house a full dining table seating 8. My dance space has a piano, compact computer hutch, oriental rug and a nice big mirror.

    The area is large enough to play with wings or double veils if I wanted to, and having three kids; the open space is nice for them too.

    Ideally, I'd like to sell the piano and install mirrors along one wall with lovely drapes to frame them - I think it'd work with our living space and look very nice.
    Last edited by Adishakti; 08-17-2007 at 01:08 PM.


  13. #13
    Advanced BHUZzer Marianna's Avatar
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    My livingroom - it's fairly big, I don't have a couch,(we sit on the floor on pillows, Arabian style :) I have a 6'-4' mirror on the wall. I also use this space to teach private students, so I made it spacious and pretty.


  14. #14
    Ultimate BHUZzer laura 2's Avatar
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    When I first started practicing outside of class as a baby dancer, it was in the living room whenver I could get it to myself. In other words, not very often.

    Then I had a dance "area" in an unfinished part of my basement. Basically, it was a 9 x 12 piece of linoleum and a dozen Wal-Mart door mirrors propped up against the cement walls. If I went to far to the left, I ran into the dryer, and too far to the right, the workbench. This is where I did the majority of my practicing over the past 3 years, despite the sheer absence of comfort or ambviance.

    This May, I built a finished room in the basement and made myself an actual studio. It's 12 x 18, with 8 ft of glass mirrors, wood laminate flooring, a door (yay!), a/v area, floor pillows, etc. I absolutely love practicing and teaching in the new space - it's warm and inviting, and definately a place where I can focus 100% when I'm in there. It was well worth the investment, IMO.


  15. #15
    Mega BHUZzer jessedan's Avatar
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    I have a dance room, about 10ft. by 18ft. with mirrors on two walls There's also a little refrigerator in there to store cokes and goodies to snack on during breaks.
    Oh, and also a TV, DVD player and VCR for when I want to practice with an instructional video.

    Regards
    Priscilla
    Last edited by jessedan; 08-17-2007 at 02:12 PM.


  16. #16
    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. Lauren_'s Avatar
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    My space WAS my tiny living room, which has only a 5X8' clear area in the center, and a ceiling fan overhead. I could only take little mincing traveling steps, and couldn't travel while spinning a cane, etc. When my daughter & I worked on duets, we poked each other in the eye a lot. The kids were always present, a cat was usually chasing my veil or skirt, and the dog would want me to pet her in the middle of my backbends.

    I still practice there sometimes. My basement has a drop ceiling and you can't put your arms overhead down there. I wanted desperately to take over my daughter's room when she went away to college (empty room with hardwood floors, big windows and a closet for my dance things covet covet) but I didn't and now she's moved home.

    Now I have a studio, and it's 10 minutes from my house. It's hard to actually go there just to practice, though. I'm trying to get in a routine and make myself go, I really am. But it's easier to just step into the living room while dinner's cooking, or in my pajamas. If I go to the studio, I'd better look decent because people WILL stop by (mostly trying to sell me stuff, but sometimes to inquire about classes).

    Having a biiiiig space changes my dance completely. I'm so much more inclined to expand my body into the space around me -- to really lift, to really extend my arms. I travel soooo much more. I actually get good ole panting tired from trying to fill up that space with my body. It's going to make me a better dancer, I'm sure of it.


  17. #17
    Master BHUZzer Michelle75's Avatar
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    I have three areas in my house (it's pretty big and open) I use my kitchen sometimes. Mostly, I use my FROG(finished room of garage). I put in a new dance floor up there but I opted for no mirrors. It's the size of a two and a half car garage. It's my dance studio. The last place is my bedroom b/c I do have mirrored closet doors. I use it when I want to see how what I've been working on looks.


  18. #18
    Master BHUZzer Jaseena's Avatar
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    Hi, I just moved to the Bay Area and have no furniture, except a dining table, a couple of chairs and bed. I have lots of space to dance in my living room stage.


  19. #19
    Advanced BHUZzer AngelaDiCaprio's Avatar
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    I live in a large studio plus... thats what they call it. Actually my walkin closet is my bedroom and it has enough room for a queen size bed. one little narrow isle and my dresser.

    I practice in my living room. I threw out all the furniture except for a futon mattress that I use for a couch in the corner. I just drag this into my dining room and I have an 10 x 12 area to dance in. There is a wall mounted vanity mirror that came with the apartment but it is in the corner so when I want to see myself I have to stand directly infront of it. I plan on getting mirrors installed on the main wall someday then I would be happy....


  20. #20
    Advanced BHUZzer badriya_al_ahmar's Avatar
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    I practice in the living room, after I move the coffeetable into the dining room. That gives me about an 8x10 foot space to work in, plus a little more air space over the couch and armchair. We've got a rather large tv that I can use as a mirror if I want to and is easily ignored if I don't want to see myself. This is generally an adequate rehearsal space for working on material for restaurant and nightclub shows, situations where I know I will not have a ton of room to work with anyway. If I can manage not to hit the furniture, television, light fixture or husband with my cane in my living room, I can manage not to hit tables or patrons or wait staff in the restaurant And certainly it's plenty of room for drilling.

    However, if I've got a show coming up where I'll be dancing on a stage or big floor space or using Isis wings/double veil, I'll rent studio time (or occasionally I can get rehearsal space in the music/theatre schools of the university where I work). I don't want my dancing to look small and cramped because that's the space I'm used to--I want to be able to sail around and own my space, especially in an intro. I'll also rent space if I want to do some intensive cane work, since there are some cane moves I just can't do at home, or I'm courting disaster if I try. And it's good once in a while to have full length mirrors, both to check on what needs work and to pat yourself on the back for the things that are working well--it's important to remember to do that once in a while ,r:;


  21. #21
    Ultimate BHUZzer tahiradancer's Avatar
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    Parking lot of one of the businesses up ther street during the night. The BH police think I am funny! Also, the soccer field at AMPAS or the park across the street.

    This is actually a very good place to practice sword, etc, because there are some great hidden in plain sight corners.

    {{{HUGS}}}


  22. #22
    Mega BHUZzer Gia al Qamar's Avatar
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    I'm fortunate to have about 300 square feet of space in my 2000 square foot basment that's been my home studio for a couple of years. I purchased a large 6 ft mirror and have a few chairs on the perimeter of the room, sound system (if you can call it that!) and small book shelves for CDs and books, a TV hooked up to cable, a DVD & VHS and video camera for taping rehearsals etc.
    Gia


  23. #23
    Ultimate BHUZzer kina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joanneraks View Post
    How would you describe your space?


    Where does it happen for you?

    All thoughts and replies will be much appreciated.
    I've just started working on a home studio, I luckily have some room and just had some construction done to my house, so have the ability to do this now.

    My desk and computer will be int here, a futon, a TV, sound-dock, dvd's and videos will live in this room. I've just been to ikea and they have these bathroom cabinets with an option of mirrored doors. I plan on buying 6 of these and having them line one wall. My floors are hardwood so that's not an issue. All of my exercise stuff will be in here as well, I need a space to come up with new combinations etc for my fitness classes.

    I've never had a dedicated dance space (hell, I've never even had my own room!) so this is pretty exciting to me.

    Before this, I had bought costumized mirrored doors and had them in my living room, that served as my practice space.
    - A deeply desired goal gives context to present experience... M. Stanton Jones

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  24. #24
    Official BHUZzer Chandra's Avatar
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    Practice space...

    I have a living room area that is really quite long. One half is dedicated to the living area, and the other half my dancing. I have mirrors on the wall (8 ft wide by 6 ft tall) and nothing encumbering my use of that space for dancing.

    I don't teach out of my home (have no kids underfoot either) and practice a minimum of an hour every day (often up to two hours). I put the mirrors up back when I'd only been dancing couple of months...
    Of course now that I'm opening my own studio - I will practice/drill there when no classes in session.


  25. #25
    Official BHUZzer heinakuu's Avatar
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    I use two places: my daughter's room which has closet's that have full size mirrors in front (I actually do not know a better explanation for the in english)
    but many people have such here and also, I rent a small studio for an hour or two before my teacher Mohammed El-Hossany comes to teach us all (the regular classes which I take). It is not his studio, he also rents it.

    At home, I also enjoy the freedom of to go and practice a little bit when I feel like it ( and my daughter is not there in her room). On the other hand, on the studio I can really dance a full choreography and use the space more. And I am already warmed up for my class, I like that feeling, too. Also, at home there are more people who just open the door and do not let me to concentrate and at the studio it is only me. And another nice thing is, that when the people start to come there for the class, they come to the room and I can show them what I am planning and test the ideas with them. Actually, they already expect it, once they said, ok, she is there because this is her music.

    I think this combination is a) cheaper b) more convenient c) gives me more flexibility d) and an audience if I feel like it

    wish you best luck with your search for your practice place. You are all right if you want to use a part of you home for this and close the door from the others for some time.


  26. #26
    Ultimate BHUZzer mish_mish's Avatar
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    I don't practice at all. I wish! Dance is on the back back burner--I think it fell off the stove, actually!


  27. #27
    *maria*
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    I lease space at the center where I dance, I don't have a floor for flamenco at home. It's not prime time, so the cost is reasonable,and I just add it onto my rental fees for the month for my other classes I teach.
    My leased dance space is where I do my choreographies for my company and practice my flamenco -


  28. #28
    Advanced BHUZzer joanneraks's Avatar
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    This is great - sounds like there are a lot more of you that have some serious space at your disposal then I would have guessed. So that eases my guilt a bit. Perhaps it's because none of my dance friends have ever had anything other than a 1x4.5 door mirror in their small bedrooms or living rooms, and no one else in my family dances.... I just felt incredibly greedy for wanting a whole room.

    For those that are using their living rooms/dining rooms - it's nice to know that I'm not the only one who has had a big ol' mirror out in my entertaining space. :) I like the drape idea, Adishakti. Good way to homogenize it all. I've often thought a set of drapes or a screen on wheels would be a good coverup for a mirror, too.

    It's also good to hear that the rest of you are simply making the best use of the space you have. I imagine there are probably far more dancers who are busting their butts in their living room between pets and kids and coffee tables, than not. For the last two years, I've only had about 4.5' x 7' of space in the living room, (if I moved the coffee table and cleaned up my husband's junk.) ;)

    I'm also taking note that it might be a good idea to have more than one practice location. That different spots serve different purposes. I would think that the more large space/staged shows one does, the more they would have need for some studio time.

    Mish, my practicing has definitely fallen off the stove, too. In fact, I think it's been swept up off the kitchen floor and thrown into the garbage. I'll have to go get a new one. It's gonna feel odd.

    Thanks so much for all the feedback! I'm starting to feel better about it. Will enjoy more replies, too.


  29. #29
    *maria*
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    If I didn't do flamenco, I would definitely dance at home. Which I do anyway, in the basement.......around the tv and futon......
    I just need the flooring for flamenco.
    I tried dancing on a large piece of plywood, just not the same....


  30. #30
    Advanced BHUZzer joanneraks's Avatar
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    I'm trying to picture you stomping on plywood, that's cute, Maria. :)


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