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Turning my Den into a Dance Studio

"No one said a den dance studio had to be glamorous" – article by Rachel Levitt

When all the studios closed due to the pandemic, it became essential to create a special space in my home for dancing. I am lucky that all it took was moving the coffee table into a corner and voila! One nice hunk of hardwood to move on. That, and several accessories have been surprisingly useful in making my den an unexpected dance studio that I’ve used for taking class, teaching and choreographing.

My essential accessory – adapter to cast online classes from my laptop to my TV

This little guy is a game changer for online dance classes of all kinds, whether it be Zoom, Instagram or YouTube. If you have one accessory in your “home studio” this is the one I recommend the most. Being able to have a large view of the class allows you to spot finer details, and creates a feeling of being “in” class rather than just straining your eyes on a small screen.

Making use of space – coffee table storage unit

No sense in leaving anything unused. With the coffee table out of the way, it was time to start storing the family yoga mats and my dance bag underneath, and of course we moved my laptop and day timer on top for convenience.

The substitute ballet barre – kitchen chair

This chair has four legs to hold it up and a back just tall and wide enough to grip like a barre. It also slips quite a bit on the hardwood, which forces me to put as little weight on it as possible. If you want something a little more stable; kitchen counters are great substitutes, or simply using a wall is practical too. No one said a den dance studio had to be glamorous.

One pricier option, is buying a ballet barre. Topping my wish-list is the PortaBarre from En Pointe. This beauty folds up and out of the way once you are done with it, making it ideal for small home spaces!

What I keep in my dance bag

Water bottle, hair elastics and clip, foam roller, weights (for Pilates), theraband, ballet slippers, knee pads, laptop charger.

Creating this space has redefined what I think I “need” for my dance work and pleasure. It has given me so much freedom among the current limitations and has truly been my happy place this quarantine season. Even as we here, in Toronto, are lucky to be transitioning back into our precious “real” studio spaces, I intend to keep using this new setup in my “normal” life. After all, who doesn’t want an at-home dance studio?



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