Architectural tips for designing a dance school

by pooja sanjay gundu
(mumbai, india)

Hello, this is Pooja from Mumbai, India. I am currently studying in 4th year from Sir J.J. College of Architecture, Mumbai. I am a classical dancer so I chose to design an institute and research centre for Indian classical and contemporary dance in Mumbai itself. My question is how do I start with my zoning while designing also how light and ventilation may affect my dance academy? Mumbai is a center of different cultures but there are hardly one or two institutes who promote higher degrees in dance. But those are not like institutes; they are like single huge halls. So here I’m thinking of designing a huge building where Indian classical dance and contemporary dance will be taught along with accommodation facilities for the foreigners too who actually come to India to learn classical dances. How can the architecture be appealing for the dancers and art lovers?

Thank you in advance!

Comments for Architectural tips for designing a dance school

Click here to add your own comments

Aug 22, 2014
Maria's reply
by: Maria

Dear Pooja,

You ask many questions at a time, but very important questions indeed. I think I’d better tell you what contemporary dancers need and like and you’ll see how to find the solutions.

1. Big spaces: both wide and with high ceilings. The width is important for dances that move a lot in scenic space and for big groups. The height is important for dancers to practice to communicate a big image of them in space. Other than that, we also love the beauty of spacious places and the feeling that they produce.

2. Smooth, buffered (cushioned), and warm floors: contemporary dancers dance barefoot, so it’s important that the surface is not dangerous for the feet and glides. The need of having a softened floor with air and foam underneath is a need of all dances. This protects the dancers’ body (joints, spine and all kind of soft tissues) from the impact of jumps, falls, etc. And the temperature is important because we have a lot of touching relationship with the floor. If the floor is cold or made of a material that absorbs the bodily temperature, it becomes a constant harm for the dancing body, which needs to be warm.

3. Enough ventilation: this means, as much fresh air as possible. Dancing is a highly demanding physical activity, so dancers need as much oxygen as possible. Some people think that the solution for ventilation in dancing studios is air conditioned: BIG MISTAKE. Temperature does not replace oxygen. Countries that have seasons do not have the option of opening windows during the cold times, but their studios should have big windows that can at least be opened during warm days. Other than oxygen, the smell of enclosed dancing studios becomes truly repugnant.

4. Natural light: contemporary dancers love NATURAL SUNLIGHT. This is something that makes part of our particular sensibility. No electrical bulb will ever replace the comfort we find in natural light. We are NOT like actors, who very usually love to be enclosed in a dark studio during daytime. Contemporary dancers train and rehears in natural light. The dark box is for performances.

5. Silence: contemporary dancers usually use soft music (specially for warming up or stretching). Sometimes, they even dance in the silence. A quiet place is important to be able to hear the music and to bring the body into relaxed states. Other than that, if there’s noise, the poor teacher or choreographer has to shout her/his self out so that everybody can hear her/him; and that is really annoying. Some architects think that as dance is a physical activity, so they can put the dancing studio in the gym or coliseum building: THAT’S ANOTHER HUGE MISTAKE. There’s nothing more disturbing and exhausting than trying to rehears or give a dancing class in the middle of the noise of a sportive ambiance. Dance is an art, not a sport. The soundscape of the dancing place is vital and it is created by music, sounds or silence. Noise is only needed if it makes part of a piece’s ambiance and it will be rejected by contemporary dancers in any other cases.

Those are the basics, at least for architects. If I think of other things, I’ll come back and write them for you.

I hope you design a great building for the dancing school!

Sep 10, 2014
DANCE ACADEMY
by: Pooja Gundu

Thank you so much for replying my questions.And yes I have started designing too..:):)..Your answer will definitely help me during my design process. Thank you once again.
Looking forward to hearing from you regarding my topic.!

Oct 15, 2014
more specific tips:D
by: maxkil

Hello,
To not start another topic I decided to add my question here.
Could you recommend any books or other materials or just very briefly write about basic principles of designing buildings devoted to dance studio, schools etc.?
I mean f.ex. dimensions of the best dancing class for the group of about 20 children, 15 adult pairs..??
Which additional rooms are needed? Any stores for equipment reachable from dance floor...

Oct 15, 2014
another tips:D
by: maxkil

I am also designing dance studio for educational purposes.
And I am looking for more specified requirements and also materials like books, magazines about tehcnical aspects.
For example how large should be a comfortable dance class, for 20 children or 10 adult pairs, any normlaized dimensions?
I know it is a matter of acoustics, light etc..
What should be there except mirrors, handrails.
Or are there any basic rules of adding storages for equipment connected with the class?
Please help me if you can :D

Oct 22, 2014
Maria's reply for Maxkil
by: Maria

Dear Maxkil,

Unfortunately, I don’t know much about architecture for dance. As you could read above, what I know is what my experience as a dancer has taught me, without many technical details.

I don’t know any specific book about the topic either. Yet, there’s another chat in the forum about dance and architecture, where you could get in touch with Kristel and Manzoor. They work on the same topic as you. The chat is located here:

How to relate architecture to dance?

For information about dance floors, you may find something at the Harlequin’s website:

Harlequin Floors


If I ever get to know about any information that is good for you, I’ll come back here and let you know.

Warm regards,
Maria

Dec 08, 2014
Institute for classical dance
by: Puja


Hello,

I am Puja from kerala.I am doing my final project in designing an institute for dance,specifically Indian classical dances.
I am just at the initial stage right now.

I would like to know if there are dance studios or institutes that have been specicifically designed for their purpose by architects in India.

Thanks in advance.

Regards,
Puja

Jan 24, 2015
Help
by: Shukti Sahni

Hi pooja, i am doing my thesis on Indian Classical Dance academy, is it possible if you could help me. Please drop a message at shuktisahni@gmailDOTCOM

May 04, 2015
Dance School for expressions
by: Prerna (Mumbai, India)

Hi Maria,
I am an architecture student and in my final year now. I am designing a school or rather spaces for dance enthusiasts which will give them quality of space to experience dance of whichever style they may want to learn. Therefore, as a dance freak myself I would like u to kindly help me out by describing about quality of space required in different styles of dance forms like, ballet, contemporary, jazz, hip hop, etc

May 05, 2015
Maria's reply
by: Maria

Dear Prerna,

The description that I wrote above about the space needs for dance applies for almost all kind of dances. If you use those ideas as a guideline, you’ll have great dancing studios.

You may want to add big mirrors in one of the walls... and barres, for the practice of ballet…

Jun 10, 2015
Reply
by: Prerna (Mumbai, India)

Thank u Maria :)

Jul 09, 2015
WANT TO CONTACT POOJA GUNDU
by: POOJA YDV

I WANT TO CONTACT POOJA GUNDU. AM AN ARCHITECTURE STUDENT FROM SURAT. I HAVE TO DESIGN A HOUSE FOR A DANCER. I NEED HER HELP.

Sep 14, 2015
space requirement for dance academy
by: Anonymous

i am an architecture student and in my thesis project i am doing a project related to dance academy. can you please help me out regarding the space requirements for dance. mainly focusing on types of rooms required and area for different spaces.

Sep 16, 2015
Maria's reply
by: Maria

Hi there,

I wrote something about space requirements in the first reply of this thread (above). Other than that, those requirements will be determined by the type of school you plan to build.

There are many different dance genres and each genre has specific needs. So the types of rooms you have to design depend on which dance genres are going to be taught in the school. Yet, you can consider that dancers train their bodies, but they also train their minds and souls, so places for theoretical work and spiritual practice are always welcome among dancers.

The area for each place depends on the amount of people that will be using the rooms, but a basic measure for a standard dancing rooms is of at least ten times ten (meters).

XX

Sep 17, 2015
Reply
by: Pooja

The area for each dance space may depend upon the number of users u r designing it for...and if u r designing in more detail...then it depends upon wt dance form is taught in each dance room.
so then it will depend on how much space each person would require for tht particular dance form.

Sep 21, 2015
Hi Puja
by: Anonymous

HI PUJA GUNDU...I WANT TO CONTACT YOU REGARDING CENTER FOR DANCE. AM AN ARCHITECTURE STUDENT FROM COIMBATORE.AM IN STARTING STAGE OF SYNOPSIS. I NEED YOUR HELP FOR DESIGN.KINDLY DROP THE MAIL TO rraji98@ymail.com

Sep 23, 2015
needed help
by: shruthika

hello pooja. i am an architecture student too. i have to design a school of performing arts. i kindly request your help in knowing your thesis work which would help my design. please do the needful

Nov 27, 2015
thesis : dance acadmey
by: aprajita

plz mail me the required data of the same.
if anyone is done with his thesis. kindly mail me a copy for study.
( aprajita.gupta7@gmail.com )

Nov 30, 2015
Thesis
by: Pooja Kumar

Hello shruthika,
I have been working on an institutional performing arts centre (thesis work) - that includes a performing centre and a dance institute as well.
For more details,mail me at ar.pooja1792@gmail.com

Regards,
Pooja Kumar

Nov 30, 2015
ty
by: POOJA YDV

thank you so much maria for your valueable time. tysm.
regards.

Dec 06, 2015
ARCHITECTURE STUDENT ....
by: ADI

HII..M CURRENTLY STUDYING N WANT TO DESIGN A SPACE FOR DANCERS ...CLASSICAL N WARLI (WHICH IS A TRIBAL DANCE OF MAHARASHTA ON A CONTOUR SITE)..A SPACE WHERE THEY CAN LIVE LEAR PERFORM ALONG WITH THEIR GURUS ..IF ANYONE CUD HELP ME OUT IN ANYWAY ..IT WUD BE GRT ..

Feb 15, 2016
performing arts academy
by: devangi

hello everyone..i m thesis student .i want some design standards for dance and drama .and good case studies .please mail me if anyone have data related to my topic..
dfg4frnd@gmail.com

Feb 28, 2016
dance academy
by: Anonymous

hi I am a thesis year student and I really need help in knowing the standards required while designing a classical dance academy. if anyone has any information regarding this or any good case study please mail on this ashi21.arora@gmail.com.
its urgent. please help

Mar 02, 2016
Classical Dance Academy
by: Anonymous

same here .. i am also in Thesis year.. working in
Indian classical Dance academy wd accomodation.. if anyone hv information regarding anything ..standards , norms... plz do mail me.. kiranarch.design@gmail.com... i can share some datas collectd by myslf..

Apr 10, 2016
contact details for dance and architecture designs professionally
by: Anonymous

hello everyone.. am Girish ( India representative for dance )if anyone require with a professional work with dance and architecture can contact me @ girishkamanuri@gmail.com

linkedin - https://in.linkedin.com/in/girish-kamanuri-69a21289


May 10, 2016
Dance & Architecture - one space
by: GIRISH KAMANURI

hello everyone ,
am a professionally trained teacher in India for the past 17 years . i always say to people that whenever u design the DANCE SPACE or CETRE FOR PERFORMING ARTS, u need to have the idea abt the particular dance forms which explains automatically abt the design of that particular dance form ! example - lets take classical dance forms, which describes from the make up , expression till the performance or the practice sessions according to the knowledge written under the same dance forms.

if anyone interested in a professional work with me then plz contact me - girishkamanuri@gmail.com

kindly visit my webpage to know more about my knowledge :-) www.zerogdancelab.com

Regards
Girish Kamanuri
Zero G Centre For Performing arts
India

Jun 13, 2016
dance school
by: Anonymous

hello,
i am an architecture student and doing my thesis on dance school. Can u help me out with the requirements, areas and related case studies. I would be grateful if u send asap.
here is my mail id
chandanakeerthi19@gmail.com

Oct 14, 2016
Undergraduate Thesis-International Dance Academy NEW
by: Anisha Deria

Hello everyone, I am Anisha and I am in my final year of architecture. I too have taken up dance academy as my thesis topic. I am a trained dancer as well. I would be grateful if people who have already completed their thesis on this topic can share their thesis with me for reference. At this stage i am struggling to find suitable case studies for this topic. I would be glad if anyone have any suggestion. please mail at babianisha@yahoo.co.in/ anishaderia92@gmail.com

Oct 14, 2016
Performing Arts Center NEW
by: Archi Student

Hi,I'm sharon, one of the archi student who studying 2nd year. I'm designing a center for performing arts also and specific for dancer n theatre. I need more information to design the activities and space inside. Any info or data pls email to me.Thankyou. sharonchy96@gmail.com

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Dance Questions About Theory and History.

Custom Search
Custom Search

The handy e-book of CONTEMPORARY DANCE HISTORY:

Custom Search

The Dance Thinker is our occasional E-zine. Fill in the form below to receive it for free and join us.

Enter Your E-mail Address
Enter Your First Name (optional)
Then

Don't worry — your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you The Dance Thinker.

The Dance Thinker
BACK ISSUES


Post contemporary dance announcements (workshops, auditions, performances, meetings and important news... it is free.)