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

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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
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

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,

Dec 08, 2014
Institute for classical dance
by: Puja


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.


Jan 24, 2015
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 [email protected]

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
by: Prerna (Mumbai, India)

Thank u Maria :)

Jul 09, 2015


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).


Sep 17, 2015
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


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.
( [email protected] )

Nov 30, 2015
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 [email protected]

Pooja Kumar

Nov 30, 2015

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

Dec 06, 2015
by: ADI


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..
[email protected]

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 [email protected]
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.. [email protected] 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 @ [email protected]

linkedin -

May 10, 2016
Dance & Architecture - one space

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 - [email protected]

kindly visit my webpage to know more about my knowledge :-)

Girish Kamanuri
Zero G Centre For Performing arts

Jun 13, 2016
dance school
by: Anonymous

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
[email protected]

Oct 14, 2016
Undergraduate Thesis-International Dance Academy
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 [email protected]/ [email protected]

Oct 14, 2016
Performing Arts Center
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. [email protected]

Dec 30, 2016
Indian classical dance institute and research centre
by: Anonymous

Hi everyone.

I am also doing my thesis on Indian classical dance institute and research centre. So, if anybody has any data regarding site,requirements, areas and related case studies please share and mail it to [email protected] It would be of tremendous help.

Dec 31, 2016
Under Graduate - Thesis - Music and Dance School
by: Apeksha

Hello everyone.

I am in my 4th year of architecture in mangalore. I have taken up music and dance school as my thesis topic.
I am a trained musician as well as dancer.
I would be grateful if any of you who have already completed their thesis either on music or dance & can share with me for reference purpose.
At the beginning stage I am finding it difficult to get literature & case studies for this topic.
I would be greatful if anyone of you have any suggestion to guide me.
Please do e-mail - [email protected]

Jan 27, 2017

Myself Daliya from svs school of architecture coimbatore.Currently doing my final year.i need a help regarding the architecture for classical dance.can anyone pls help me out .
mail id : [email protected]

Jan 31, 2017
i want to talk to u puja
by: kavya

hi puja this is kavya I am doing my thesis project about classical dance institute now I am in design stage I already completed my synopsis so please help me to design the institute and inbox me the details which u want to share with me
mail id: [email protected]

I am looking forwarded to look ur mail.please help me

Jan 31, 2017
Thesis - Performing Arts Centre / Dance School
by: Pooja Kumar

Pooja Kumar here.

I completed my thesis recently and my topic was Institutional Performing Arts Centre which included classes for​ classical​ dance.

Few of you know me here already by now, just to make it easier and helpful,If any doubts regarding the above topics, I'll be glad to guide and help.

Mail me at -

[email protected]

Jun 16, 2017
Help needed
by: Vaasanthi

Hello Pooja, I am Vaasanthi doing my thesis this year from NIT Raipur.I want to take the designing of a Dance Institution as my topic.I can explain about it better in person.If you can help me out,please contact me at [email protected]

Jun 28, 2017
Dance and music school design
by: Vinitha

Hello there
I'm Vinitha ,3rd year B.Arch student from Chennai
I'd be desiging a dance and music school
Where should I refer for the architectural standards
And our requirements are
1. Both dance and music school campus
2. Hostel facilities
3. The building should have 3 star GRIHA ratings

Could anyone help me to check out the standards???

Jul 30, 2017
dance requirements
by: Mona

Hi everyone,
I'm doing my b.arch thesis on the same, and i would like to know some basic requirements for a dance institute which teaches 5 different dance forms
and accommodation facilities for boys and girls
waiting for a good reply :) thank you

Oct 06, 2017
Dance school
by: Himani

Hii I am himani architecture student I am doing my thesis on dance school I want to design dance school for classical dance and contemporary dance. can u help me requirements, areas and case studies related to my topic.
My mail id is [email protected]

Nov 04, 2017
Dance academy requirements
by: Anonymous

Hello! I am a fourth year architecture student whose thesis is also about a dance institute and training centre. Could you please guide me with my thesis? Am currently starting with it so would need some inputs from your side. It would be helpful if I could refer to your thesis. Kindly drop in a mail at my id [email protected] if you’d share your work :)

Thank you

Jun 19, 2018
dance institute design
by: vaidehi dhamal

Hi. i am vaidehi dhamal. i'm architecture student. actually i have been working on my thesis thats institute of dance. if share information about designing dance school that would really help me a lot... ([email protected]) thats my mail id.. all the information would really help me in my thesis. please consider it.

Aug 11, 2018
Architectural tips for designing dance school
by: Rahul Sulge

I am Rahul Sulge. My final year topic is dance academy for classical and contemporary styles along with residential accomodation of already trained dance artists who aspire to specialise amd explore their respective choices.
Pls could u connect me to Pooja Gundu
Thank you,

Aug 22, 2018
Residential institute (Gurukul type) for performing arts
by: Purva

I was just looking up for some inspiration for my second year design project where I chose to design for the above mentioned programme. If someone has studied and worked regarding the same, please refer it to me, my mail : [email protected] ..thank you

Oct 12, 2018
Dance academy (school) and theater
by: Felicia Halim

Hi, I’m on my 3rd year on architecture major. I’m currently doing a project for my final terms about dance academy/school. It would be helpful if you could inform me more about the requirements, how many studios and other information about the facilities that are needed on a dance academy. The dance school im referring to is Modern/contemporary dance.

I would appreciate it if you can contact me throught my email ([email protected]) about the details of the dance school! Thanks

Nov 20, 2018
dance floors for classical dance
by: Urmi

hey, i'm Urmi Gohel here.
I'm currently doing my thesis on the importance of performing arts education(dance) in india and proposing an institute that has western and classical dance forms taugh together, under on roof. I understand the floor requirement for western dance, but what floor should be ideal for classical dances?
please mail me any information regardinng this, if available - [email protected]
thank you

Nov 30, 2018
Dance academy
by: Pramoth

Hi. I am pramoth, architecture student from salem.currently I am doing my thesis topic dance academy and I am in synopsis stage pls let me know requirements and standard relevant data's for design if any please mail me [email protected]

Dec 24, 2018
Designing performing arts and visual arts campus
by: Anonymous

Where could I get studio standards of classical, folk and tribal dances...
And standards of visual arts studio for painting, sculptures, ceramics, graphic artist.

Dec 30, 2018
cultural centre
by: manivannan

hi, i am on my final year. my thesis topic is about cultural center, where i have training center for traditional dance and music. can anyone help me on standards and guidelines for dance and music studios.please contact me,
[email protected]

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