Dancers experience several challenges: eating healthy, social stresses, and the ever-present difficulties of balancing the many hours of school or work with your dance career. However, one of the biggest challenges as a dancer is getting the motivation to get into the studio. Based on your location, you may have to drive long distances and pay exorbitant studio rental fees just to get some time in a dance studio.
Of course, building your own dance studio at home will give you the chance to rehearse at any time, and for free - after you invest in building the studio, of course. One essential component of a dance studio are the mirrors in which you can see yourself. When building your own home dance studio, you will have the option to choose from a variety of mirrors, of which there are a few options available. Highly reflective Mylar sheeting for the mirror is one option, but the cheaper and simpler method is to use a series of small rectangular mirrors and mount them on the wall. Let’s talk about the pros and cons of using mirrors like these.
Can fit onto irregularly shaped walls
Smaller mirrors come in different sizes and different dimensions, which makes them ideal for filling an unusual space. This means that you don’t need a single, giant empty wall to serve as your mirror. If there are pieces of furniture (like bookshelves or couches) up against the wall, for example, you could simple build the mirrored wall around the furniture. If the wall has an irregular shape, if there is a square sticking out for instance, using a series of small mirrors can give you a larger mirrored surface.
Lightweight, easy to transport
Compared to large vanity mirrors, buying a set of several small mirrors is much, much easier. You don’t have to worry as much about transporting them from the store to your home. Installing small mirrors is a one person job!
Worse case scenario, one of the small mirrors slips and breaks while you moving them. It’s less of a cost, and much easier to clean up compared to dropping and breaking one of those extremely heavy (some of them can weight up to 40 pounds!) vanity mirrors.
Easy to mount onto walls
One of the greatest advantages of using a collection of small mirrors is the simplicity with which they can be mounted and affixed onto the walls. As with any other mirrors, you will have to use a specialized type of adhesive that is designed for home improvement and remodeling. This adhesive called mirror mastic can be found at any home improvement store such as Home Depot. They are also available on Amazon. With mirror mastic, you will need to put multiple quarter-sized blobs on the back side of the mirror, spaced a few inches apart.
Since each small mirror may only weigh a few pounds each, you have less to worry about when using the mirror mastic compared to mounting a large vanity mirror.
Small breaks in the mirror image
And herein lies the biggest annoyance to having your home dance studio mirror made out of several small mirrors instead of one or two large mirrors. Think of the last professional studio you went to. Because their studio mirrors are likely very large, vertical pieces, there are very few breaks in the mirror image - only at the intersections where two mirrors meet. When you build a studio mirror, the more pieces you have, the more disrupted the image will appear. So, in order to minimize this, you’ll want to find the largest dimensions for your mirrors as you are comfortable with.
Limited in type of mirrors you can buy
A slant in the shape of the mirror near the edges is a common aesthetic feature that can be seen in many commercially available mirrors. This slant is called a “bevel,” and will greatly disrupt the way the image is formed standing in front of the mirrors. The larger the bevel is, the more disruptive the mirror images will appear. Some mirrors have bevels that are close to an inch wide! Because of the need to maintain as close to a real image as possible in the mirror, it’s essential to only purchase mirrors that have no bevel.