Are you finding it challenging to find a safe dance space at home? Do you constantly find yourself banging into the furniture or tripping over your furry friends?
My favourite dance space is the studio you see me in every week for our online live dance classes. But that’s not the only space in my house I dance in. It’s also not something that everyone has available to them. However, it shouldn’t stop you using the space you have to bust out some grooves when you’re feeling good or simply joining an online dance class.
How can we dance as safely at home as we do in a dance studio? Check out our guide below, on the main things you should check before dancing, to make your dance space safer.
1. Identify your “safe dance bubble”
No matter if you’re dancing in your lounge room, study or even the kitchen, it’s important to know where the bounds of your space are. This is especially important if you’re in a small space.
In a dance studio you have a lot of open empty space. Even with COVID-Safe restrictions limiting the number of people in the room with you, you still need to work out the bounds of your “dance bubble”.
Work out how much space you need. In an APB Dance class, you’ll need a space of approx 1.5m x 1.5m. If you can’t visualise that, it’s about 4 bowling pins laid end to end (or if you’re a child of the 80s like me, that’s the height of Danny DiVito or Gary Coleman).
2. Look for floor based obstacles
Locking the cat out or avoiding the dog underfoot may be tough, but for everything else, we’re all good, right?
We look at the floor… that rug will make the ground slippery. I need to wear socks because there is carpet/my feet are sticky.
But what about that piece of Lego that the kids forgot to pick up?
And there’s some food crumbs from lunch… and I dropped a pin earlier while sewing and now I can’t find it.
I have been known to sweep the floors of my space before dancing in my kitchen or lounge room. At the start of every APB Dance Live Online class, we start our warm up by walking around out space to make sure there’s nothing on the ground. It seems totally mundane when all you want to do is get dancing, but your feet will thank you for it later.
3. What is the floor made of?
You heard me right. What is your dance floor made of? Is it polished hard wood floors? Carpet? Tiles? A combination of both?
When we dance in a quality studio setting, we are (normally) on beautiful sprung flooring. This means if we bounce or jump, we have some shock absorption happening by the floor. Your hard wood floors at home aren’t setup like this and are far more unforgiving. While you may not need dance shoes in the studio, at home you might want to consider how your feet are supported.
Same deal goes with polished concrete and tiles! These are very unforgiving surfaces. You may require dance shoes to support your body to ensure you can dance forever (if you want to).
Carpet is a special deal. Most normally there is a hardwood surface or boards directly under the carpet. While carpet has underlay which does provide some cushioning, it can be super slippery if you’re in shoes or socks. It may also cause carpet burn on your feet during turns – depending on how the carpet has been constructed. I would suggest you play around with different shoes and no shoes to see what works best for you.
4. What is around you?
Here’s the kicker that most people forget (dance pun intented).
Now that you’ve got your floor sorted. You know where you’re going to dance. Take a look around you – what can you kick or hit with your arms?
Look for objects at fall within our “forget about it” zone – between your knees and your waistline. These are the objects that you’re most likely to kick or bump while you’re grooving around.
Like that coffee table… or the back of the couch… or the dinner table (which just also happens to have Nan’s antique vase with a bunch of flowers in it)…
These objects may be outside of your 1.5m boundary, but that doesn’t mean you can’t reach them with an outstretched hand or foot.
Some objects may be difficult to move – maybe you need to shift your dance bubble away from them or make it smaller on that side and just be aware of what you’re doing when you’re on that side of the bubble (I’d like to think you’re always aware of what your extremities are doing, but we know that’s not always the case!).
Now you’re ready to go and do your dance practise or join one of our amazing and fun live online APB Dance class! If you sign up for our mailing list, you can even get your FIRST CLASS FOR FREE!
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Not sure where to start with online dance classes? Check out our blog here about how to get the most out of your online dance class.