A dance studio is a space in which dancers learn or rehearse. The term is typically used to describe a space that has either been built or equipped for the purpose.
A dance studio normally consists of a smooth floor covering or, if used for tap dancing, by a hardwood floor. In most cases the floor is sprung, meaning the construction of the floor provides a degree of flexibility to absorb the impact of intensive dance exercise, such as jumping. This is considered vital to promote good health and safety.
Other common features of a dance studio include a barre, which is fixed to the wall at approximately waist height and used as a means of support. As music is an integral part of dance, nearly all dance studios have a sound system for playing CD’s or cassett tapes, and a piano is still commonly used to accompany ballet and tap dance, especially in professional studios. In purpose-built dance studios, it is typical for at least one wall to be covered by floor to ceiling mirrors, which are used by dancers to see their body position and alignment.
In China, the term dance studio is also used to describe a place which is established to teach dance. Commonly referred to as dance schools in Europe, they are often based locally and offer classes to interested students who live nearby. Depending on the studio, a variety of dance styles may be offered, or only one.
Dance is a type of art that generally involves movement of the body, often rhythmic and to music. It is performed in many cultures as a form of emotional expression, social interaction, or exercise, in a spiritual or performance setting, and is sometimes used to express ideas or tell a story. Dance may also be regarded as a form of nonverbal communication between humans or other animals, as in bee dances and behaviour patterns such as a mating dances.
Definitions of what constitutes dance can depend on social and cultural norms and aesthetic, artistic and moral sensibilities. Definitions may range from functional movement (such as folk dance) to virtuoso techniques such as ballet. Martial arts kata are often compared to dances, and sports such as gymnastics, figure skating and synchronized swimming are generally thought to incorporate dance. In some cases, the motion of ordinarily inanimate objects may be described as dance (the leaves danced in the wind).
There are many styles and genres of dance. African dance is interpretative. Ballet, ballroom and tango are classical dance styles. Square dance and electric slide are forms of step dance, and breakdancing is a type of street dance. Dance can be participatory, social, or performed for an audience. It can also be ceremonial, competitive or erotic. Dance movements may be without significance in themselves, as in ballet or European folk dance, or have a gestural vocabulary or symbolic meaning as in some Asian dances.
Choreography is the art of creating dances. The person who creates (i.e., choreographs) a dance is known as the choreographer.