There’s a reason why mirrors have been around for centuries. Being able to see your reflection is as fascinating as it is practical! And one of the most practical applications of mirrors are in activity studios while practicing dance or doing yoga/fitness routines.
In fact mirrored walls in dance studios are such an essential part of the whole process of learning this art, that nowadays when someone says “DANCE STUDIO”, instantly an image of a vast brightly-lit room adorned with floor length mirrors and polished floors pops up in your mind’s eye. We can’t even imagine a dance studio without mirrored walls.
Let’s explore more about the use of full length wall mirrors in Studios
Why have Big Mirrors in the first place?
Mirrors in a dance studio serve two main general purposes…first is the teacher be able to see herself and the students behind her at the same time, and second the students/participants be able to see themselves while they are dancing.
The reason the mirrors need to be so big is that dancers need to always get a sense of the space around them when they are learning to position their bodies or while learning new moves. This is called Proprioception, having the sense of one’s position and movement relative to others. They also need to be able to check if their hands and legs are in the proper positions, whether they’re in unison with others and where they generally are in the space.
Also, since typically a class will have a few students, each student should be able to secure a place in front of the mirror. If not for ample mirror space, we’d be having kiasu parents whispering to their children to ‘run and grab your mirror spot before anyone else ah’! …just imagine how much chaos that would create!!
Considerations while choosing the type of Mirrors
Did you know that mirrors aren’t just made using glass anymore? Nowadays, there are also acrylic and plastic sheets being used instead of glass and there is even something called a glassless mirror where a thin sheet of highly reflective material is stretched out over a frame.
All have their respective pros and cons. In regard to a dance studio, let’s take a look at which option would suit it best.
In a dance studio, true reflection is very important, since a slight change in a dancer’s position can make all the difference in his balance and final performance. Since acrylic and plastic mirrors are very thin (at 3mm), they are prone to flexing and therefore it is quite unlikely that they would give as true a reflection as glass.
Strength of Material
Where there are a number of people, the risk of accident is multiplied. A dance studio needs strong mirrors which are not prone to breakage and are also shatterproof. Acrylic and plastic mirrors have this quality but as said, may not give the truest reflection. Glass, on the other hand is neither breakable nor shatterproof, but at an increased thickness (at 6mm) it is very strong and the risk of breakage is less.
In the event of choosing glass, some choices can be made to increase the level of safety for the people using the room. One option is whether to use a safety backing or not. Usually when using adhesive to hang the mirrors, this is not necessary. If hardware is used, then it’s a good idea to apply a safety backing so that in the unlikely event of mirror breakage, the shattered pieces do not fly everywhere and injure anyone.
High Quality Portable Glassless Dance Mirrors also provide a commendable option. These offer a shatter-proof, lightweight, super reflective non-glass construction of reflective metalized optical film tightly stretched across an aluminum frame giving sharper, brighter reflections than standard glass mirrors. They can be utilized in dance studios, gyms, night clubs, for physical therapy, for theatrical lighting, and in hospitals. A relatively newer technology, even though it may be offering all the benefits of glass without the risk of shattering, some may think twice because of its cost. So, it’s up to the individual owners to consider their affordability and practicality of the option.
Mirrors for activity studios are indispensable necessity be it for dance, yoga or fitness. If you own a studio and are looking to renovate and upgrade your options, or if you are just starting a new one, do consider all the above factors to help you decide on the best material for your purpose. And for dance studios…yes, it may affect the resulting art of the dancers learning in your studio, so do choose wisely!