Studio A or Studio B

Last night, I finally decided to check out what all the hubbub was about Dancing With The Stars. Wow… I will definitely be following it this season, and I don’t know what took me so long to watch it.

During one of the episodes, they had little vignettes of the stars and their trainers working in the dance studio.  One of them made a comment about knowing hardwood floors.  And all of a sudden, my brain went…. *click*…. 

I have hardwood floors upstairs.  I have 5-foot tall mirror tiles that we’d rescued from a store that was closing down.  I could create a small dance studio in the spare bedroom!

Currently, that spare bedroom ain’t so spare.  It’s my 18-year-old’s room, who is away at basic training for the National Guard right now.  He won’t be back until March, and he’s already said he wants to find an apartment when he gets back.  So that room is up for grabs.  As soon as we get it cleaned, that is.

Now, loving my husband as much as I do, there was no way I was going to go through all this trouble without his help.  Besides, it takes two people to hang those mirrors… them suckers is heavy!

When he came home from work last night, I told him about watching the show and my idea to turn the corner bedroom into a mini dance studio.  He said he liked the idea, but he offered me an alternative to consider:  moving my clay studio from the basement up to the corner bedroom, and making the basement into the dance studio.

I hadn’t thought of that!  If you follow my main website,, you might have seen my Studio Tour series of videos from the beginning of this year.  I basically showed my studio in the process of cleaning it up, but I also talked about what I do, in the various divisions of my work.  If you’d like a refresher on the basement studio, the tour begins here :  Below is the “before” picture of the studio, when it looked like a tornado had struck.  And stayed a long, long time.

If you look at the back of the room, you might notice the mirrored wall.  So if we made the basement into the dance studio, the advantages are:  twice the room as the corner bedroom, and mirrors already hung.  Oooh.  Good points in it’s favor.  The only drawback to this plan is that underneath those shiny linoleum tiles is a cement floor.  That’s hard on the feet, especially in heels.

In case you wondered, yes, all of my clay studio stuff would fit in the corner bedroom.  Well, not all of it; I mean, there’s still the closet by the garage door and the closet in the basement.  And there would have to be some fairly creative use of office space, in order to get all three tables and my old steel teacher’s desk into the corner bedroom.  But I might be willing to trade floor space for sunlight and warmth!

The biggest disadvantage for my studio being in the basement is that it gets very little sunlight, and I have a touch of SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder, which basically means I get a little droopy in the winter when there’s not a whole lot of natural light.  I make up for that by having a gazillion lights on in the basement.  But they’re compact fluorescent, and sometimes the little bit of hum they emit gives me a headache. On top of that, the basement is the coolest place in the house, and for most of the year that means it’s 68-72 degrees down there.  I usually wear a sweater, even in the summer.  I gripe all winter long about it being cold down there.

If I moved the clay studio up to the corner bedroom, then I’d have two windows letting in the sunlight, and as much heat as I’d like.  That appeals to me very much.  But I wonder if I’d feel a little claustrophobic up there.  It would be pretty packed, unless I decided to reduce the number of work tables.  We could do wall brackets and shelves, for things like the jewelry supplies and the Memorial Bead order tubs.  I dunno for sure.  It would require my studio to be in a state of disarray for a week or so while we made the transition.  Plus… I hate moving.  So those are the disadvantages of changing studios.

Going back to the dance studio, if we put it in the basement, we can invite a few couples over for dinner and dancing — that appeals to me very much.  And we  can hold private beginner ballroom classes whenever we wanted.  Another advantage.  We really couldn’t do those things if the dance studio were up in the corner bedroom; there wouldn’t be room for more than one couple.  Which is just fine for Allen and I, if that’s what ends up happening.

If we did go with a basement dance studio,  that would mean we’d have to do something with that cement floor.  But if we put in a wood floor over the top of it, that’s going to cost us money, and there’s the potential for flooding in that room, since it’s a basement.  I’d hate to invest in a dance floor only to see it ruined sometime down the road.

We are going to make a decision, one way or another, in the next few weeks.  And I have leanings both directions, so I’m not sure what decision we’ll make.  But I’ll post here when we do.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Liz
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 21:17:17

    my solution: get gel insoles. haha…


  2. Julie
    Jan 17, 2011 @ 19:44:04

    Hey Cat! (this is DancinJules from polymer clay central)

    I hope this doesn’t get eaten by your spam filter, but this is the flooring we put in our garage when we converted it to a dance studio, and it’s worked well:


    • Cat
      Jan 18, 2011 @ 08:02:21

      Hi Julie, great to hear from you! And thanks so much for the link — what a good idea. We haven’t moved my clay studio upstairs, and the reason has to do with heat. Because the bedrooms are up there, we keep the temp at 67 degrees, which would be too cool for me to work comfortably. The basement is warmer and so we’re keeping my studio down here. I haven’t made much in the way of progress on finishing up that corner bedroom, but I do still want to do something nice with it so we could practice dance routines there.


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