Portable ballet barres are a great addition to a dancer's life when they need extra rehearsal time, and can also be helpful to a studio in transition. Read on to learn more about this on the go dance equipment, as well as find some recommendations on what to buy and where.
Why Portable Ballet Barres?
While most dance studios and organizations have permanent barres mounted to their walls, some are not so lucky. Smaller troupes often share space with other groups, even those who aren't even remotely related to dance. For this reason, a transient dance company can really benefit from portable ballet barres, which travel easily and fit into small spaces when necessary.
Portable ballet barres are often ideal for touring companies who prefer to use their own equipment on the road. Load them onto the van or bus and take them out when it's time to warm up for a performance. They make life a lot easier for dancers who are used to practicing and entertaining in a wide variety of locales. Lastly, this type of barre is ideal for ballerinas in training who are fortunate enough to have a rehearsal space at home. Be it a bedroom or basement studio, having a barre readily available for stretches and practicing positions and other central skills is a definite advantage.
When Not To Use
Even though dance equipment in portable form is usually a great idea, there are a few circumstances where it is not recommended. Primarily, you don't want to have any heavy, movable object around young children. If you are a teacher using portable barres with little ones in your class, always make sure they are receiving adequate supervision before, during and after class time. Ballet barres should also be mounted to the walls in areas prone to natural occurrences such as earthquakes, where a serious jostle could cause injury to those in the room. Finally, portable equipment is not an excuse for poor technique. Barres and other ballet tools should be used only by dancers who are training, not by anyone else. While in use, the same physical precautions should be taken, including proper hip alignment and foot positioning.
Where to Buy
If you're in the market for a portable ballet barre system, you're in luck. They are available for purchase all over the United States by many reputable retailers. One of the easiest ways to secure a quality barre for your studio is to patronize an online dealer such as Alva's. Here you can purchase free-standing ballet barres in a variety of heights and lengths, so you're sure to get a professional fit perfect for all your students.
The Cartwheel Factory is another great site to check out, as they provide you a variety of options at an inexpensive cost. You can choose from adjustable and non-adjustable, as well as the number of brackets used and the type of wood for the barre itself.
If you are uncomfortable with an Internet purchase, check out your regional yellow pages or ask a nearby dance studio where they purchased their barres. Chances are, the same supplier will have a portable selection to choose from.
How to Buy
Once you've found a retailer, either online or local, you must know what you're looking for in a barre purchase. Set a realistic budget before shopping, so you can stay within your means while still getting a quality return for your dollar. Next, find out whether or not you'll require a barre that adjusts in height. If you are a teacher of both small children and adults, or are using the portable design for an overfilled class, then you'll probably want a barre that does not limit you to one height restriction.
Assembly is another important factor, as you don't want to receive a product in pieces if you have no one able to put it together for you. Seek out a parent or other volunteer within your organization who has some light carpentry experience if you decide on a barre that requires some basic assembly.
Ballet barres should always be purchased with the studio owner, (or whoever is in charge of your rehearsal facility) present, so you are sure to order the right equipment and not run into any red tape in regard to use and liability.