With Dance Studio Vol. 1, our clients wanted to completely reimagine their space into a flexible 350-person venue that features live music, DJ’s and other ‘surprise entertainment’. They wanted to evoke feelings of nostalgia and pay homage to dance and nightlife of years past. Most of all, they wanted it to be a fun venue where patrons felt welcome and included without taking itself too seriously. Our lighting package was geared to suit those goals by being flexible enough to meet the needs of a variable space with many potential uses as well as accenting the environment in a visually rich and whimsical manner.

The project evolved in scope to encompass the alley entrance – the true beginning of a patron’s experience at Dance Studio – where we created an outdoor-rated discotheque, complete with a 40-inch mirror ball and a handful of Chauvet Professional fixtures to start the party. The hallway that leads to the club’s entrance is also lined with dozens of fixtures to continue the mood, while the fully mirrored stairwell leading up to the nightclub is lined with GLP Neoflex for a trippy, neon-like visual experience.

Patrons then enter into the main room and are greeted by a dazzling 475-mirror ball installation. The dance floor and atrium lighting packages consist of fixtures from Elation Professional with two rings of Dartz 360 surrounding the central mirror ball above the dance floor. Fuze Wash 120z complement the Dartz fixtures throughout the venue, giving true flexibility to suit the lighting needs of both private events and live entertainment. And of course, when combined with the mirror ball array, our lighting package enables our team and staff lighting operators to create a vast selection of fun, glitzy and unique looks for the nightclub.

Video was an element that was not originally in the spec for the renovation. After some consideration, two LED walls were added to the space. The first is a 12-inch wide 16:9 wall in the larger room opposite the main dance floor which is in an ideal location for private event use. When they use their portable stage in this location, the LED wall provides a perfect full stage backdrop for DJ’s, small bands or presentations. The second wall is the centrepiece behind the dancefloor bar which features a 14-inch wide array that is recessed into a custom five-tiered brick archway that is trimmed on each tier with GLP Neonflex tube.

Both LED walls are housed behind a two-way mirror, allowing them to disappear and look like large mirrors when not in use. Combined with an excellent package of custom content and logo animations, the LED walls serve as a particularly stunning visual effect.

Time and a rapidly shifting project scope were the largest complicating factors for this project. Because both the LED walls and the mirror ball elements were added late in the process, it took a coordinated effort with our vendors, installation team and allied trades to bring these technically complex visual elements to life on an extremely accelerated timeline. 475 mirror balls don’t just show up or install themselves overnight!

This project presented us with creative and technical challenges that pushed our small team’s project management and procurement skills (see aforementioned mirror balls and video walls!) amidst a constantly shifting project scope. The project also gave us an opportunity to flex our theatrical design background, something our client really valued from the outset of the project. We’re proud to have created a unique and vibrant visual aesthetic for the venue that exceeded client expectations.

Finally, our company mission is to create positive experiences with lasting impact for our people, our clients and their patrons. We are committed to running an honest operation built upon transparency and communication. We support our clients the way we support our team – with empathy, kindness and care. And we believe in having a positive impact on the world, through generosity and a commitment to the communities that we serve. In accordance with those values, 1% of the total project cost was donated to a worthy local charitable organisation in Chicago that serves our community.