Choose Your Dance Floor Wisely
Dancing regularly, either as a social activity or at a competitive level, can be hard on the feet and legs. This is why it is important to choose your dance floor wisely. After all, your connection to the floor through your feet, legs, hips, and torso is what makes dance movement enjoyable for the dancer and beautiful for those who watch. On the wrong floor, dance movement is less than what it can be and the risk of injury increases. So, choose your dance floors wisely.
Dance floors should be resilient from one weight change to another. The floor should deflect with each step, absorbing the weight and energy of each movement. At the same time, the feet and legs are also countering the weight and energy of movement. If all of the dance movement is absorbed only by the body, fatigue occurs sooner, and injury is more likely.
Different Types of Dance Floors
Once upon a time, I considered teaching at a new studio. On my first and only visit, I saw that the floors were vinyl planks glued directly to the concrete. That was a “no” for me. Recently, I taught a weekly class at a local university. The only available space had a ceramic tile floor. As much as I enjoyed the students and experience, my feet and legs paid the price.
Many studios that cater to children and teens have vinyl-surfaced floors with a resilient underlayment. This is good for ballet, modern, and other performance dances, and particularly for young dancers. Studios with more emphasis on partner dance—ballroom, country, and swing—feature wood floors installed over a loose-laid underfloor or stringers that allow the dance surface to deflect as dancers move across the surface. Regardless of the flooring product, you can determine the quality of a dance floor by observing from a distance. Does the floor deflect or move as you observe movement across the surface? That is a good indication of a quality dance floor. This same quality of floor is the standard for basketball, volleyball, and gymnastics.
Contact me to schedule a private lesson, and we’ll be sure to meet at a studio, gym, or event center that is best for your dancing and your feet!