Dance students can spend hours working in a dance studio, it is their place of work and should offer a safe environment fit for purpose.
The floor is a dancer’s most important work tool and dancers need reassurance they are not going to slip and fall, that lifts can be performed safely and on landing from jumps the response of the floor consistently returns the right amount of energy absorption.
It is a common assumption that a well-designed sports floor will suit the needs of dancers, but this is not the case.
There are some critical factors that distinguish the requirements of dance from those of sports played on a sports floor. Unlike sportsmen who wear increasingly high-tech air-cushioned shoes to give grip and protect against impact injuries, the modest ballet shoe has barely changed in design since the mid-18th century. Made from soft leather, canvas or satin, the ballet shoe is very flexible, has a thin sole and offers little protection for the wearer.
But not all dance floors are the same, only a floor developed specifically for dance will do. There may be a temptation to specify floors for aesthetic or budget reasons, or to specify sports floors in the mistaken belief they will be suitable for dance but there have been some high-profile examples where floors have had to be replaced by a dance company after the building is complete and dancers have their first experience of dancing on the floors.
Harlequin is widely recognised as the world’s leading authority on dance floors. As an enlightened manufacturer Harlequin has always worked closely with the dance community to develop floors that dancers want to dance on. There is no doubt, the choice of flooring is critical. For over 40 years Harlequin has been the performance floor of choice for the world’s most prestigious dance and performing arts companies, theatres, venues and schools.
Harlequin offers free advice to ensure dance companies, schools and venues install dance floors best suited to their particular use.