When specifying a floor for dance, using general flooring or sports floor standards will not ensure the right floor is installed. Only a floor developed specifically for dance will do. There have been some high profile examples where floors have had to be replaced by a dance company after the building is complete because the floor was not considered fit for purpose by the dancers using it.
Why sports floors are not suitable for dance
There are some critical factors that distinguish the requirements of dancers from those of sports played on a sports floor. Many sports require a firm floor which allows balls to bounce predictably. Sports footwear is generally cushioned to protect against impact injuries and provides grip for the sports person. By contrast dancers need more absorption or cushioning on landing from jumps. Their footwear varies according to dance style and doesn’t cushion landings. Dancers also need the right degree of traction from the dance surface.
Harlequin work extensively with dance scientists and biomechanics experts to investigate the effects of the choice of dance floor on dancer performance and injury, and to research and develop floors that minimise these risks.
Harlequin’s CPD Programme
As part of Harlequin’s commitment to protecting the health and wellbeing of dancers and performers, our RIBA approved CPD explains why specifying the correct floor for dance and performing arts is critical to the longevity of a performers career.