Can you really get emotionally attached to a floor?
With the recent flooding at the studio some
people (especially the workman!) May have been a bit startled by our reaction to our beautiful floors! From being screamed at for wearing work boots while walking across them to inspect, to the tears witnessed for the results and destruction caused. We have certainly voiced our dismay.
Now, to most people a floor is a floor but to a dancer it is much, much more. We have more contact with the floor than any other piece of equipment. We know it’s feel, its depth, the space, the friction, the spring. We need to be completely reassured that what is beneath us will support and protect us so that we can concentrate on the movement fully. As dancers and teachers we spend most of our lives in the studio environment so we get to know these floors fairly intimately.
Here at DanSci it has always been of the highest importance that we had professional flooring. The same as you would expect at any professional college or company. Our floors are the same floors as prestigious companies such as the Royal Ballet, LIPA, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Kingston University, etc. We are proud of our badge of ‘A Safe Space to Dance’ awarded by One Dance UK & Equity for having these professional facilities available in Exeter.
We believe all dancers deserve to be on the safest floors possible regardless of age or ability and not just because we believe it is our duty to ensure that young people embarking on their first dance steps do so on an appropriate dance floor.
There are two main reasons an appropriate dance floor is essential: Injury prevention and performance. Miss Ava as a Dance Scientist is a foremost advocate for quality floors for her dancers but also the teaching staff who spend many hours in the studio space. It is also hard to argue against medical professionals, from MDs to Physical Therapists, that specialize in dance and athletic injuries who have established links between the quality of the flooring and injuries. From a performance aspect, The floor should allow the dancer to fully and artistically express movements without the fear of slipping or falling.
It should be noted that not all floors are equal! Many venues will advertise a ‘sprung’ floor however, there are important differences between dance and sports floors. One Dance UK states that “Many flooring companies confuse potential dance floor buyers by marketing sports specific sprung floors as ‘dance floors’. These are very frequently double-battened floors that are designed for sport and have varying degrees of force reduction where the battens cross. These areas feel like “hard spots” to the dancer. Research has indicated that sprung floors offering a consistent response across the floor provide the greatest reduction in injuries and these “hard spots” present a risk for both dancers and teachers” 1.0 If you think that multipurpose floorings will generally be used to rebound a ball rather than a human
Floor constructions have come a long way in recent years as we understand dancers injuries better and construction methods improve.
Image ref: 1.0
All our studios are equipped with Harlequin dance floors, global leader in performance floors. Our floors are a combination of floating sprung under base designed to absorb impact, and specific to a daner’s particular needs and vinyl surface that is selected according to the style of dance and footwear. (Hence why we have different styles of dance in the different studios…they have very subtly different surfaces) .
Our studio mission is that ‘We provide industry leading facilities and opportunities for the whole community’
It should be an expectation that dance is performed on a suitably responsive surface without fear of falls and injury, in particular repetitive stress problems due to impact on a harsh, unyielding floor and therefore we would only ever be happy providing classes on the most suitable professional dance floors available and hope that our DanSci families understand why we feel it is so important to invest in our precious floors….and why we get so overly protective of those outdoors shoes in our studios!