“Dance like no one is watching,” is part of a well loved saying by William W. Purkey. It teaches people to do their best in anything that they do especially when it comes to dancing or singing. While this is true, training with good teachers and using the proper flooring will also enhance a person’s dance skills. Dancing on a Marley floor, for instance, is better than just stepping on concrete or ordinary dance flooring. They are made for dancers especially those that do ballet, jazz and modern dances. This kind of flooring has a top layer that is made of vinyl to suit the needs and requirements of dancers all over the world. They’re supposed to be called dance floors, but the name has become a household name. The name was derived from the company called Marley Floors Ltd, who first popularized the dance floor during the latter part of the 70s.
Marley floors can be placed permanently inside a theater or dance studio but most designs are portable and can be easily rolled out. Thus, dancers who are performing in certain areas that don’t have proper flooring can bring along their floor with them to ensure an optimum dance performance. A sprung floor is highly advantageous for dancers of every kind and is needed in most cases.
- The floor minimizes injuries. It comes with that much needed traction while being soft for a dancer’s feet. The dancers can therefore focus their attention in developing and improving their skills rather than be scared of slipping or falling. The proper cushioning that the floor provides prevents physical problems, discomfort and injuries.
- Marley floors are made to last for years. The durability of the material can withstand constant wear and tear and is great for holding community dances, performances and dance contests.
- They produce the right kind of sound for tap dancers and Irish step dancers among others. Hearing the sound of your feet helps in keeping up with the beat most especially for beginners.
- The floor also comes in many colors to suit the demands of theater and stage performances. A rolled up floor can be purchased to design a stage. You can be able to choose a color that goes with the theme and storyline of the show.
- Lastly, the predictability of Marley floors greatly helps in a dancer’s performance. This sense of knowing what to expect is very important especially when you’re dealing with very difficult dance routines. Dancers need this kind of reassurance so they can concentrate more on performing well rather than worrying about technical details.
The Asbestos Concern
Do Marley floor tiles contain asbestos? The answer to this question depends on when the floor was constructed. A floor that was built after the middle part of the 1990s is most unlikely to contain asbestos. However, there is a high probability that the floor contains asbestos when it was constructed before 1990. While it is true that asbestos can pose health issues, asbestos only releases its harmful fumes when touched or exposed. Thus, buildings like dance studios are not that health threatening unless there is a renovation going on and the asbestos if present is disturbed.
Prolonged exposure to asbestos can cause severe respiratory diseases. The victims are usually construction workers in the past as well as people who worked in asbestos companies. Nowadays, things are much safer due to the government restrictions against asbestos. Marley floors that are bought today no longer pose asbestos threats so they are therefore safer to use. However, old floors may still contain asbestos. It poses no health threats when left untouched but remains a great danger when tampered with and the asbestos fumes are released into the air.
Taking care of dance floors is very important in order to make the floors last while keeping the dancers safe. A dirty dance floor affects a dancer’s performance as dirt can make a floor slippery and not fit for dancing. Regular floor cleaning is therefore an indispensable part of maintaining the floor of a dance studio. It requires a bit of time and effort but you essentially get a clean and well maintained floor truly fit for dancing.
- The floor should be swept daily with a broom to prevent dust and dirt from accumulating. Mopping the floor daily using a dry cloth should also help remove the moisture on the floor left by sweat and humidity.
- Mopping with a neutral pH cleaner should also be done weekly in order to clean hard to remove dirt from the floor’s surface. Use a commercial cleaner instead of a household cleaner as the latter may leave a lot of residue behind. Also bear in mind not to use cleaners that contain ammonia, alcohol, acetone, bleach and vinegar as these substances can damage the floor’s surface.
- Follow up by mopping with plain water to wash up any residue that’s left.
- Once or twice a year, schedule a thorough machine cleaning. Floor cleaners with fine scrubs should be used together with a cleaner specifically suited for dance floors.
- Make sure that the dancers only use dance shoes once they step inside the dance studio. The shoes that they use for walking such as rubber shoes, sandals or high heels may damage the floor so it is best to restrict dancers from using inappropriate shoes when inside the dance floor.
The Right Kind of Floor for Dancers
Dancing brings people great joy. What better way is there to dance than on a floor that’s truly made for dancing? If you’re a dancer or plan to open up a studio, then perhaps you should consider using a sprung floor. Use a kind of floor that is ideal for dancing so dance skills are enhanced and properly developed. Marley floors are perfect for dancing and greatly help a dancer develop his/her dance skills. You should be able to dance like no one is watching and give your best performance every time.