FLOORED BY ALL YOUR OPTIONS?
What is the right flooring system for us?
So many choices, companies, claims, endorsements, and recommendations to consider. The more you look, the more confusing it gets. Here is what you need to do. Here is what you need to know to get the flooring system suited to your needs.
So why so many different kinds of floors?
Is one better than another? What do I need to know to figure out what I need? First, there are two very different kinds of floor: wood and vinyl. If only it was that easy! Let's start with wood. Hardwood floors usually come in maple and oak. Stay away from pine as it is too soft for a dance floor. Solid hardwood is just that; solid all the way through. You will need a professional installer if you are going the hardwood route. Then there is composite wood flooring, a thinner layer of hardwood attached to plywood or a similar backing. It is less expensive and lasts about 2/3 as long as hardwood. It is also less likely to be impacted by humidity and temperature change. Both options are good for studio use.
Heads up! Bamboo is not a wood. It is a plant. It can not be sanded or refinished. It usually comes with a factory finish that is too slippery for most dance activities.
One of Stagestep's international customers, Institute of the Arts in Barcelona, Spain with Super Tilmestep.
Key Factors for success: Proper installation with ventilation and vapor barrier
Appropriate floor finish suitable for dance
• Laminate flooring looks great; however, be very, very careful. It is a wood and vinyl combo with a factory finish (too slippery) and a very thin wear surface that can easily be scratched with no option for sanding and repair. Stay away from laminate flooring.
• Vinyl flooring comes in three grades: residential, commercial, and industrial. Stay away from all residential vinyl. They are made for your home, not for your studio. Most dance floors fall into the category range of commercial grade. They are more robust and can take the day to day heavy use.
• Vinyl floors are made in one of two ways: soft and dense. Soft vinyl is pliable. Think of the classic reversible marley type flooring. They are usually light weight, less expensive, and great for all dance styles except for percussive (tap, clogging, ballroom) dance. They make excellent touring and performance floors. If you tap, these floors are not for you. They cut easily. Dense vinyl flooring are a bit more rigid, and are the standard multi-purpose studio flooring option that most studios purchase.
• Some vinyl floors come cushioned backed. They reduce sound and in some cases replace the need for floating subfloors. Sound reduction makes them a less than ideal flooring for tap.
•Vinyl floors can also come with fiberglass linings for stability and better lie flat. Also, there are multi-layer vinyl floors that create the look of wood.
A Stagestep's best seller, Super Timestep flooring, for Joffrey Ballet School in Long Island City, NY. Photography courtesy of Joffrey Ballet School, choreography by Serenade by George Balanchine and staged by Stacy Caddell.
Get samples. If you can, dance on the floor you are hoping to purchase. Find out and secure the necessary maintenance supplies. Set up a maintenance program. Do you want to make the most of the floor you have now? Click Here
Flooring from known dance floor suppliers are not that different from one another, but you do have to compare apples to apples. Floor thickness means almost nothing. It is wear thickness that reflects how long a floor will last. It is also is determined by use and maintenance practices.
Get a written delivered price.
Check specifications. All floors have safety data sheets which reference a number of characteristics, such as fire rating and load bearing (weight it can handle safely).
Flooring is not only a big investment, it impacts your business. In the end, dance flooring systems are about two important things, safety and performance for you and your students.
While this post is about floor surfaces do not forget you need to have a floating wood subfloor as well. Click here for more information on subfloors!
Do the following:
1.Plan months ahead and check out all options.
2. Compare prices, paying more only guarantees you are paying more.
3. Deal with a dance floor supplier who has a track record and is transparent about pricing and guarantees.
4. Flooring should be the last item to be installed in your facility. Schedule it that way.
Do not do the following:
1. Buy material that is not actual flooring.
2. Cut corners…gravity matters. Dancing on tile over concrete is not an option. Safety First!
3. Buy from a company that knows nothing about dance floors.
4. Purchase from a company that will not support your post installation needs or answer questions about maintenance, reinstallation, or moving.
Good luck and if you have any specific questions not referenced above, please call 1(800)523-0960 (U.S.) or 1(866)491-9019 (Canada) for a no obligation consultation.
Learn more at stagestep.com
215-636-9000 ext. 105
On May 18, 1919, Margot "Peggy" Hookham was born. She would grow up to become Dame Margot Fonteyn, England's first homegrown prima ballerina. She joined the Sadler's Wells School in 1934 and was performing principal roles with the precursor to The Royal Ballet the next year. Fonteyn was a company-defining figure, dancing Aurora for the re-opening of the Royal Opera House after World War II, creating numerous roles with Sir Frederick Ashton and forging a legendary partnership with Rudolf Nureyev.
The way we create and consume dance is changing every day. Now more than ever, the field demands that dancers not only be able to perform at the highest level, but also collaborate with choreographers to bring their artistic visions to life. Dancers who miss out on choreographic training may very well find themselves at a disadvantage as they try to launch their careers.
Memorial Day is notoriously one of Chicago's bloodiest weekends. Last year, 36 people were shot and seven died that weekend. In 2017 and 2016, the number of shootings was even higher.
When Garley "GiGi Tonyé" Briggs, a dance teacher and Chicago native, started noticing this pattern, she was preparing her second annual Memorial Day workshop for local youth.
The event's original aim was simple: "I wanted the youth of Chicago to have somewhere they could come and learn from different dancers and be off the streets on the South Side on this hot holiday," she says.
A recent trip I took to Nashville coincided with the NFL draft. As we drove into town, my Uber driver was a fount of information on the subject.
I learned that there are 32 NFL teams and that the draft takes place over seven rounds. That the team that did the poorest during the previous season gets first pick. That during an earlier event called the scouting combine, the teams assess college football players and figure out who they want.
There is also the veteran combine for "free agents"—players who have been released from their contracts or whose contracts have expired. They might be very good players, but their team needs younger members or ones with a certain skill set. All year round, experienced NFL scouts scan games across the country, checking out players and feeding that information back to the teams. Players' agents keep their eyes on opportunities for their clients which might be more rewarding.
While I sat in the traffic of 600,000 NFL fans I got thinking, is there something ballet could learn from football? Could a draft system improve young dancers' prospects and overall company caliber and contentment?
It's not often that a promising choreographer gets to stage work in a world-class theater, on a skillfully-curated program with professional dancers, and with the possibility of winning a substantial cash prize. But at the McCallum Theatre's Palm Desert Choreography Festival, that's been the status quo for over twenty years.
Since Shea New, the festival's artistic director, founded the festival in 1998, she's worked tirelessly with McCallum's director of education and festival producer, Kajsa Thuresson-Frary, and stage manager and festival production manager Joanna Fookes to build a festival that nurtures choreographers, highlights high quality work, powerfully engages the local community and cultivates an audience base for dance in the Coachella Valley. The trio is backed by a strong team of professionals at McCallum and the brilliant volunteers from the local and national level who serve as adjudicators.
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Despite what you might think, there's no reason for dancers to be afraid of bread.
"It's looked at as this evil food," says New York State–certified dietitian and former dancer Tiffany Mendell. But the truth is, unless you have celiac disease or a gluten intolerance, bread can be a healthy source of carbohydrates—our body's preferred fuel—plus fiber and vitamins.
The key is choosing your loaf wisely.
It can be hard to imagine life without—or just after—dance. Perhaps that's why we find it so fascinating to hear what our favorite dancers think they'd be doing if they weren't performing for a living.
We've been asking stars about the alternate career they'd like to try in our "Spotlight" Q&A series, and their answers—from the unexpected to the predictable—do not disappoint:
"New York City Ballet star appears in a Keanu Reeves action movie" is not a sentence we ever thought we'd write. But moviegoers seeing John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum will be treated to two scenes featuring soloist Unity Phelan dancing choreography by colleague Tiler Peck. The guns-blazing popcorn flick cast Phelan as a ballerina who also happens to be training to become an elite assassin. Opens in theaters May 17.
The Brooklyn-based choreographer Gillian Walsh is both obsessed with and deeply conflicted about dance. With her latest work, Fame Notions, May 17–19 at Performance Space New York, she seeks to understand what she calls the "fundamentally pessimistic or alienating pursuit" of being a dancer. Noting that the piece is "quiet and introverted," like much of her other work, she sees Fame Notions as one step in a larger project examining why dancers dance.
What does Mikhail Baryshnikov have to say to dancers starting their careers today? On Friday, he gave the keynote speech during the graduation ceremony for the inaugural class of the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance.
The heart of his message: Be generous.
Launching a dancewear line seems like a great way for professional dancers to flex new artistic muscles and make side money. Several direct-to-consumer brands founded by current or former professional dancers, like Elevé and Luckleo, currently compete with bigger retailers, like Capezio.
But turning your brand into the next Yumiko is more challenging than some budding designers may realize.
When I first came to dance criticism in the 1970s, the professional critics were predominantly much older than me. I didn't know them personally and, as the wide-eyed new kid on the block, I assumed most had little or no physical training in the art.
As slightly intimidated as I felt at the time—you try sitting around a conference room table with Dance Magazine heavy hitters like Tobi Tobias and David Vaughan—I smugly gave myself props for at least having had recent brushes with ballet, Graham, Duncan and Ailey and more substantial engagement with jazz and belly dance. Watching dancers onstage, I enjoyed memories of steps and moves I knew in my own bones. If the music was right, my shoulders would wriggle. I wasn't just coolly judging things from my neck up.