Practice Floors

Hardwood like maple or oak makes a great dance floor because it is strong enough to withstand impact and produces deep sound tones.

A sprung floor (with a layer of air beneath the surface) produces a resonant sound and is the safest for a dancer's joints.

Most homes (and studios) don't have an ideal sprung hardwood floor, so here are a few ideas that others have used for practice floors:

    • Medium Density Fiberboard comes in 1/2" thick sheets, like plywood, but it is hard and smooth and doesn't splinter. Don't get it wet because it swells. A full 4x8 sheet is very heavy; a half-sheet (4x4) is sufficient for a single practice area. If you have a piece of foam carpet pad, place this under the board to give it a bit of resiliency.
    • Portable interlocking tiles can be ordered from SnapLock Dance Floors. Their base floor tiles make a handy portable dance floor you can lay down when performing in a gym or on a nursing home carpet. (Ask about the America on Stage discount.)
    • A hard chair mat (available at office stores) can be placed over carpeting or hard flooring for a single practice space.
    • Other commercial portable floors are available online, such as Fasfoot, Portable Tap Floor, and Jubilee Dance Floor, but they can be expensive. These can serve as inspiration, though, for a DIY creation.

Avoid placing your practice floor directly on concrete. Dancing on a concrete floor for any length of time can injure knees and ankles. An uncovered concrete floor is abrasive to steel taps as well as hard on your legs.

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