Build your own dance floor.

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> Sprung floors

v Dance wax

From: prodnzr@aol.com Description: Re: Wax on dance floors. >I have heard various dancers and teachers recommend the application of >baby oil, talcum powder or powdered laundry detergent to the soles of >dance shoes, to compensate for floors that are too slick or too >sticky. As someone who has maintained a 2500 sq ft maple dance floor for 6 years. I would like to pass on a few helpful suggestions. 1st) Never, never, allow someone to put dance wax down on a dance floor. If someone falls down in these litigious times the fallee will probably end up owning your ass ets. Dance wax is used by shufflers who don't pick up their feet. As such they try to minimize friction by making a dance floor slick. When someone with proper dance shoes steps on the waxed spot it is treacherous. The chrome suede soles are called non skid because they allow you to slide your foot when light to moderate pressure is applied. When firm pressure is applied to the shoe, the fuzz on the sole bites down and one stops quickly. A good dancer can pirouette (spin) 5-7 times on a "slow" floor. I think that should be proof that a floor is fast enough. 2nd) As an emergency, if someone throws wax down a good antidote is to brush it inward to as small a spot as possible and the put Tide detergent down over and around the affected area. (Others don't seem to work as well). The grit in the Tide will slow the floor down although it takes weeks to get the surface back to what it was. 3rd) For gyms or floors where ballet rosin has been used, try a lightly damp mop to clean followed by dry floor mop with a very few drops of boiled linseed oil. Go up and down the floor in both a linear and crosswise manner and the floor can be improved temporarily. By the way all we ever do is dry mop once a week I'll also pass on a saying I'll never forget. I once asked the 6 time Latin Champion Lorraine from Sweden what one should do when the music was fast and the floor slick. Lorraine responded" The floor is not fast or slow, only more or less forgiving! " Just as you can STAND on ice without falling, take a big step and your are pondering the blueness of the sky. So it is with dance. Get over your feet and no floor is too fast.

From: hage@netcom.com (Carl Hage) Description: Re: Talc, etc. Dancers and particularly dance teachers should NEVER recommend application of substances to a dance floor (other than by the proprietor) or to dance shoes which could be transferred to the floor. This is VERY dangerous and can cause people to fall and get badly hurt. The best way to compensate for a bad floor is to change shoes. Adding substances to the floor (or your shoes and then to the floor) almost always creates an uneven distribution which will cause people to slip. Adding substances to your shoes (other than water) at best is only temporary and is still inconsistent. In many cases, a floor will seem too sticky or too slick because someone is wearing improper shoes. In other cases, it's a matter of preference, e.g. many older dancers like to shuffle across the floor rather than step. I remember one competition where a person was stepping in a pile of soap flakes (put on carpet making a big mess) which then ended up making slippery spots on the floor. This floor was PERFECT! The person adding the soap was not wearing normal dance shoes with suede soles so she may have thought it was slow. The person was repeatedly told not to add substances to the floor and did it anyway. Unfortunately she was not disqualified. The competition had to be stopped several times so the floor could be cleaned. I think USABDA should have a rule that anyone caught adding substances to a floor at a competition will be immediately disqualified (or shot). If you wear suede shoes you can compensate from a slick floor by putting water on your soles, and a slightly moistened sole will not transfer water to the floor. However, do not make puddles of water on the floor for someone else to inadventantly step in. Adding water will not help if the the floor is slick from added shuffleboard wax or soap. In this case, the entire floor must be cleaned and everyones shoes must be individually cleaned. (That is why a person adding soap to a floor should be shot.) You can also brush suede soles to compensate for a slightly slick floor. If the floor is too sticky you should change shoes, perhaps to an old pair where the suede is polished or a pair with leather soles. If you are organizing a dance and need to fix a sticky floor, I know of a case where a large floor was fixed by adding a liquid which can be spread evenly with a mop which when dried left an almost even film of wood dust (I think). When first applied, it is still somewhat spotty, but after a few weeks of grinding in by dancers, it was OK. I don't know the brand, but if someone really wants to know I can try to find out. Another solution for a sticky (or possible too slick) floor is to buff the floor with a steel wool mat (by machine of course). This worked in one case I know of for a too sticky floor, but it took a couple of tries and then a month or so of dancers "buffing" the floor before it was good. Remember, don't add soap, talc, or wax-- change to leather shoes!

Wax will help on slippery floors. It won't, however, do any good on ULTRA-slippery floors since these tend to be the "sealed" variety. What will help, however, provided that you are using "chrome"-soles, is keeping the soles wet. Possible ways: a) Water. Tends to dry with surprising speed. And is hard to control. Your shoes will be either very sticky or not sticky at all. b) Coke, beer, lemonade etc. Sounds horrible, but does help. (especially if you find yourself on a slippery floor without having been prepared for it). c) Oil. More exact: high-quality gun-oil. I know that it sounds silly (I mean, after all oil is supposed to make things even more slippery, not sticky), but it really works. BUT: Oil might damage the uppers! All three methods would not normally hurt a sealed floor. They might, however, pose a danger to others who are using the same floor as a gym (running around in sport-shoes and such...). Hope that's of some help Sven

From: MX%"ernst@ai.univie.ac.at" 21-SEP-1993 10:33:04.12 From: Ernst Buchberger Paul, I found your inquiry on the net regarding treatment of bad dance floors. As you noticed, there are two problems: sticky floors and ultra-slippery floors. For sticky floors I use wax. You may either use a rasp to spread the (candle-)wax over the floor, or else prepare the wax-flakes at home which makes the procedure quite quick before you start to dance. As for slippery floors, there are various possibilities: roughing up shoe soles helps a little, but not very much. I have used washing powder (detergent:spread it on the floor). A more extreme method is the use of rosin or else the combination of a mixture of rosin, a floor cleaning lotion and coke. Warning: the people owning the dance floor will not like the rosin because it may harm the floor surface (but it saves my ankles...). As for my practical experience: I have used the washing powder when dancing argentine tango, and I have used rosin for flamenco. The "combined magic potion" I did not yet try out for myself, it has been recommended to me by a flamenco teacher. I suppose you will not use the rosin method for swing dancing, but in flamenco you would like to do away with any slipperiness of the floor as much as possible. Hope that helps, Best regards, Ernst (BTW, I should like to hear about your experiences or any other "special recipes" you run across).

> Cleaning floors

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> Marley for ballet / jazz


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Last modified on: Saturday, October 9, 1999.