Founder and Group Chairman, Bob Dagger, reminisces about the early years and phenomenal growth of Harlequin Floors.

Bob Dagger, Founder and Group Chairman

Bob Dagger, Founder and Group Chairman

In the beginning

In the mid 1970’s, with a growing interest in dance, I discovered that a humble black vinyl commercial floor was becoming the preferred choice for stage and dance professionals. I realised there was an opportunity to develop a flooring product designed specifically for performance.

‘Arlequin’ was a theatre character I’d studied for my French degree. The name had life, energy and colour and it transposed into most European languages. A brand was born!
Harlequin Man

Starting up

Backed by a small number of investors, I set up a company to produce quality, affordable dance floors using new materials that would reduce the risk of injury and help artists perform to the best of their abilities.

Lights, camera, action!

On day one of business, the phone rang. But our first customer wasn’t a dancer; Anglia TV in England needed a pedestrian crossing for a police series, but weren’t allowed to paint on the street. The answer? Black and white Harlequin Reversible!

Prestigious customers

In the beginning our product range was small, but business grew rapidly and soon the London Festival Ballet and the Royal Ballet joined our list of customers.

In the early 1980's Rudolf Nureyev, then Director at the Paris Opera Ballet, wanted a lightly padded floor. We came up with Harlequin Studio - which is still danced on today at the Palais Garnier, the Bastille Theatre and in dance companies worldwide.

Going global

The American Harlequin Corporation began in life California, then moved to Philadelphia. We developed Harlequin Cascade, our flagship vinyl performance floor, for American Ballet Theatre and the New York City Ballet.

From there we continued to expand, opening new offices in Europe, the USA, Hong Kong and Australia and creating new floors like Harlequin Hi-Shine to serve our rapidly growing customer base in production, events, exhibitions and display.

I'm very proud of the fact that Harlequin has now truly become a global company, with offices in five continents and several manufacturing sites across Europe. It seems the world really does perform on Harlequin Floors.

‘It gives me great satisfaction that the world’s leading ballet and dance companies choose Harlequin dance floors and that Harlequin vinyl and sprung dance floors are among the most popular in the world.’

Global team

The success of Harlequin is down to our people - passionate individuals who understand our customers, deliver unbeatable service, bring new ideas to the table, develop new products and drive Harlequin forward.

Bob Dagger

Group Chairman

Guy Dagger

Group CEO

Ian Newton

Group Financial Director

Steve Green

Group Marketing Director

Did you know....?

The cast of the musical 'Hamilton' have their own Harlequin Activity sprung floor rehearsal studio at the Victoria Palace Theatre in London

Harlequin Group.
A global company with offices worldwide.

London, Luxembourg, Berlin, Paris, Madrid, Brno, Hong Kong, Sydney, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Forth Worth.