Investing in the right flooring for your style of dance is important, particularly for the more unique demands of percussive dance styles such as tap. There is a great range of tap dance flooring available to suit every dancers’ needs. Whichever material you choose for your tap flooring, there are some key features to consider so that you, or your dancers can give their best performance.
Tap Dancing – What Floor to Choose?
Percussive dance styles such as tap, Irish dancing and Flamenco have unique requirements of their dancers and require specialist flooring to enhance dancers’ performance and prevent injuries.
Tap dance flooring in particular has been developed to accommodate the need for crisper sounds and more resilient surfaces. Many dance flooring can be prone to scuffing and can be too slippery to accommodate the sharp movements and twists of tap dancing. The main requirements of tap dance flooring are a hard wearing surface, shock absorbing abilities and creating a clear sound upon impact.
Providing your tap dancers with the right floor can not only improve their performance, but also prevent micro-injuries. Tap dance injuries are commonly the result of repetitive strain, slips and falls, and micro-damage to joints in the legs and feet. Over time, micro injuries to muscles and joints caused by quick movements and jumps, can develop into more serious problems for your dancers. The right tap dance floor will provide your dancers with a foundation that is solid to deliver that classic sharp, hollow sound, while also offering more support for joints.
The Best Types of Floors For Tap Dancing
There are two main types of tap dancing flooring, vinyl and hardwood.
Vinyl dance flooring can be split into two main types, soft vinyl and dense vinyl, each with different properties.
Soft vinyl floors are a pliable and lightweight option and typically cheaper than dense vinyl floors. They make a great dance flooring for ballet or jazz, but they are too weak to withstand the percussive movements of tap dancing, making them an unsuitable flooring choice.
Dense vinyl, however, is a great option for tap dancers. Offering a durable surface that provides a clean, crisp sound, dense vinyl is a popular choice for percussive dance studio floors. Dense vinyl is typically more expensive, but due to the demands of tap dancing, it is still a worthwhile investment.
Some vinyl flooring can be too slippery for tap dancers, so be sure to check the grip on your flooring before laying. Additionally, when considering vinyl flooring, avoid vinyl floors that have a cushioned backing as these can produce more muffled sounds.
Hardwood flooring is a second popular choice for tap dancing. Maple or oak offer some of the most durable flooring options. These floors typically require less maintenance against the demands of percussive dance and often don’t require any treatment to prevent water damage or warping.
If you do decide to invest in a hardwood tap dance floor, ensure that your chosen flooring is sprung to give a more hollow sound and to prevent your dancers from suffering injuries. Hardwood flooring can be expensive to install, if you are after a more affordable option, consider a composite hardwood floor. Composite floors are made of a thin layer of hardwood attached to a plywood base. This flooring option has a shorter lifespan than traditional hardwood, but they are less impacted by changes in humidity.
Tap dance flooring is an important investment in your dancer’s performance and health. Ensuring that your flooring is able to provide the required support, grip and sound that tap dancers require, can allow your dancers to deliver beautiful results.
Harlequin Floors offer an excellent range of vinyl tap dance flooring perfectly suited for tap dancing and other percussive dance styles. Discover our range of tap dance flooring including our popular Cascade, StandFast and Fiesta flooring that will give your dancers the confidence to reach their full potential.