In the beginning, there was marley. Not exactly. Battleship linoleum and hardwood had been around for a long time. But marley was the first floor designed for dance. It was light weight, reversible, flexible and portable. Linoleum was heavy and hard to move, rigid, cracked in cold weather and was difficult to install unless warmed.
Wood stages were the reason marley was invented. They varied in texture and slip resistance from theater to theater. Dancers were at the mercy of unknown stage conditions. No amount of rosin or water could help.
The original marley floor consisted of two thin layers of PVC (a derivative of oil), color resins, and plasticizers for flexibility. The two layers were fused together by heat and pressure (laminated). It was light weight, non-slip, matte finished and inexpensive.
It was the ideal stage floor for contemporary and ballet.
Only one problem. Dancers were rehearsing on their traditional wood floors at the studio and performing on the marley onstage. They wanted to rehearse and perform on the same surface. So marley moved into the studio. This is how marley became the de facto floor for professional dance.
Once in the studio, the professional schools affiliated with the companies also wanted marley.
However, the idea that traditional marley could be all things for all different style of dance was not working out.
Tap dancers would tear it up and the sounds was somewhat subdued. Jazz dancers wanted a faster floor and some of the ballet crowd wanted a more absorbent floor surface.
Need generates invention and so along with marley came the solid, harder and thicker all-purpose floor called Timestep™, the modestly foamed back Quietstep™ for ballet and Dancestep™, designed to roll out over concrete.
Since the end of the 60’s when marley was first introduced, the company was sold a number of times until the company name disappeared and they stopped manufacturing the floor in 1979. That’s right, it has been forty years since the Marley company stopped making Stageflor (the original name). Since then, the reversible floor has undergone some improvements. It has s fiberglass filament between the lamination making the floor more stable and resulting in a better lie flat.
This year, Super Bravo Pro™ is being introduced. It is 33% thicker and can handle tap much better than the original.
A half dozen years ago, Super Timestep™ was introduced. It offered a fiberglass filament and an energy transfer bottom layer. Impact denting, which could happen on just about any floor, vinyl or wood, was virtually a thing of the past. The energy was transferred to the bottom of the floor leaving a smooth clean top surface as the dented surface transferred to the unseen bottom of the floor.
This year also saw the introduction of Shaw10™. This new floor is 10 feet wide, fiberglass lined, with a thin foam bottom, and a special non-slip finish that makes cleaning much easier. The extra special aspect to Shaw10™ is that it comes with FREE shipping in the contiguous USA. It is available in Alaska, Hawaii and elsewhere for a shipping upcharge.
From the simple, yet effective original 6 foot wide marley to the high tech Super Timestep™ and Shaw10™, dance floors have evolved to meet the needs of all forms of dance from ballroom to ballet
For information on all dance floors request a quote today!