Dancers know the horrors of a slippery floor. Feeling like your feet are going to fly out from underneath you when moving across the dance studio or the stage can be terrifying. That’s why keeping the floor clean is essential; but even when the floor is spotless, there could be slick spots. How can you make your dance floor less slippery?
Why Your Dance Floor Is Slippery
One reason floors get slick would be oil from perspiration and body lotion. Dancers apply lotion to their skin, which comes off onto the floor as they do their warm-ups and floorwork. Sweat (body oil) also creates slippery patches. The second reason for slippery dance floors? Humidity. Both very low and high humidity can impact dance floors negatively.
Keep the humidity of the studio around 50%, which allows the air to retain moisture, preventing it from leaching onto the floor. High humidity with a drop in temperature overnight settles a microlayer of moisture on the floor. Any residual oils on the floor rise to the surface since oil and water do not mix. Low humidity sucks moisture from the surface reducing surface area and creating a more slippery surface.
Temperature fluctuations also affect the slipperiness of the dance floor. The temperature drops in a warm studio at night, causing moisture to form a residue on the floor. When that combines with the lotions, oils and sweat, a slick layer forms over the vinyl, reducing traction.
The Wrong Floor
The other problem many dance studios unknowingly face is having the wrong kind of floor. Engineered wood, bamboo, and laminates are not suitable for a dance studio, because these floors have a factory finish that is too slippery. Many studio owners opt for the most affordable option, which often ends up being laminates. Though these materials look fantastic when installed, the factory finish is inherently too slippery, and refinishing damaged product is virtually impossible.
Wood floors can be slippery, due primarily to using the wrong finish. Unlike Marley flooring, the industry standards for hardwood arent designed with dancing in mind. Humidity and temperature affect the coefficient of friction causing the surface to be either too sticky or too slippery.
If you are teaching pointe at your dance studio on a wood floor, having non-slip flooring is important. Stagestep offers Floorshield II™, a finish designed specifically for dance.
What Not to Do
First, do not use rosin on Marley or wood. Rosin, made of pine tar, dries out over time and creates slippery residue which is virtually impossible to get off Marley floors.
Second, never use alcohol, ammonia, bleach, vinegar, steel wool, solvent, coke, or any other abrasive cleaning product on Marley floors. These products will destroy the floor. Stagestep offers SlipNoMor™ the “liquid rosin”. This cleans up easily and allows you to regulate the degree of nonslip on your floor.
How to Make Dance Floor Less Slippery
Keeping your floors clean is basic to maintenance. Stagestep offers ProClean™, ProClean NS™ (non-slip additive) and ProClean Ultra™ which offer solutions to daily cleaning, weekly cleaning, and deep cleaning.
You need to create a maintenance schedule that reflects the use and cleaning needs of your floor. For example, first thing in the morning, dry mop the floor, and once a week use a detergent/degreaser (ProClean™). Every 3 to 6 months, deep clean your floor with a floor machine, a green pad, and ProClean Ultra™. The floor machine should be operated at a low RPM. Avoid household detergents that have additives that make floors shiny and slippery. you can eliminate dye marks and scuff marks using Stagestep’s Wipeout Plus™.
Slippery Floors Solved!
Now that you know the reasons floors get slippery and the ways to solve the issue, it’s time to put these tips to use. Next time you come across a slick spot on the dance studio floor, consider the cause and use a detergent degreaser to clean the floor and remove the oils.
- Clean the floor with a detergent/degreaser.
- Spot clean slippery spots as discovered.
- Keep humidity at 50% (use dehumidifier or humidifier.
- Ban the use of body lotion (if you can).
- Keep the temperature between 60-80 degrees.
- Establish a maintenance program and stick with it.
Not to Do:
- Use plain water to clean. It does not pick up body oils, it spreads them around the floor.
- Use Rosin. It’s messy, inconsistent, and hard to clean up.
- Delay cleaning. Build up of residue is harder to clean up and is not hygienic.
- Use solvents, ammonia, alcohol, bleach, or coca-cola. These items will damage your Marley floor.
For more information go to www.stagestep.com