The internet is an excellent source for spreading misinformation, bad ideas and downright dangerous recommendations. That is why it is important to check out and verify internet information before acting on it. The exchange of suggestions and personal experience and recommendations can have potentially disastrous outcomes without you realizing that someone’s good intentions are really not good advice. The internet is not necessarily authoritative, accurate or a source of expertise. It can be, but when it is not, the information gleaned can be both destructive to your health, your facilities and your business.
Take, for example, the online promotion of shower pan liner, claiming it makes an excellent dance studio floor. Shower pan liner is a sheet vinyl product designed to go under tiles in a shower to make it waterproof.
There are studio owners out there giving their blessing to a product that can and will compromise the health of you, your staff and your students.
Safety Information on the manufacturer’s website and reconfirmed on the product label says “not to be exposed to the air”, not fire rated, to be installed with goggles and gloves, and contains cancer inducing carcinogens (so says the State of California). Takes five minutes to research the real low down and you won’t want to go near the stuff. Dance Teacher Magazine has a warning about shower pan liner in a recent article. Investigate all product attributes you are considering to ensure a safe environment for your studio.
A quick checklist for other safety issues in a studio should include:
- Inspect and change the filters on your heating/air conditioning units.
- Check the air quality of your studio.
- Address the concerns regarding germs, bacteria and viruses accumulating on your barre, floor, and door handles.
- Change the top floor tape periodically and clean up adhesive residue.
Make the time, and set aside the resources, to address these issues and keep your students safe. It is important to prioritize the safety and health of your students.
Owners are confronted with many obstacles and recurring problems: parents who overstep, trusted employees who leave and set up shop down the street, kids with bad attitudes, social media bullying, finding age appropriate choreography, dealing with the crazy world of competitions, costumes that don’t fit or don’t arrive, finding new teachers, learning how to market their business in the digital age, and personal burn out. There is little discussion online or at conventions referencing student health (besides eating disorders and treating dance related injuries). When it does come up, it does not get the kind of important consideration it deserves.
There are preventative actions you can take to secure the health and safety of your students that cost not much more than a pair of pointe shoes and take less than twenty minutes a day on average, if that.
For those of you that do it that’s great. For the rest of us it is never too late to get on board.
There are many do’s and don’ts when it comes to floor maintenance that will help establish a protective and safe environment. First check with your floor provider for recommendations.
- For all Marley type floors never use rosin, ammonia, bleach, vinegar, household detergents, or acetone. They will damage your floor, shorten its life, and create slippery spots.
- Never stretch your floor by pulling to get it to lie flat. It will stretch out of shape permanently.
- Never steam clean your floor. It can melt the vinyl and delaminate reversible floors.
- Never leave rolled up flooring stored lying down, or without a cardboard or pvc tube. Doing so will insure the floor will not lie flat in the future.
There is much more you can do to keep your studio safe and sound. But please, under no circumstance ever use or come in contact with shower pan liner.
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