Best Tips for Practicing Dance at Home
We all hoped dancing at home would last only a short while, but it’s clear that with ever changing regulations, we will be dancing at home at least part time, for a while longer. Having the proper flooring can make a big difference in your dancer's experience when dancing at home. There are easy cheaper solutions, and more expensive ones. Here is a list of a few ideas to get you thinking about your dancer's flooring needs.
#1 Apollo Socks: https://www.apollaperformance.com
Apollo Socks are a very quick solution to help your dancer with your current existing flooring. Non traction socks can be purchased for dancers who dance on carpet. Many dancers dance on carpet in conventions, and these socks were developed to help dancers turn effortlessly on carpet without damaging knees and other joints. Additionally, you can purchase socks with traction when dancing on hardwood floors in your home. By adding the traction spray to your cart on the Apollo site, your dancer can spray their socks to the desired traction level. In the studio, hard dance floors are actually sprung floors, which means they are raised up off the floor to allow spring and cushion for jumps, leaps and dynamic movement. At home, hardwood floors are often set right on top of concrete or the subfloor, which does not provide a lot of give when a dancer jumps. This means the dancer's body absorbs the impact, rather than the flooring absorbing the impact. Apollo socks do help absorb a little impact, so there will be duo benefit to purchasing these socks.
Apollo has a variety of compression socks to choose from. Below are a few of their options.
#2 Tap Boards
A quick Google search will give you a ton of options for tap boards, however, to save some money you can also consider making one yourself. The Dance at Home Committee recommends ¾” thick Sande Plywood that you can buy from your local hardware store. Cut the wood to your desired size and lightly sand the edges. The minimum size needed for tap is 2’ x 2’. If you have the space, we recommend 2’ x 4’ which allows the tapper more room. You can lay an exercise mat or small rug underneath the board if you need to either create more cushion or dampen the sound to make tapping at home a little quieter.
#3 Marley Remnants: https://www.stagestep.com/product-category/flooring-remnants/
Marley remnants can be a great addition to really help your dancer perform their best at home. The Dancestep Plus is a cushioned Marley floor, that can be rolled out and laid like a giant rug on top of either hardwoods or carpets. The cushion adds a little spring to help dancers protect their body from injury due to impacts with the hard floor. Because of the cushion, the Dancestep Plus flooring does not work for tap - however if you have a tap board you can set it on top of the flooring while tapping.
If you want to get Marley that is good for tapping on, the Timestep flooring is a better option. This flooring can be used for all styles but does not offer any cushion. A small square of this flooring can be taped down to your preexisting hardwoods using vinyl tape. The tape does not damage floors, you may just need a little Goo Gone when you pull up the tape.
With either of these floorings, you may not need the whole remnant. They are 6.5 feet wide and come in lengths of 10 feet, 15 feet and 20 feet. Finding a friend or two to share with and cutting it can be a great way to bring the price down and meet your space needs.
This spot can be used for turns, as well as tapping on top of. It is small and portable and does not really require much change to your space. They have a variety of sizes to fit your dance spaces such as 16 inches, 24 inches and 32 inches. These are also a great surface to use for ballet and Pointe barre exercises.
#5 More DIY Ideas
Another great suggestion from a dance parent is to create your own version of a Marley floor using a carpet pad and vinyl flooring. Just get carpet padding in your desired thickness - and lay it over your concrete (if converting a garage), or hardwoods. Next get a roll of vinyl roll flooring cut to your desired size and lay that over the carpet padding.
Below is a picture of a vinyl option. $100 for a 24x12 sheet.
As you can see there are endless solutions to your flooring needs. If you need help figuring out how to modify your space, please feel free to reach out to the Dance at Home Committee at Allegrodanceathome@gmail.com We are happy to Zoom with you to assess your space, and give you suggestions on what may work best if you need help troubleshooting.