How To Deal With Difficult Dance Floors
A Hindu proverb says: "He who cannot dance puts the blame on the
floor" but let's face it – sometimes the floor
If it's too slippery you're feeling like Bambi on ice and are afraid to do anything
that tests your balance. Sure, the spins work like charm, but you can't get properly in nor out of
them. And if it's too sticky, it's difficult to do anything fast and your knees will
eventually start to hurt.
To find a floor that is just right is like
chasing a ghost, so most of the times we have to learn how to deal with a not so ideal
But there are a few tricks.
Sticky Dance Floors
A sticky floor is easily treated with baby
powder. The disadvantage is that it leaves a mass, so if you're not in a place where people are used to this,
just use the powder under your shoes and not across the floor, although that diminishes the effect somewhat.
Also remember everybody's subjective feeling of how sticky a floor is is different, so don't assume that just
because you can't move the whole floor needs a treatment and everybody will thank you for it.
Do not force turns and spins (your own or your
partners) when the floor is sticky! Your knees can easily be hurt that way.
Slippery Dance Floors
A slippery floor can be more of a challenge.
I've experimented with most of the traditional aids (and a few untraditional ones :o)), but your best bet is
simply castor oil. It will get you through a few dances before it dries up. Use it sparingly on the soles
of your shoes, as it's really sticky and can stop you dead in your track if applied to
Wax also works, but only if it's fresh; you
have to constantly brush it off and re-apply it, otherwise it becomes slippery in itself. But many people swear
If you don't have anything like that, water, or coke, works just fine. Just make
sure not to take too much, or it will become very sticky. Unfortunately it dries up very fast because of the
And of course just brushing the shoes with a shoe brush can make a difference,
although this works less and less the older the shoes are – then it becomes mostly a matter of cleaning
Sometimes you will be
dancing on concrete or otherwise very hard floors. This will put additional strain on your feet and legs. There
is nothing you can do about that there and then, but be sure you stretch your calves afterwards and maybe treat
your feet to a massage. Also watch your posture and stretch your lower
back, as it will show signs of fatigue when dancing on hard floors.
Apart from physical aids a good
technique will help you in dealing with a difficult floor.
Especially beginners will be disturbed by
non-ideal floors, or any floor different from the one they're used to for that matter. But with experience
a floor formerly percieved as slippery usually becomes easier to dance on.
Your bodyweight should always be exactly over the foot you're stepping on, otherwise you will slip easily. Avoid
taking big steps and steps at a shallow angle towards the floor, e.g. dragging your feet. Try to actively feel
the floor and push into and off of it. Relax your feet and spread your toes to get a better grip.
Tips For High Heeled Ladies
If you're afraid to fall and are physically
seeking “up” and away from the floor, you will become stiff in your body, which will heighten the risk of
falling. The more you use the floor and work with it, the more relaxed and stable you will be.
Try to "sink" or "push down" the weight
from your upper body and shoulders into your hips. Watch your posture to make sure you're balancing on your own
and not grabbing on to your guy for support.
If you're not comfortable and stable enough on
high heels, consider using flats until you have gained more control.
Another great tip is painter's tape! You can read more about it here.