In many types of dance, dancers will need to do leaps, and in doing so, will place stress on leg joints such as the ankles, knees and hips. When these activities are done repetitively, particularly when dancing directly on hardwood or concrete surfaces without “bounce”, can cause hampering injuries, such as shin splints, patellar tendinitis (jumpers knee), sprains, strains, and much more.
Enter the “sprung floor”. A sprung floor is a floating floor that has some spring to it. The floors are designed to have some
“give” to it, so that when dancers land from a leap, the floor will absorb much of the shock associated with the impact with the floor. This absorption will greatly reduce the chance of injury to the dancer.
The sprung floors at Vibe consist of 4 layers. The first layer is blocks of high density foam, placed in a grid throughout the entire studio floor area. This foam is the main technology behind the “spring” in the floor. It is dense enough to hold the weight of many dancers at the same time, yet soft enough to absorb shock from a leap from heights. The foam also has great memory to flex back to its original shape after taking a shock—which keeps the floor at a universal level plane, regardless of frequency of use. The second and third layers of the floor are wood sheets, interleaved to give the floor rigidity.
The final layer is the top dance surface, called a Marley floor. The Marley floor is a vinyl covering commonly found in many high-end studios and theatres. The Marley floor is a non-slip surface engineered for dancing. The non-slip property is also a great safety measure for dancers so they do not injure themselves by slipping when landing from jumps.
I hope now you have gained some insight into the technology behind dance floors. I also hope you can now answer the questions of why the dance floor is raised, and what the properties of the dance surface are!