Published on January 24th 2019 by Hillary-Marie
Today’s topic of discussion is tap dance floors! (Part 2)
You can find Part 1 of this series on Episode 007 where I discuss in-studio flooring that can be used by anyone looking to build-out their commercial dance studio space or at home studio space. For Part 2, we’re going to talk portable tap dance floors.
Over the years, I’ve done some heavy research in hopes of finding the best flooring options for my dance studio, home studio and solo tours and this episode is a detailed description of the portable and permanent tap floors I own and have built. I share this information with you in hopes of it helping you to find the best flooring option for you and your journey in the dance.
**Disclaimer: Before building any floor, please consult an engineer or contractor with the appropriate expertise! This isn’t a how-to guide to DIY tap floors, but rather a stepping stone to your initial research in finding the best product for you and your dance situation.
Why Do You Need a Portable Tap Floor? (2:20)
As a professional tap dance artist, my floor is my instrument and I always bring one with me for performances and classes. The only time that I do not bring a floor with me is if a sprung wood floor is already at the venue or being provided. Many of my students have portable floors of their own so they can practice on their own, and then they can tuck them away when they’re not practicing. It’s an easy way to create a practice space without taking up space.
Concert Dance Floor created by Bluebird Graphics (2:56)
Great for larger venues like a theater or outdoor stage. This floor is comprised of individual squares that measure 3.5’ x 3.5’. I have a total of 14 that lay out to 22.5’ x 7’ deep. I chose these measurements because when my company Hillary-Marie’s Sole Music Collective, performs, I usually have four dancers on the stage at most, and the rest of the stage is reserved for a live band.
Smaller Floors for Solo Gigs or at Home Practice
Tongue and Groove Oak Floor (2’ x 3’) (5:09)
A student of mine built this floor for me and I have used it as a portable floor for local NYC gigs and as a practice floor in my NYC apartment. This floor comes apart in two pieces and when assembled, the two pieces fold into each other along the tongue and groove seam and then lock together. It’s sitting on 2 parallel pieces of wood which essentially creates a frame and under those pieces, I’ve used rubber cement to glue rubber to the bottom to prevent the floor from sliding while I’m dancing.
FasFoot Floor (7:02)
This is my go-to floor for travelling gigs and recording sessions. This is also what I recommend to dancers who want something to practice on at home, but don’t feel like building something from scratch. It comes in two parts essentially, the floor itself folds up into thirds and then it sits on top of a base which breaks down into smaller pieces. The entire floor can fold up into an easily portable bag. The floor I travel with is 27 inches by 35 inches (about 2 feet x 3 feet). They do also have a larger option which is 4.5 feet x 4.5 feet.
O’Mara Portable Briefcase Board: (9:12)
To hear more about O’Mara, check out Episode 007, Part 1 of this Tap Floor series because I have a 6’ x 6’ floor of theirs in my home studio that I really love.
The Portable floor meets carry-on luggage size at 14’’ x 22’’ x 3’’ when folded. When opened it is 28’’ x 22’ inches and weighs about 12 pounds.
*A travel bag is now available on the O’Mara website!
2’ x 2’ Frame with Maple Plywood Top: (10:15)
I built a frame by using 2x4’s and put some maple plywood on top. When I first moved to New York, this is the floor that I used to practice in my apartment and to travel to gigs. Now, I keep one of these in the trunk of my car just in case I ever need a floor.
Share Your Thoughts (12:23)
I would love to know what portable floors you are using! If you have any flooring experiences or suggestions that you would like to share with the iTapOnline™ Community, or any questions about any of the floors that I discussed, please comment. I always write back and I truly love talking tap dance!
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