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What Is the Best Type of Floor for Tap Dance?

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If you are starting a tap class, the type of floor you will be dancing on is as important as your tap shoes. The best floor for tap dancing is one that is both resilient and resonant. A resilient floor is capable of withstanding shock without being damaged. A resonant floor produces strong and deep sound tones. The resilience and resonance of a floor is determined by what the floor is made of and what lies underneath the floor's surface.

Hardwood Makes a Great Tap Dance Floor

The best tap dance floor is made of hardwood, such as maple or oak. Hardwood floors are less likely to be damaged than floors made of soft wood such as pine. Maple is a great tap dance floor choice because it is not likely to splinter and doesn’t need a sealer to protect it from water damage and warping.

It is very important to determine the type of floor that lies underneath the surface you will be tapping on. If the sounds you hear from your taps are not resonant and the pitch doesn’t vary between the heels and the toes, the floor underneath is most likely concrete. A concrete subfloor is hard on your body and could result in injury to your knees, back or legs. The best and safest floor for tap dancing is a hardwood surface with air underneath. known as a spring floor. A spring floor is created by a series of floor beams spaced apart by spring coils. A spring floor vibrates and produces more resonant sounds.

Tap Dance Floor at Home

If you plan to practice tap dancing at home, you will need to find a proper floor. A great instant tap floor is a 4x8 sheet of plywood, which can be purchased at a lumber store. Try to find a sheet that is about a half-inch thick. An alternative to plywood is a tap mat. A tap mat is a portable oak floor that is attached to canvas. Tap mats can be rolled up and easily stored when not in use. Tap mats can be ordered from various companies.

Source:

Fletcher, Beverly. Tapworks: A Tap Dictionary and Reference Manual. Princeton Book Company, 2002.

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