Sponsored by Harlequin Floors

Your Expert Guide to Choosing the Right Dance Floor

Burklyn Ballet, Courtesy Harlequin

Whether you're putting on a pair of pointe shoes, buckling your ballroom stilettos or lacing up your favorite high tops, the floor you're on can make or break your dancing. But with issues like sticking or slipping and a variety of frictions suitable to different dance steps and styles, it can be confusing to know which floor will work best for you.

No matter what your needs are, Harlequin Floors has your back, or rather, your feet. With 11 different marley vinyl floors available in a range of colors, Harlequin has options for every setting and dance style. We rounded up six of their most popular and versatile floors:


You are…doing many different dance styles in one place.

Erin Baiano, Courtesy Harlequin

American Ballet Theatre

You'll need: Harlequin Cascade

The low-down: This multi-purpose floor is heavy-duty and extremely versatile. Ideal for ballet, modern, hip hop, salsa, tap or Zumba, Cascade has a smooth embossed surface that provides sufficient grip for many varieties of shoe. Available in six colors, it is a great choice for studios, schools and theaters.

Used by: American Ballet Theatre, the Juilliard School and Showstopper

You are…a dedicated ballroom, tap or hip-hop dancer.

Via uncg.edu

UNC Greensboro

You'll need: Harlequin Fiesta

The low-down: This durable, multi-purpose floor looks exactly like wood, yet saves you the hassle of cleaning and maintenance that normal wood floors require. It has a wood design performance surface and is specified for permanent installation.

Used by: Dance Initiative, Theatre Flamenco of San Francisco and University of North Carolina Greensboro

You are…taking your company on tour to diverse venues

Courtesy Harlequin

Burn the Floor

You'll need: Harlequin Reversible

The low-down: This lightweight, portable floor is double-sided, easy to unroll and works well for every dance style. Because of its versatility and portability, it is Harlequin's most popular loose-lay floor. It's great for stages, competitions, conventions and special events.

Used by: Cirque du Soleil, California Dance Theatre, Burn the Floor

You are… touring A LOT (and need that extra durability)

Courtesy Harlequin

The Brea Space

You'll need: Harlequin Reversible Pro

The low-down: With all the best assets of Harlequin Reversible, this floor has a reinforced mineral fiber interplay layer which makes its dimensional stability and tear strength even better. Like Reversible, it is double-sided and slip-resistant on both sides. Ease of handling makes it a favorite of stage technicians.

Used by: Cornell College, Houston Ballet, The Brea Space

You are… rehearsing Odette (or Odile!)

Rosalie O'Connor, Courtesy Harlequin

Boston Ballet

You'll need: Harlequin Studio

The low-down: This hardwearing, slip-resistant, foam-backed floor is a true ballet floor—perfect for pointe shoes. Suitable for both studio and stage use, it's available in seven colors, and ideal for loose-lay or permanent installation.

Used by: Boston Ballet, USC Kaufman and Walnut Hill School for the Arts

You are… learning "Wade in the Water" from Alvin Ailey's Revelations

Courtesy Harlequin

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

You'll need: Harlequin Studio B

The low-down: The embossed surface of Harlequin Studio B allows ballet and modern dancers the freedom to let go—whether they're barefoot or wearing shoes. This floor is designed with extra strength in mind: Its foam-backing provides cushioning between it and hard sub-floors.

Used by: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Ballet Academy East, Pittsburgh Youth Ballet

Looking for even more options? Try heavy-duty, semi-sprung Harlequin Allegro; Harlequin FreeStyle, perfect for hip hop and street styles; Harlequin Marine, which is specially designed for use on cruise ships; and Harlequin Standfast, which is made to withstand wear and tear from heavy equipment on stage.

Harlequin also offers six varieties of sprung dance flooring. Check out more products at harlequinfloors.com, or call 800-642-6440 to speak with an account executive who can help you select the right floor for your needs.

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Last night, we celebrated the annual Dance Teacher Awards, held virtually for the first time. Though it was different from what we're used to, this new setting inspired us to get creative in celebrating our six extraordinary honorees. In fact, one of the most enlivening parts of the event was one that could only happen in a Zoom room: Watching as countless tributes, stories and congratulations poured in on the chat throughout the event. Seeing firsthand the impact our awardees have had on so many lives reminded us why we chose to honor them.

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