What Is A Sprung Dance Floor?

20th November 2020

Sprung floors have been a popular choice amongst dancers for decades due to their ability to improve performance and reduce injuries. The impact of dancing on concrete flooring or solid, un-sprung surfaces can cause micro-injuries and put stress on joints and muscles, which over time can develop into more serious injuries.

Sprung flooring creates a more supportive platform for dancers, giving energy back into movements so they can keep dancing for longer. Installing a sprung flooring solution on your stage or studio can allow your dancers to perform with complete confidence, for beautifully executed choreography and unforgettable shows. 

Sprung Floors Explained

Sprung floors are primarily designed to offer increased support for dancer’s joints and muscles during rehearsals and performances. Without the support of a sprung floor, sharp movements can cause stress to the feet, ankles and legs which over time can evolve into more serious injuries that could impact a dancer’s ability to perform. Sprung floors also offer support to dancers by returning some of the energy from leaps, jumps and energetic movements, which can reduce fatigue in the legs. 

Traditional sprung dance floors attempted to support dancers in this way by creating bouncy, ‘trampoline’ like flooring, typically using metal springs or woven wooden panels beneath the surface. These installation styles made the floors too springy for classical dances such as ballet. From this evolved different styles of sprung dance flooring tailored to the needs of different dance styles.

Some modern sprung floors have updated the traditional basket weave style of these first, more bouncy, sprung floors. This innovative system consists of a network of interlocking wooden panels often accompanied by dual density elastomer blocks designed for shock absorption and to return energy to the dancer. Contemporary sprung dance floors are also commonly made from layered moisture-proof membranes and suspension panels to create an elasticity to the flooring without the ‘trampoline’ effect of older sprung flooring styles. 

Who Can Use Sprung Floors?

Sprung floors are a great option for dancers from all styles of dance including ballet, tap, classical and many more. The recent renovation of the Central School of Ballet on London’s Southbank and the construction of the new English National Ballet building, have seen investment in sprung floors to support student and professional dancers. 

Sprung floors also offer excellent solutions for a range of indoor sports. Sports such as gymnastics and tumbling require more bouncy sprung floor styles, typically made with underlying springs. While other indoor activities such as badminton and basketball could also benefit from sprung flooring solutions to reduce micro-injuries and reduce the severity of impact injuries.   

Advantages and Disadvantages

Investing in sprung dance flooring for your studio or stage can have a great range of benefits for your dancers. The main appeal of sprung flooring mechanisms is their ability to prevent dancers from micro-injuries to their joints or muscles. Preventing injuries through offering a more supportive surface can even extend a dancer’s career. Micro injuries may not cause a significant impact to dancer’s performance in the short term, but persistent use of un-sprung or solid flooring can cause these to evolve into more serious injuries. Through creating a more forgiving surface and returning expended energy rather than absorbing it, sprung floors can also reduce dancer’s fatigue, further improving performance. 

While the range of benefits of sprung dance flooring is impressive, there are some key considerations to make before installing sprung floors in your studio. Although there are some portable options, sprung floors typically offer the best performance as a permanent or semi-permanent flooring. If you rent your rehearsal or performance space, you will therefore need to seek permission of the studio owner before investing in a sprung floor.

Before installing a sprung floor, consider which style and surface would be best suited for the dancers who use your studio or stage. Ensuring that you install the right style of sprung floor for your dancers can help to improve their performance by offering the right support for their style of dance.

In Conclusion

Sprung floors are an ideal flooring solution for a range of dance styles, from ballet and ballroom dancing to percussive dance styles such as tap and Irish dancing. Investing in the right sprung floor an investment in your dancer’s performance, health and career. 

Harlequin Floors offer a range of premium sprung dance floors, ideal for a host of different styles of dance. With traditional basket weave sprung flooring solutions such as our popular Harlequin WoodSpring and our unique ‘triple sandwich’ sprung mechanism in our Harlequin Activity sprung floor. Browse our complete range of sprung dance floors to give your dancers the support they need for remarkable performances.