We just had our first snowstorm of the season this weekend. It only dropped about 3 inches here, but other parts of Maine and the rest of New England got more. In Maine terms, it was rather mild. Local businesses stayed open, despite warnings prior to the storm that they may close. The studio where I go for dance and fitness classes was no exception. I didn’t feel like braving the downhill slope of my snow-covered driveway though, so I signed up for the livestream of Saturday morning’s Zumba class.
This house has mainly hardwood floors, so preparation for Zumba only required clearing the living room of the coffee table and dog beds. And perhaps a dog or two.
Dancing at home, while it seems like an easy place to practice your passion, presents its own set of challenges. I was recently asked to contribute to an advice column about setting up a home dance studio space, specifically to provide my thoughts on the best type of flooring. I wrote about the advantages of flooring like hardwood and marley, but by the time I reached the end of my brief essay, I was thinking about trying to dance on carpet during the pandemic in my old apartment. It seemed ‘ok’ at first, until the ache in my knees grew. But I didn’t have another option. I wanted to dance and home was the only place to do it at the time. Should I have stopped dancing altogether because I didn’t have an ideal floor?
I didn’t stop dancing, but I did adjust how I danced, opting for shorter sessions to limit the strain on my knees. Even before the pandemic, I experimented with how to make the best use of my limited space and less-than-ideal flooring at home. I dedicated a chapter to the issue in The Solo Practice Guide for Ballroom Dancing because I knew I wasn’t the only one trying to figure out how to practice dances like Waltz or Tango that MOVE in a galley kitchen (the only place with smooth flooring in my apartment).
Since moving to Maine, I’ve been drawn to dance outside more. Certainly not going to find that ideal smooth surface outside! The ground isn’t flat and the driveway is stone, not paved. Do you think that stops me?
Coming back around to the conclusion of my thoughts on the best flooring for a home dance studio, when it comes to something like dance that brings us such great joy, the surface we’re dancing on doesn’t really matter. It can impact us in the long-term, for sure, as my knees can attest. But if you hear a favorite song and your body starts to vibrate with that desire to move, you’re not going to pause the song until you can find that ideal dance floor. You’re just going to dance!
Let me know in the comments where you danced this week. 🙂
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