Practicing on Slick Floors: Good or Bad?


Well-Known Member
It just feels all wrong if my foot slides in tango.
There is that. A really fast floor can make certain steps in tango awkward. I keep a pair of dance sneakers that I don't use very often, but if I'm practicing tango and having trouble with my feet sliding, I'll put them on.

Kind of OT but: Have any of you ever seen a flat floor? I used to work in a spacecraft processing facility that had one. Everything sits on top of air bearings. When you need to move it it, you plug in an air line, and then you can move a 10,000 lb. fixture by yourself. Although if you get it going, it's hard to stop... :eek:


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Staff member
I had my first really bad experience with a floor that was too slick at my last comp...usually the floors are fine for me...sometimes too tacky in humid areas of the country but a bit powder does the trick ...but at my last comp, the floor was so slick on smooth day that people were falling...and just about every time that I had to do any spinning or ronde's , I felt as though I was going to fall, it was horrible...and I have no idea was fine the next two days


Active Member
One of the studios where I practice is really slippery. Smooth isn't so bad most of the time, but latin you can barely stand. Although practicing there it is always a pleasant surprise at competitions when its not as slippery and I have really awesome balance.


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My studio's floor is very fast, and I notice the same thing as smidra - when I get to a comp, the sticky floors can be a bit of a relief, suddenly I am super-balanced.

Larinda McRaven

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Staff member
What do you guys think about the stuff that you sprinkle on your shoes to change the grippiness if the floor at a competition is too slick or sticky? Are they damaging to the shoes? If not, they seem like the perfect solution.
The powders you can use are ... ok I suppose. The problem tends to be that the powder isn't confined to just your shoes. Any baby powder / corn meal you dust on your shoes will end up all over the floor. Any rosin or tacky powder will transfer to the floor as well. These footprints you leave behind are DANGEROUS. Imagine the next poor soul who is dancing along, feeling a slow floor and dancing accordingly, who then steps right into your baby powder foot print which is unimaginably fast, and they end up flat on the floor on their backside. Or the person who tears their ACL because they tried to spin on a fast floor but hit your antiskid powder foot print.

Not cool.


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My observation is that when the floor is bad enough that those things are needed, everyone has to cooperate. Last weekend I had the experience of dancing on a floor that had been improperly stored and was so humid that it was downright sticky. In the morning, before the smooth session started, someone got some powder and we created two powder spots on the carpet at the edge of the floor. Then we took turns warming up and scrubbing the powder in. This continued throughout the first hour of the smooth session. In between heats we'd powder our shoes and work it in some more. Before a heat started, we all checked the floor around us for footprints and scrubbed in any that we saw. After an hour or so, the floor was acceptable and the powder wasn't needed any further.


Active Member
I would imagine practicing on all sorts of floors to be reasonable preparation, as you don't know what type of floor you'll end up with exactly. Although anything that is dangerous because of slickness, give it a miss. I echo the fact that tango on a fast floor seems harder than waltz for instance, the lost traction is hard to compensate for.


Well-Known Member
Fortunately (or not!) for me, I take lessons on a floor that is used for a multitude of events, so at any given time, it's slippery, sticky, or a combination of both. It's a pain in the butt for lessons, but perhaps it helps me prepare for whatever kind of floor I'm presented at a comp.

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