Swing Analogies–Dance Floors are like Glaciers…
This is part of a new random series where we explore the world of dancing through weird analogies– something us teachers are always on the lookout for, because if they are correct analogies, they help strengthen understanding of a concept and are easy for students to remember. It also happens to be a way to do a post in a short amount of time for those weeks when I’m working in exotic locations or am in jail (also possibly in exotic locations).
A workshop dance floor is like a glacier
Today’s analogy isn’t about Lindy Hop specifically. It’s just interesting, probably useless information. It comes from Dave Moldover of Dance Jams Productions, one of the biggest and most trusted companies for event dance floors (they did Frankie’s 95th giant dance floor, and ILHC, for instance.) We rented a floor from Dance Jam for the Balboa Experiment and talked to him about dance floors.
You might have been at an event, and noticed that the floor, well, shifted. A giant, hundred foot dance floor can shift many feet on a carpet, and if it’s not paid attention to, it can run up against walls, and panels will even begin to buckle as it slowly but powerfully, glacier-like, runs into a wall. It can even bend chair legs and table legs without anyone noticing.
This is because of the carpet. When pressure is put on a carpet fiber, the fiber bends down, and then pushes back as pressure is released. Since the fibers are manufactured to go in a similar direction, the floor pushes that dance floor towards that direction. Lindy Hoppers and other street dances tend to move floors a lot, because we put so much pulse and weight into the ground.
In the venues that Dance Jam productions uses a lot, they know the drift and where to set-up the dance floor so that it ends up the weekend in the right spot.