I had a couple of performances recently where the floor played a role in influencing what I could and could not do. Up until this point it’s either not been an issue as I’ve been improvising and so can adapt to the situation easily, or I’ve not done any moving floor-work in the routine or the floor has been fine for whatever I had planned. Recently, however, I was faced with two flooring situations that made my choreographed routine a little difficult to follow.

The first one, carpet – it wasn’t a huge deal for most of the performance – it wasn’t fluffy enough to give my feet friction burns from spinning. That said it did have enough friction to stop me being able to slide my legs smoothly back in a floor-work move I had planned. Oddly it had worked okay in my dress rehearsal so I wonder if I had caught the ‘grain’ of the carpet just right during the rehearsal. This experience did remind me to double-check the next venue I was performing at. Happily that had a lovely smooth floor for dancing on. Or so I thought…

The other one – the floor obviously wasn’t supposed to be damp, but that’s what happens when the performance area is in a mingling space (that was cleared for the performances) near the venue entrance and there is a heavy downpour that night… The staff did the best they could, so it wasn’t ‘wet’ just ‘damp’ when I danced. I had worn little black flat-soled shoes to get to the venue and they had nice rubber soles that meant I didn’t have to risk slipping with my bare feet on the damp floor. The bottom half of my outfit was black and floor length so it was okay costume-wise to wear the shoes. I ended up leaving out the main part of floor-work that I had planned as didn’t want to get my trousers wet and that worked out fine too.

Had I been improvising neither situation would have been any real trouble at all, but I’m going through a choreographing phase so it was a little bit awkward. That said all it meant was that I had to improvise a little bit, which was no major hassle. Keeps me sharp!