Adapt To Your Dance Floor

Culture, Salsa Dancing

Not all dance floors are created equal. Some are great, while others are really bad. Our challenge is to adapt so we can enjoy our time on any floor as best as we can. Let’s look at some floor conditions and things we can do deal with whatever dance floor conditions we encounter.

Slippery Floor

Some ballroom floors are so clean or freshly waxed, that they are too slippery. This makes it hard to do certain moves or worse. You might slip and fall.

Slippery Solutions

Shoe Brush

When the floor is too slippery, use a wire shoe brush to clean the bottom of your dance shoes and fluff up the nap.


Another way to add friction is to sprinkle a little water on the floor and then step it in with each shoe and let the suede soles absorb the water. That will increase your traction and reduce slipping.

Tacky or Sticky Floor

Some venues don’t do a good job of keeping their floors clean. Others are clean but the soapy water they use leaves a sticky residue on the floor. The stickiness makes it hard to turn or spin and can result in twisting an ankle or even a fall.

Sticky Solution


A quick spot mop may help. If one is available, use just clear water.


When a mop solution won’t work, then consider sprinkling a little corn starch, talcum powder, or baby powder in a corner of the floor. Dancers can step into the powder. The light coating of baby powder on the bottom of the shoes will make it easier to slide, and turn as you dance. Be careful about this one in a ballroom. Some owners fear it may harm their floor. Others worry that it will make that they will have to clean up later. Some owners fear possible liability if someone slips and falls resulting in an injury. Get permission first or only put it on the bottom your shoes.

Use Your Backup

Wear your older dance shoes save your good Salsa shoes for a better floor. Or you can try your street shoes. Leather or plastic soles will be better than rubber.


Oops..Wrong Shoes

For whatever reason, you don’t have the right shoes for the floor. The rubber soles on your shoes are just sticking too much.

You Laugh But It Works

In a pinch, you can get some duct tape. Grey, red, cammo…doesn’t matter. Place a couple of overlapping pieces on the bottom of your shoe where the ball of you foot is. The smooth side will be towards the floor. This will let you slide along the floor as if you were wearing dance shoes… for a while at least. Don’t ask me how I know this trick.

Adjust Your Sails

The easy answer to dealing with poor floor conditions is to just stay home if you know the conditions in advance. However sometimes you don’t know. Other times, your favoriate DJ, friends, or whatever compel you to support an event with a floor that isn’t the greatest. In these cases, “we cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust our sails.” Read the environment and adapt to deal with it in the best way possible. Keeping your attitude positive will help you and those you influence to have a better experience no matter what dance floor conditions you face.

Talk Back Ear smallTalk Back: As always we hope you have a great time out dancing. If you have any tips that we missed or questions, then let us know.  Message us through our contact page.

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