College Planning & Management

FEB 2013

College Planning & Management is the information resource for professionals serving the college and university market. Covering facilities, security, technology and business.

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PHOTO COURTESY OF KSU UNIVERSITY COMMUNICATIONS AND MARKETING A SPRING IN THEIR STEPS MAY I HAVE THIS DANCE? Selecting the right flooring for a dance and performance space — such as this one at Kent State University in Ohio — takes time and research because the floor will be serving your program for years to come. You should plan to visit other studios and see what their floors are, and talk with those facilities' owners about their choice. The right floor is a safety issue as well as a facilities and educational one for your institution. FLOOR ING Tips for Performing Arts Programs Some tips for college and university educators starting the process of acquiring new flooring for their performing arts programs: • "Contact your colleagues and try your best to visit other studios to see what their floors are like," says Kent State's Andrea Shearer. • Talk with customers at other institutions about their experiences. • Determine if the floor is to be loose-laid and therefore portable, or permanent. Will the floor be used for touring? • Remember that having the right flooring for dance is a safety issue in addition to an educational one. • Ask about cleaning and maintenance of the floor. Are only certain products allowed, and are there products that must be avoided? • Do your research. After all, as Dr. Elizabeth Gibbons at East Stroudsburg University points out, whatever choice you make, your floor will likely be a crucial part of your program for many years to come. CPM 28 Whatever the eventual choice, a performance floor is a major investment that may be with an institution for a long time. According to Harlequin Floors, "there are no differences in products for K–12, for colleges, or for large dance companies, for that matter." That being said, the key, the supplier says, is "protecting all dancers of all levels and ages from injuries, providing surfaces to enhance dance." The most important part of a sprung floor? "What's beneath it," says supplier Ed O'Mara. "That's what protects dancers from injuries." He's referring to that cushioning effect, which can be achieved in various ways. Those ways include neoprene pads or foam rubber. COLLEGE PLANNING & MANAGEMENT / FEBRUARY 2013 Another way to think about it: using a hard surface instead of a resilient floor for dance is like jogging barefoot instead of in a running shoe. As for performance surfaces, Marley — it's a very common term for a discontinued brand of vinyl flooring, like saying "Xeroxing" instead of copying — and systems with woods or laminates vary in their manufacture, cost, aesthetics, portability, maintenance requirements, and traction or slickness. One size definitely doesn't fit all, either figuratively or literally. Instead, the dance is in the details. At least in terms of the floor. Back at Kent State, a reorganization had moved Shearer's department into Kent State's School of Theatre and Dance and, when a donation came through, facilities for performance were created and renovated on campus, including those three dance studios. In terms of the flooring, it took some planning, for sure. "The major considerations, which WWW.PLANNING 4EDUCATION.COM

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