This article was originally published on DanceMagazine.com
College is a time for dancers to challenge themselves, but students take the best risks when they’re assured a safe place to land. With five decades of experience, Harlequin Floors provides dancers with the support they need to leap higher, dig deeper, and defy their technical limits. With versatile studio and stage floors, dancers can focus on developing their artistry and making the transition from college student to professional performer.
We caught up with students, faculty, and staff from Arizona State University and the University of Utah—just two of numerous higher ed dance programs whose facilities are outfitted with industry-leading Harlequin floors. Read on to learn how their Harlequin floors provide the strong and stable foundation students need to build a sustainable dance career.
University of Utah School of Dance (Salt Lake City, UT)
“The University of Utah School of Dance chose to install Harlequin floors after a period of in-depth research many years ago, and doing so has only enhanced our overall student experience. The sprung flooring and marley have proven more than appropriate and safe for all styles of dance. From classical ballet technique and pointe work to sock and bare feet contemporary dance, Harlequin flooring continues to support the development of well-rounded artists.” —Maggie Wright Tesch, Professor (Lecturer)
“High quality dance flooring in our studios and on our stage is a priority for the safety of our dancers and a must for the level of dance training we offer. Harlequin professionals are the best in the business—partnering with us to offer consultation, assessment, and maintenance support.” —Melonie B. Murray, Director
“The Marriott Center for Dance’s Harlequin floors hold a special place in my heart. Spreading out in a big ‘X’ on marley floors is one of my favorite feelings in the world. The perfect blend of smooth and sticky provides just the right balance for a satisfying class with or without socks. The added cushion in the sprung floors truly makes a difference when I am dancing all day. The durability of these floors is incredible, and it is so special to know that so many generations of dance students have cherished these floors as much as I do. I am grateful that they have supported the longevity of my dancing throughout my undergraduate career.” —Allison Schuh, Modern Dance BFA, Class of 2023
“I care deeply about my students. Watching them work on Harlequin floors gives me peace of mind as an instructor. While dancing on tour as a professional, the quality of flooring can be dangerously unpredictable from theater to theater. These inconsistencies can be an ever-present source of stress for entire companies. However, when my students work on Harlequin floors, we can all work without fear, and what greater gift can we give our students than the confidence to practice freely every day in pursuit of their craft? That is the confidence that can make a true artist.” —Melissa Bobick, Assistant Professor
“I vividly remember how much fun I had jumping at my audition for the University of Utah School of Dance, with the sprung floor being a welcome contrast to years of a solid floor and a few stress fractures along the way. The sprung floors have been a reliable support over the years as both a student and teacher. I feel that I can safely challenge my students and also continue to demonstrate full-out in my ballet, pointe, and character dance classes.”—Justine Sheedy-Kramer, Adjunct Associate Professor
Arizona State University School of Music, Dance and Theatre (Tempe, AZ)
“It’s a smooth floor with a good feeling for turns. One of my favorite things about the floor is the ease you have lying down or falling into it. The transitions onto and out of the floor make freestyle and improvisation a breeze. Concepts can be more fully explored when the ground feels like a comfortable best friend. I’m always happy to have the opportunity to share space with other dancers on the Harlequin floor.”—Tom Bullard, third-year dance major
“The ASU dance program features coursework in hip hop, Afro-Latin, Caribbean dance, and authentic jazz dance, as well as in contemporary modern, contemporary ballet, and contact improvisation. We needed flooring that could handle this wide variety of styles, and we knew that Harlequin was the best choice.” —Keith Thompson, Dance Program Assistant Director and Associate Professor
“The subfloors and marley floors in our studios provide the students and faculty with the support and safety to ensure a long career and minimize the chance of injury. We have Harlequin Studio, Studio B, Standfast, and Fiesta floors installed, which are perfect for our industry leaders to teach their unique styles of movement.” —Carolyn Koch, Production Manager and Clinical Associate Professor
“Harlequin floors are a dream for all of our educational needs here at ASU. It was difficult to find flooring that would be secure and durable for all types of footwear. Harlequin floors are a welcome addition to our classes and performances at Arizona State University.” —Carley Conder, Clinical Assistant Professor