Houston Ballet’s Center for Dance, located in Houston’s downtown Theater District, is the largest professional dance facility in the United States. The six-story, 115,000 square-foot building is home to the professional company, the training academy and features nine dance studios and a black box theater known as the Dance Lab. The nearby Wortham Theater Center is Houston Ballet’s home theater and the company’s primary performance venue.
In August 2017, Hurricane Harvey dropped unprecedented amounts of rainfall on the city of Houston. Over 40 inches of rain drenched the region causing substantial flooding in the Theater District area. The Center for Dance sustained significant water damage destroying the floors in both the Dance Lab and the “Little Brown” Studio. The Houston Ballet team soon discovered that their home theater, the Wortham Theater Center, also suffered damage. Over 15 feet of water in the basement rose all the way to the ceiling, leaving water on the stage level. The country’s fifth largest professional ballet company was left without rehearsal spaces and a performance venue for the upcoming season.
With the beginning of the 2017-2018 season just around the corner Houston Ballet was facing not just one but two crises post disaster. It was imperative to repair the dance studios and obtain a sprung floor for their new performance home as soon as possible.
Andrew Nielsen, Director of Production for Houston Ballet, turned to the experts at Harlequin Floors for assistance. Harlequin had supplied the professional dance floors for the Center for Dance and he was confident they would deliver a solution for both spaces within the required timeframe.
August 25 – Category 4 Hurricane Harvey hits Houston, Texas
August 30 – Water remained in the studios after the marley and sprung floors were ripped out
August 31 – Andrew Nielsen, Director of Production, contacts Harlequin Floors for assistance
September 8 – All damaged flooring removed and cement begins drying prior to installing new dance floors
September 15 – Harlequin Liberty LatchLocTM touring panels shipped to Houston
September 22 – Houston Ballet takes the stage at The Hobby Center on a Harlequin sprung floor
September 22 – Harlequin crews begin installing new sprung floors in Center of Dance studios
September 29 – Rehearsals resume in “Little Brown” and Dance Lab studios
November 27 – Specially customized Harlequin Liberty LatchLocTM panels shipped to Houston for The Nutcracker performances
December 12 – Houston Ballet opens The Nutcracker at the Smart Financial Center in Sugar Land, TX on a Harlequin sprung floor