Specialist organisers of barn dance bands, ceilidh bands and folk/dance/concert groups throughout the UK

© 2018 Jigs 'n' Reels

Jigs 'n' Reels, 'Homeleigh', Claphill Lane, Rushwick, Worcester WR2 5TP

Call or Text brief enquiry to 0788 788 7917

Floor surfaces for ceilidhs or barn dances?

Without doubt, we would recommend sprung timber flooring as the best dancing surface, for any kind of dancing. Dancing (properly) is mainly on the balls of your feet. And the feet respond better to a hard surface which has just that bit of ‘give’ in it. But we are realistic enough to know that such floors are expensive to fit and are somewhat few and far between. But they are the ideal and far easier on the legs and muscles.

Next comes the solid timber floor – since timber, by its nature, has less ‘harshness’ against the feet than, say. concrete or hard stone/terrazzo type floors (they have absolutely no give whatsoever!).
Conversely, what may appear to be the ‘softer’ dance surfaces can become the most energy-sapping. Carpets and grass have no ‘bounce’ in them to speak of – your feet hit the deck but don’t bounce back like they would on timber. After a few dances on such surfaces, you might think twice about getting up for another dance – ‘cos it seems like hard tiring work.

Inside many marquees, coir matting (those sort of ‘coconut-hair’ type coverings) is laid out for receptions. As long as the grass/sub-base below is pretty level, this will work AS LONG AS the joints are well fixed down. Poor jointing will lead to hazards when ceilidh dancing. Let your marquee provider know beforehand that you intend holding a ceilidh or barn dance at your event.

Naturally, the worst case scenario is a very hard surface covered with rugs. Especially slippery rugs on slightly slippery surfaces. They are fatal – MOVE THEM/ROLL THEM UP/GET RID OF THEM! They are NEVER worth the risk of a dancer tripping/falling on a sliding surface!

You might also need to consider 'raised floors'. What's a raised floor? Well........some hotels, particularly, are very used to providing a 'confined' disco area.........meaning that they provide interlocking timber squares with slightly raised sloping edges surrounding the dance area. In barn dance or ceilidh terms, this is like asking folks to dance on a postage stamp and they are far from ideal! And, possibly, dangerous for guests wearing high-heeled shoes. If somebody stumbles on the sloping edge of these dance areas, there is a risk of sprained ankles or similar.... not a pleasant experience! Probably better that you decide to ditch this alternative if offered and stick with the level floor surface.......even if it is just carpet! Of course, some hotels might try to persuade you that these false floors are better to dance on than carpet....or are they, perhaps, thinking more about wear and tear on their carpet?

Beware also of dusty surfaces……like in a converted working barn! This might sound a bit daft when we are talking about barn dances! But, unless the floor surface has been really well cleaned prior to any dancing, dusty surfaces will result in too much dust flying around during the dancing – and anyone who suffers from asthma, for example, would be put off from joining in the dances. Excess dust makes throats dry (but the barman will be happy!) and some musicians will just refuse to play in such venues, fearful of the damage that excess dust may cause to PA equipment and some reed instruments like squeezeboxes!