Jazz Dance Flooring Buying Guide
Find the perfect floor for your studio with our jazz dance flooring buyer’s guide. For studios, schools, companies and more - a floor for everything from beginner to professional.
Sometimes it feels like jazz has become the forgotten stepchild in the dance world. In the 80s and 90s it was all jazz and ballet all day long, and modern was that weird “be a tree” dance that everyone thought was weird. But then, one day, along came contemporary - this new, cool hybrid of jazz, ballet and modern - and suddenly it seemed like people were starting to forget about jazz.
In reality, however, jazz is still one of the most common styles offered at any dance studio. Just about every studio around offers a jazz class. However, a lot of people are still confused about what type of floor they need.
Jazz is one of the few styles where dancers often alternate between wearing jazz shoes and dancing barefoot. This means you want a slightly faster floor with a little more slide than grip.
Most jazz studios and companies are using what we refer to as “marley” flooring. All that really means is a slip-control rolled vinyl dance flooring. And there are lots of options for types of marley flooring, depending on your studio or company’s needs.
As I mentioned, today’s “marley” isn’t really marley. You know how whenever you cook something in your slow cooker, you call it a crockpot? Marley, like Crockpot, is a brand name that got so popular, it became the generic term anyway.
True marley is no longer available anywhere, but the rolled vinyl we all know as marley is more readily available than ever! In fact, we have 7 different marley options to suit your specific needs.
That’s right - there used to be just one option for safe and attractive dance floors, but times, they are a changin’. Let’s take a look at your options.
Meet the go-to jazz dance flooring option. Our Adagio rolls are specifically designed to handle the energetic, explosive nature of jazz dance and support dancers in turns, leaps and more.
The Adagio roll is the most popular and versatile dance flooring option. In fact, if you have marley installed right now, I’d be willing to bet it’s the Adagio floor.
If you need a dance flooring option that you can use for ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary and more, the Adagio is where it’s at. Adagio dance flooring rolls are medium-fast, offering just enough slip resistance to keep you safe without getting in your way of hitting your turns.
Adagio Installation Options:
Just like our Adagio floor, but a little lighter, a little more portable. The key word here is “tour.”
These rolls are great for touring companies.
The thin, lightweight Adagio Tour rolls are still plenty durable to stand up to hours of jazz class.
They’re simply easier to move and even better for tap than the original Adagio rolls. If you have a shared space, they might be perfect for you.
However, if you’re planning on doing a permanent installation in a jazz-only studio, I’d recommend taking the step up to the regular Adagio rolls.
Adagio Tour Installation Options:
Dance Floor Rolls are most popular for ballet, but they are great for jazz, as well. They have just the right combination of slide and grip.
Our Dance Floor Rolls have the perfect resiliency to support dancers of all skill levels. They offer a medium-fast speed and the perfect amount of slide and grip to keep you safe in shoes and out.
These rolls, like the Adagio Tour, are designed to be portable and convenient for touring companies. However, you can absolutely install them semi-permanently in your studio, as well.
Our light and portable Dance Floor rolls are also great for ballet, contemporary, hip hop and more.
Dance Floor Installation Options:
This floor is a tough cookie. Arabesque marley rolls are heavy duty, strong and durable enough to hold up to the most intense dance company rehearsals.
These are the opposite of the Dance Floor rolls - they are thick, heavy and best for semi-permanent installations. This is not the floor you want to take on the road.
Also, this is a fast floor. Triple pirouettes and fouettes will come easy on this turn-friendly marley.
Arabesque rolls are great for professional jazz companies and studios. However, this bad boy is so durable it can handle tap, ballet and even things like Irish step and flamenco.
Arabesque Installation Options:
Performance Floor Dance Flooring Rolls
Do you plan on doing recitals and performances in your studio as well as classes? Then you might prefer the Performance Floor marley.
The Performance Floor isn’t ideal for tours - it’s more of a permanent deal because you want to keep it looking beautiful and performance-ready.
These rolls are tough and gorgeous, making them perfect for all types of dance, both in class and performances. They have a lot of grip to them, making them a medium-slow flooring option.
Performance Floor Installation Options:
The Studio Floor is for the space you know you can keep protected from through traffic, street shoes and hard-soled dance styles.
This marley roll looks great on stage or in a jazz studio. It has a good amount of grip, offering medium speed.
This baby is definitely more of an investment than our other marley options so we recommend using it for your performance space or studios that need to look top notch at all times.
Studio Floor Installation Options:
Rosco refers to this floor as their “Battleship Linoleum.” This bad boy is the toughest of the tough, built to stand up to the harsh beating of hard-soled shoes.
Now, let me tell you, this floor means business. It’s not a floor you take on the road and it’s not a floor you put in a shared space with ballet dancers. It is specifically designed for tap and hard-soled styles, but you can use it for jazz and contemporary as well in a shared space.
Although this floor is robust and sturdy, it is a surprisingly fast floor, making it perfect for nailing all your turns.
Roscoleum Installation Options:
Wood-Look Jazz Dance Flooring Rolls
If you’ve ever been to the fancy studios in NYC, chances are you’ve seen those marley rolls that somehow look like hardwood. How do they do that?!
It’s easier than you think! Those floors are nothing more than a traditional vinyl dance flooring roll with a wood look.
And good news! We have them!
Impact Rolls - Wood Series
These are the most beautiful, convincing and durable wood-look dance flooring rolls on the market. The Impact Rolls are thick and durable enough to hold up to everything from dance, to gym flooring and more.
Our impact rolls are like attaching a vinyl marley roll to a 5mm rubber underlayment. These can be especially helpful if you don’t have a sprung subfloor*. These rolls are also versatile enough for ballet and contemporary, as well.
Impact Rolls Installation Options:
*Note: These are not a replacement for a sprung subfloor. They are not nearly as shock absorbent. However, if you can’t do a sprung subfloor, they are better than a thinner vinyl marley on its own.
Eco Impact Rolls - Wood Series
Just like the Impact Rolls but with foam backing, which makes them a little more friendly for the wallet.
These are great through intermediate levels, but I wouldn’t recommend them for a professional ballet company. They don’t hold up to heavier weights as well and the weight of repeated jumps and lifts from adult professionals could start to affect the shock absorbency of the foam backing.
Impact Rolls Installation Options:
All you really need for your subfloor is a clean, flat, level surface.
That being said, we very strongly encourage you to think about a sprung floor subfloor or home dance subfloor. I know, I know, it’s an extra expense, but it is so worth it.
Whether you’re a studio, school or professional company, the last thing you want is injured dancers. And the best way to prevent injuries is to start with a dance subfloor.
The subfloor absorbs and distributes the dancer’s weight, which allows dancers to continue to jump, leap and roll with a lower risk of injury.
Jazz Dance Flooring Durability / Longevity
All of our marley rolls are specifically designed to hold up to years and years of dancing of all levels. In fact, most of them boast at least a 5-year warranty, with our wood-look options offering as many as 10 years.
These rolls are in it for the long haul.
Jazz Dance Flooring Installation
Each dance flooring roll is a little different and this also depends on whether you are doing a permanent, semi-permanent or temporary installation.
Traditionally, you can easily install marley dance rolls yourself by laying rolls flat and using vinyl tape over the seams. Of course, we always recommend checking the product specifications before installation.
Jazz Dance Flooring Maintenance
No matter how many signs you put up that say “No shoes in the dance studio,” you know people are gonna walk in with their shoes and track in outside dirt and grime all over your beautiful floor. I know, it is so frustrating!
The best way to combat how difficult it is to keep the outside dirt away is to choose a dance floor that is easy to take care of. You’re going to have to end up cleaning it regularly, so you don’t want a floor that requires a big song and dance (pun intended).
The good news is all of our marley jazz flooring options are super easy to clean and maintain.
They just require sweeping/vacuuming and a damp mop with a mild cleaning solution.
If you end up with scratches that really bug you, you can give it a more careful scrub. But, generally speaking, it’s really just as easy as taking care of any home floor. Just make sure to clean up spills right away and you’ll be good to go!