Tips for Sticky Floors

#1
I wear suede soles and occasionally I'll turn up at one of the regular venues and the floor will be horribly sticky. Not just a bit but you know where you can hear and feel your foot peeling off the floor each time you try and lift it and there is a really thick black layer of black gunk on the shoes :(

I find it hard to enjoy my dancing so any tips to improve matters please?

ps Whilst it can be a nuisance at either style, it bothers me more at the cross-body eve because of the spins etc
 
#3
Shoe brush I have but when it is that bad brushing pretty pointless cos back within one dance.

I really like my suede soled shoes so do leather soled suffer less in this situation?

Talc? All I remember once about this is a girl sprinkling the floor with it and the promotor going crazy about his insurance and cleaning it up :)
 

MacMoto

Administrator
Staff member
#4
Talc? All I remember once about this is a girl sprinkling the floor with it and the promotor going crazy about his insurance and cleaning it up :)
You don't sprinkle talc all over the floor (which is dangerous) - you put a small amount somewhere away from the dancing action (e.g., near a wall/pillar, a corner of dancefloor near seating area) and step on it so the talc is on your soles.

Re. leather soled shoes, this thread may be useful:
http://www.salsaforums.com/showthread.php?t=1926
 
#5
Very fine sand, the kind that is used for sand volleyball (NOT the kind that is used for construction) is just as good as talc but not as visible. Most people won't notice it except that the floor in the treated area is NOT sticky. And its free if you can find a sand volleyball court to scoop up a small cup. Fine silica is also very good but it is white and easy to spot.

Add: if you want to recover your shoes you could try a drop of silicone oil, careful though, they will slide at twice the speed.
 
#6
Okay thank you I may try some talc to personally recover these evenings.

I have felt something sand like on the floor at one of the venues sometimes. Occasionally if I have hit a patch with extra it can feel a little slippy but once I know it is there I just concentrate and it is preferable to sticking.

I saw one girl some time ago putting some tape on the bottom of her shoes - any idea what type of tape it is and if advisable?
 
#7
Brushing your shoes makes them grippier, not slippier. I do it when the floor is slicker than I like.

Talc works well but leaves a mess for someone else to clean up.

If this is a frequent problem for you I'd recommend buying a pair of leather-soled shoes. They'll spin on any surface - carpet, concrete, sticky dance floor, you name it. I don't like mine for good floors (too fast) but they're great for rough or sticky ones.

But actual physical sticky black stuff on the floor that leaves traces on your shoes? That I have never encountered and it sounds way out of bounds at what is supposed to be a dance venue. I'd complain to the manager.
 

MacMoto

Administrator
Staff member
#8
Brushing your shoes makes them grippier, not slippier. I do it when the floor is slicker than I like.
It can work both ways - when the floor's gunky, removing the gunk on your shoes by brushing gives you temporary relief.

But actual physical sticky black stuff on the floor that leaves traces on your shoes? That I have never encountered
I used to get that regularly back in the days when Havana was my main Glasgow venue. The floor at the club was fine at the start of the night (quite slippy actually), but spilled drinks (people had to cross the dancefloor to get from the bar to the seating area) mixed in with cigarette ash, human hair and all sorts of other stuff would form this tar like gunk which would stick to the bottom of your shoes, and I used to spend every Sunday scraping the stuff off my shoes.

Talc helps, but if the floor's gunky, you'll still end up with a mess on your shoe. Leather soles should be easier to clean.
 
#9
Thanks MacMoto you know exactly what I am talking about. It's like it occasionally from when I arrive and think it reflects the type of night the bar has had the eve before ie spilled drinks and then the shoes become like a magnet for cleaning their floor.

Looks like finding a pair of leather soles for this situation is the answer then but such a wretched nuisance carrying another pair of shoes around so was hoping for a quick fix.
 
#10
Talc

Talc is a pain if the floor isn't actually sticky - there's a guy round here who uses it on his shoes, and if you dance where he's been dancing you'll suddenly find a slippery spot. Not good.
 
#11
I do a lot of street dancing, where the surface does not allow any sort of safe spinning. I spoke with a chiropractor at the Canada Salsa Congress who noted his practice spikes after Salsa on Saint Clair - a street festival in Toronto. They actually ran a workshop on salsa injuries and how to prevent them. Anyway, his clients make the mistake of studio dancing on the street and just torquing the heck of their knees while forcing through pencil and paddle style spins.

If the club floor is that sticky, learn to walk through your turns. Your knees will love you for it. Fiddling around with the floor --- sand, talc, silica, are abrasives -- may get you kicked out and banned. Fiddling with shoes meant for a ballroom dance floor or a studio floor is a dead end. Adapt your technique to the condition.

My partner can do double turns, throwouts and roll-ins on the street, as she learned how to step through, not spin (pencil or paddle) through the turns. Good luck and have fun.
 
#13
Anyway, his clients make the mistake of studio dancing on the street and just torquing the heck of their knees while forcing through pencil and paddle style spins.
I did think it will be natural not to do this on a street ! People actually try to spin or paddle? You could if you really really good, but it is hard on your knees. I know some who can do doubles and triples wearing sneakers on a normal indoor floor (I can manage to do it too at times), but I tell you it is hard on the knees and not worth it. You might not realize it in the heat of the moment but after a few years you could have permanent knee problems.

If the club floor is that sticky, learn to walk through your turns. Your knees will love you for it. Adapt your technique to the condition.

My partner can do double turns, throwouts and roll-ins on the street, as she learned how to step through, not spin (pencil or paddle) through the turns. Good luck and have fun.
Ditto ! Couldn't agree more !!
 
#14
Gosh, I wouldn't do it on cobblestones or anything, but I don't think spins on asphalt/concrete are *that* hard on the knees if you only do them once in a while? They might feel a little forced if you're wearing rubber soles also, but many smooth-soled shoes spin just fine on the street. We did plenty of spinning at a couple of outdoor festivals this summer and my knees didn't feel strained at all.
 
#15
...If the club floor is that sticky, learn to walk through your turns. Your knees will love you for it. Fiddling around with the floor --- sand, talc, silica, are abrasives -- may get you kicked out and banned. Fiddling with shoes meant for a ballroom dance floor or a studio floor is a dead end. Adapt your technique to the condition.
WOW!!! Common sense!!
 
#16
Bump. I am competing on a stage that is made for ballet dancers so it is a rubber floor that makes it hard for multiple spins. What can you suggest to do for my shoes to make them more slippery. It is suede bottom and I cannot change them now as I use them for competition which are regularly on wooden floors.

Thanks for any help or advice.
 
#17
Bump. I am competing on a stage that is made for ballet dancers so it is a rubber floor that makes it hard for multiple spins. What can you suggest to do for my shoes to make them more slippery. It is suede bottom and I cannot change them now as I use them for competition which are regularly on wooden floors.

Thanks for any help or advice.
How do the ballet dancers spin on it ?
 
#18
I wear suede soles and occasionally I'll turn up at one of the regular venues and the floor will be horribly sticky. Not just a bit but you know where you can hear and feel your foot peeling off the floor each time you try and lift it and there is a really thick black layer of black gunk on the shoes :(

I find it hard to enjoy my dancing so any tips to improve matters please?

ps Whilst it can be a nuisance at either style, it bothers me more at the cross-body eve because of the spins etc
There's a venue like that where I used to dance and I stopped going there because I literally cannot spin there in my suede bottomed shoes. The floors are wooden with virtually no veneer on them not to mention people are always spilling drinks on the dance floor. Also a lot of black soot that makes my shoes look horrible. I tried getting around it but after noticing a vast improvement to my dancing on slippery floors, I am not going back to that old venue for a good time to come. Until I learn to walk my way through fast spins, I will go to venues where the floors are slippery and clean.
 
#20
if you want to recover your shoes you could try a drop of silicone oil, careful though, they will slide at twice the speed.
In desperate situations, I've found this works extremely well. I use a few drops of a silicone-based massage oil, and it's like magic. (The club I go to always has spilled drinks on the floor...) But as he said, make sure to be prepared for the added slickness!
 

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