The majority of dance floors I encounter are too slippery. This can be for a number of different reasons, dust, shining the surface etc. Since it is impossible to change the floor, adjustments can be made to one's dancing and the shoes one wears. I always use proper ballroom dancing shoes whatever the surface. Do you have any tips concerning shoes that will cope better with slippery floors?
Some say that brushing the sole is important. I am fortunate with the studio I dance: the floor is very good and so I brush my shoes like in every 3 month.
Competitors frequently use water, but I do not recommend that it is bad for the sole and the effect lasts for 30 seconds or so.
What worked for me on slippery floor is to concentrate on the inside edge of my ball of feet. Putting more weight there helped me with balance on slippery floors.
And finally I had the chance to ask Luca Baricchi about this!! He said that a kind of medical substance or oil can be applied to the soles if it is really bad, if I remember correctly it was something used against bad stomach... Unfortunately I had no pen with me to take a note.
I find that the floor is only slippery if I'm dancing with my pro...so I would tend to vote with improving technique !
I have been having the opposite problem lately, as I've done some demos for people in non-dance venues. Right now all I have are suede soled dance shoes; do any of you find you need leather soles for tile floors (does this work better on carpet too)? Or does it not really matter?
Castor oil is probably what you're thinking of, it works wonders on the sole of your shoes. Another good alternative is water - soak a paper towel, place it on the ground (not the dancefloor) and step on it, getting the water on your soles.
My old coach in the UK would recommend taking two pairs with you - one pre-treated for slippery surfaces, another untreated. Most ballrooms take pouring liquids onto their floors in a very dim light; I know judges who frown on it. At one comp I attended, Bill Irvine took the microphone and publicly castigated a couple who were walking oil onto the floor....
I have found that sole brushing (assuming you have ballroom shows) is effective on clean surfaces. However, If the surface is dirty, the improvement is only short-term.
One thing that has not been discussed yet in this thread is technique. I have found that as my dancing ability improved, I have fewer problems with slippery surfaces. I attribute this to being able to get over my feet on each step, improving my sense of balance and allowing me to dance 'into the floor' as well as across the floor. This gives me more control under a variety of conditions. This is especially important with more advanced patterns.
I feel that working to improve your dance technique is a better long-term solution to slippery conditions, but you should still clean your soles.
We have danced for several years and absolutely hate any form of additives to a dancing surface, ie; dance wax, dusting,oils,powders,or even corn meal. If we do encounter this "stuff" we generally sand or brush our dance shoes often enough that is makes a diference. Some times we intentionally dance through the "stuff" and move to an outer part of the facility to carpet where we scrape off the material then continue only missing a measure or two. Do it enough and get your friends to do it and the "stuff" quickly vanishes and good SAFE dancing can continue. Alternatively, hide the materials from the applicatee.