Do dance floor force reduction and static stiffness represent dynamic floor stiffness during dance landings?
Faculty of Education and Arts
Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA)
Dance training on floors that are not 'sprung' are assumed to have direct implications for injury. Standards for dance floor manufacture in Europe and North America quantify floor force reduction by measuring the impact forces of drop masses. In addition, many studies of human mechanical adaptations to varied surfaces, have quantified test surfaces using measures of static stiffness. It is unclear whether these methods for the measurement of floor mechanical properties actually reflect dancer requirements or floor behaviour under dancer loading. The aim of this study was to compare the force reduction, static stiffness and dynamic stiffness of a range of dance floors. Dynamic stiffness was measured during dancers performing drop landings. Force reduction highly correlated (p= 0.086) with floors of moderate dynamic stiffness, but was less accurate for high and low stiffness floors. Static stiffness underestimated the dynamic stiffness of the floors. Measurement of floor force reduction using European sports surface standards may provide an accurate representation of dynamic floor stiffness when under load from dancers performing drop landings. The discrepancy between static and dynamic stiffness may be explained by the inertial characteristics of the floor and the rapid loading of the floors during dancer landings. The development of portable systems for measuring floor behaviour under human loads using modern motion capture technologies may be beneficial for improving the quantification of dance floor mechanical properties.