I dance 3 or 4 nights a week on the Willowbrook Ballroom dance floor.
It is a 6200 square foot bare maple floor constructed in the early
1920's. It has had dancers on it continuously since then dancing to
all the great swing bands of the 20's through 50's and continuing to
It is an amazing floor, it is mechanically sprung like no other floor
I have ever been on. It has a wonderful thump, smoothness and bounce
that is unheard of in these days of banquet halls where some dumb-ass
restaurant owner simply applies some prefinished flooring to concrete
and calls it a dance floor.
The Willowbrook floor is referenced in this wiki article about floor
construction, but is not detailed enough for my project:
My dream is to install this same kind of floor in a building I own. I
would love to see exactly how the Willowbrook is constructed, but that
wont be possible. I've danced on sprung floors over foam, and it is
simply terrrible, like landing on sand, there is cushion but no return
in energy, foam sucks. The Willowbrook floor is somehow sprung using
I will finish the with 1 inch T&G bare maple just like Willowbrook.
Of course over 90 years of dancers feet does more amazing things to
bare maple, which can never be replicated in ones lifetime.
Does anyone here have any knowledge on how the amazing dance floors of
early the 1920's were constructed? In terms of the under structure?
Possibly any old-timers who installed basketball courts in the 1950's,
might be similar?
If you have knowledge like this, please share this lost art in the
wiki article before you die.