In life we occasionally push through obstacles we don’t enjoy to accomplish a higher, more important goal. As dancers, most of our hurdles have to do with the constant close interaction we have with each other, and include things like spit, sweat, and body odor. Let's be honest... the human body is naturally gross and smelly, and because I don’t want anyone feeling weighed down with germs while trying to be beautiful and heroic on the dance floor, here is my guide to partial relief.
Everyone deals with perspiration; not just as a dancer, but in our everyday lives. Some struggle with it more than others and that’s normal. If we didn’t sweat the end result would not look good for the human race. Luckily for us, there are ways to maintain this!
Handy Dandy Sweat Towel
Don’t be afraid to have a sweat towel with you on your lessons, in group classes, at parties, or at a dance event where you know you’ll be moving a lot. You would have one at the gym, so why not while dancing?
If you find your hands are wet and clammy feel free to wash them, or use hand sanitizer. Several stores offer a wide variety of great smelling sanitizers that will leave you smelling great and feeling refreshed.
Take time to splash some water in your face. Wait... what? Who does that in the ballroom world? ... We do! There’s nothing wrong with a little refresher. Go to the restroom, splash your face with water, and pat dry.
If you sweat a lot there is also the option of bringing extra clothes with you. There’s nothing wrong with changing outfits a few times during the night. Gives you an extra sense of mystery! Wearing lightweight clothing or athletic apparel to lessons and dance events will allow your skin to breath better. Moisture wicking clothing comes in all sorts of varieties now and doesn't even look like athletic apparel anymore. Remember, the heavier the clothing the sweatier you get!
“Rouge-Spit Wads” are the little run–a-ways that accidently escape our mouths and fly wherever they please, whenever they please. Some of us might not even be aware this happens! So what advice do I have for these little guys? Nothing... there’s no real protection against rouge-spit unless you choose to wear a facemask. Of course we would never force that look on anyone unless it truly appeals to you, and you really want to stand out on the dance floor! In all seriousness, you may not be able to protect yourself from rough-spit, but you can be aware of its existence and send heartfelt apologies if you’re ever the one accidently shooting spit.
Body odor and sweat go hand-in-hand because anything we do to control our sweat will obviously work toward decreasing crazy body odors.
Get yourself a high-strength antiperspirant and apply it as directed. Check those instructions as some deodorants say to apply it at night instead of after showering. Who knew?! This will help with any body odor issues and help you feel fresh and clean. Don't be afraid to use your sweat towel in emergency situations, too.
Bad Breath Solutions
Bring mints or chewing gum with you if you’re conscious about bad breath. Keeping a toothbrush and toothpaste in your shoe bag is never a bad idea either. Refrain from smoking, chewing tobacco, and eating foods like jalapenos, onions, and garlic before going out to dance. While you may enjoy these things, keep in mind not everyone does. These habits and foods tend to make your sweat and breath smell worse! Dancing tends to bring you inches away from your partner. We want to be sure it's a pleasant experience for all.
Body Spray Bliss
One other thing we can do to make ourselves smell better even while we’re sweating is to spray ourselves with our favorite body mist, perfume, or cologne. This will make the sweaty moments smell like our body spray. Trust me, I’ve actually done this before and it works!
Wrapping it up
There you have it, several ways to rise above the "Ballroom Nasties." Here are several pieces of advice to try, but if you’re still feeling a sense of defeat consider changing your mindset. View your ballroom nasties as evidence toward the hard work you’re putting into your dance dreams. Dancing is meant to tell a story, your story. And if you’re finding it hard to tell your story, change it. Allow your passions to drive you, not your obstacles.
Written by Rachel Bingham