You guys, we have to talk. While ballroom dancers are really really really ridiculously good looking, we can smell like a high school boys’ locker room. In other words, not good.
While the regular person knows about good hygiene, then dancers should know about “hy-per-giene”, a super sense of hygiene that takes into account the very close proximity to other people, the possibility of being judged (both literally judged in relation to other people and figuratively judged in a sideline-talk way), and maintaining your own wellness.
Should you worry about smelling like a delicate flower mid-dance? NO.
Should you worry about knocking someone over when you have three hours until your next performance? Maybe.
Here’s some helpful hints for keeping the olfactory senses of your friends and neighbors and judges happy:
In Your Dance Bag
Throw a travel pack of baby wipes (for quick “showers”), deodorant, a towel, and something sprayable that smells good (use it often, but not TOO MUCH).
At Social Dance Events
Besides the possibly obvious advice to “put deodorant on and brush your teeth”, bringing a change of shirts or at least a towel is helpful. Ladies, it’s not a terrible idea to wear a shirt with sleeves if you’re above the range of “glowing” after a few spins around the floor (this coming from a lady who is dripping sweat after 10 minutes of dancing and who leads often).
At A Competition
Put deodorant on and brush your teeth.
Don’t get changed until you’re ready to dance. If your heat is in three hours, putting on your official dance ensemble is going to set off your stress hormones which will tire you out before you have to dance AND start a stressing-inducing domino effect with your teammates. Keep your costume unwrinkled and fresh by changing into it just before you hit the on-deck area and taking it off as soon as you can after awards. Got a couple hours off? Change out of your clothes! That snazzy warm-up jacket you bought isn’t just a status symbol, it’s there to keep your body covered when you want to peel off your sweaty Latin shirt.
Just between rounds? Guys, take off your Smooth/Standard jacket and throw it over a chair. Peel that Latin shirt off (and let it hang around your waist). Ladies, find a fan and stand in front of it. Head outside if it’s cooler. Pat yourself down with a towel.
After The Comp
Dear God, clean your costumes. You can only air out those babies so much. Dressmakers can and will refurbish your costume, drycleaners do all right for most dance clothes, and there’s always a tub of water and Woolite.
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