Salsa Dance & Body Hygiene

The following are some of my opinions. You can disregard it? Agree with it? It is really up to you since I am still very much a newbie in dancing salsa.

In class: I feel that the below is especially true for salsa classes, on the salsa dance floor or on occasions where you will be in close contact with a partner. As long as there is some form of physical or body contact with a partner, please try to take note.

Human beings sweat, sooner or later. Some of them have stronger odours than others. If the room is poorly ventilated and stuffy, there will be many poor things in the room. If people stood 10 metres away from each other, there would be no problem at all. However, in partner dances, the two people can only be a few inches apart. What happens? One of your sensory organs takes the blow. It starts with ‘n’. Yes, the nose. Poor nose, it can be a horrific experience if it had to inhale not-so-nice smells.

My personal experience is that it is really uncomfortable when the partner I am dancing with sweats a lot. I really stop breathing sometimes if the person I dance with really makes my nose suffer. It is either that or I would breathe through my mouth. It is really quite bad. I sincerely implore those who sweat a lot to:

  • Bring an extra shirt or even a few to change into if you are those who sweat a lot.

  • Bring a towel and use it to sort of dry the sweat.

  • Use deodorants (those that are not pungent). Otherwise, it would be worse. Please do not wear perfume or those substances with very strong smells. The strong smell of the substance and your sweat would just fuse and omigosh! You can imagine it. Haha.

I can’t think of any more points to add for now. Maybe you can when you delve deep into your experiences with dancing so far.

Here is another one of my personal experience: Sometimes, I feel like I am flying when I dance with certain people. There was once when I danced with this really tall Caucasian (I still remember that it was during my 2nd intermediate salsa class) and I got flung around because he used too much force during cross body lead. Otherwise, in my limited social dance experience, I feel that my hand is being yanked too hard by some other leads. It could be when the lead wants me to turn, do hammer lock and so on. It hurts, but it should not be the case. In my humble opinion, dance is to be enjoyed. It ought not to be a tormenting experience.

Sadly though, I do not really tell the leads what bugs me always. I only voice them out only if they are friends. It’s like if you only started salsa not too long ago and you want to tell strangers they do not dance well? I know some people do that, those who are frank and straightforward. But, that I am not.

- Kyla Ng (GRACE),  16 Sep 07'

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