Updated: Nov 11, 2022
How should a partner dancer get ready for a class or a party?
What are the most important things to do before social dancing?
Does an outfit have an impact on our dance experience?
Self-care, hygine and outfit decisions can have a big impact on our experience on the dance floor, and also in the likelihood of other people enjoying dancing with us!
So... make sure to:
1 - Take a good shower.
This is the beginning: be clean and fresh.
We know that it is not always possible to take a shower immediately before going to a class or a party, but make sure you took a shower at least in the past 12 hours. (and please remember to wash your hair properly, specially if you have long hair)
If you showered in the morning and didn't have the chance to take another shower before going to a class/party, you can at least wash your face/neck in the sink, change your shirt and/or use personal cleaning wipes (and be sure about the next item in this list: deodorant!).
2 - Use an effective deodorant.
This is key! When we dance, we sweat, it is natural. But if we don't use a good deodorant it will start to smell soon. Chose a deodorant that is effective on you and can last for the entire class/party.
3 - Add a pleasant scent (optional).
A nice perfume, cologne, or scented cream can be a pleasant surprise for your partner (I'm particularly obsessed with good fragrances). A nice smelling shampoo can fulfill a similar role for those who have long hairs.
But remember, a nice scent does not substitute a good shower and an effective deodorant. Most people are not pleased to smell a strong BO mixed with fragrances.
Also, be careful to not overspray your fragrance if it is a super strong and/or sweet one - it can get cloying and annoying. Summer style scents (citrus & aquatic) tend to be the safest ones (you can ask me for suggestions if you want).
4 - Clean your mouth.
Good mouth hygiene is also very important. It is as important as a good shower and deodorant. Brush your teeth, clean your tongue, and use dental floss.
5 - Hidrate and eat something not too heavy.
Good hydration is not just good for your health, but also helps to minimize bad breath.
6 - Have a mint handy (to refresh your breath mid party/class).
This is a good backup. Even with good mouth hygiene, after exercise and hours without eating, our breath tends to not be so fresh, so a mint can be of help. I usually bring mints to my students during group classes, and I usually have one or two myself during parties.
7 - Wear comfortable clothes that allow you to move well.
Avoid clothes that will block your movements or make you worried about how to move.
8 - Wear clean clothes.
Be aware: smells can also come from your clothes, even if you are clean. Don't ruin your fresh smell out from the shower and your lovely fragrance by using clothes that are not smelling so fresh.
Be sure your clothes are clean. And I mean: NOT previously worn clothes - it should be the first (and only) time you are using these clothes since last time you did your laundry. Also be careful with jackets, hats, and scarfs - we tend to not wash these so often, and they can also be a source of not so good smells.
9 - Wear comfortable shoes that allow you to dance all night.
Non-griping shoes are key for you to protect your knees and ankles (and be able to spin well). Avoid hard shoes and/or high heels.
10 - Strip away any hard/sharp items that may stay between you and your partner.
Don't wear any item that can hurt and/or get in the way. Avoid keeping objects on your front pockets, avoid big belts, big necklaces, bracelets, or similar items that may scratch someone.
11 - Put yourself in a good state of mind - you will be dancing forró soon!
About the author
Rafael Piccolotto de Lima is an experienced music and dance instructor. He is passionate about arts, a doctor of musical arts, and a Latin Grammy nominee as a composer. For him, all forms of expression are somehow related. Based on that premise, his interest and work have a wide spectrum: from a tail tux at a concert hall, to the dance shoes at a worn-out dance floor. Born in Campinas, São Paulo - Brazil, now he lives at the NYC area, teaches weekly forró classes in Manhattan and produces some of the best forró festivals in north-america.
YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/rafaelpdelima