Here is the final piece of the salsa etiquette guide and with hygiene as a topic below it is an important one. Please be aware of hygiene both in the classroom and on the dance floor!
• Who should you dance with?
It is always best to dance with as many dancers are possible with a variety of levels and skills. If you are a beginner dancing with other beginners may be more comfortable. However, also consider asking those who are more experienced then you to dance which will offer you a good opportunity to follow a more complicated lead if you are a follower or experience a smoother follower if you are a leader. Remember that everyone was a beginner once so don’t be intimidated by others. If you are more experienced please be gracious and dance with beginners if asked as we all had someone help us learn and we need to keep this circle continuous and give back to the salsa community.
You do not want to be the male or female who others do not want to dance with because of hygiene. Knowing that salsa is a close body contact type of sport where you touch others in a hot, sweaty environment, please be considerate and adhere to the following guidelines. Fresh breath is a must. Bring breath mints or gum to any dancing event. Anti-perspirant and/or deodorant are also a must. For excessive sweating, try Drysol. It can be bought at any Shopper’s Drug Mart and really works in controlling sweat. Some people bring a change of shirts if they know they are going to perspire a lot. Others use talc powder for damp palms. Some bring small towels or handkerchiefs/bandanas Take breaks often and keep yourself hydrated. Avoid heavy cologne, perfumes or oils as they can get musty in that environment and others may be allergic.
Following these tips will allow the salsa experience to remain a positive one for everyone involved. Remember that good manners, respect for others and awareness of the environment you are in will go a long way. Take the time to get to know your dance partners as it is a wonderful networking and social opportunity. But most of all, listen to the music, feel the energy of the crowd and enjoy the dance