Salsa and Latin Dancers, Don’t Forget the Mints!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Don Baarns

This last week I read a great article by Don Baarns, The Unlikely Salsero, regarding proper grooming habits for men that go out salsa dancing.  Indeed, I think he does a good job in the article by describing common problems with some men that go salsa dancing who fail to take care of simple things like cutting their nails, using deordorant, and even brushing their teeth!  

Aside from the most obvious things like mints and deodorant, I’ve seen many people in the salsa scene here in San Diego take an extra shirt (some people tend to sweat ALOT and women generally do not like to touch a sweaty back), a handkerchief (helps if you want to clean up in between dancers), and even talcum powder. Each person is different so the items you may bring will vary.  It’s true that sometimes you can get lucky and go to a place that has a bathroom attendant who can provide many of these items for a small fee, but it’s best not to rely on this.

In my own experience, I’ve found that its best to have prepared some basic items before going out to dance.  I never go out to dance without bringing a handkerchief, lip balm, and of course some sort of mints.  The best ones out there in my opinion are the Listerine sprays that fit nicely in your pocket.

Listerine Sprays

What things do you do to prepare for dancing?  What makes up your Salsa and Latin dance grooming routine? What are some of your dance “horror” stories regarding dancing hygiene?    Share your thoughts here with a comment.  

  1. Tom

    Mints are a must. For guys, you can get away putting some mints in your jacket if you bring one and it’s not in the cloak room, maybe even a mini sized antiperspirant. Proper preparation beforehand (clean clothes, washed teeth etc) including thinking about what to eat/drink beforehand goes a long way, so even if you do get hot/sweaty, it’s more neutral.

  2. J

    I try to wash my hands between partners. It gives me a chance to freshen up and also reduces my (or a future partner’s) chance of getting sick.

  3. Tom,

    Yeah I agree that some pre-planning on what you are going to eat beforehand goes a LONG way.

    John ;-)

  4. J,

    You make a good suggestion as well. Again simple things like washing hands is a good habit to maintain while dancing.

    Thanks for the comment.

    John ;-)

  5. Hi John,

    I’m one of the extra shirt people. In fact, I usually bring a couple of them. First time guys notice that I keep putting on fresh shirts they usually laugh and go on about a ‘fashion show’. Second time, they often bring spare shirts themselves :). Feedback from the ladies has only been positive up until now.

    Aside from that I too am a big fan of deodorant and mints and I try to keep my nails short at all time. Like Don though, I keep a nail file in my car in case one develops a nasty edge or has evaded attention and grown too long.

    On days like yesterday (9 hour bootcamp, 2 hours assisting at try out classes followed by 3 hours of dancing at a party) I bring an entire change of cloths and a some towels. With no time for a shower I’ll use the bathroom faucet to wash myself in between events.

    (Un?)Fortunately I don’t have too many crazy days like that :-)

John F. Bello

Meet John ;-)

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