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Dance Etiquette - Looking Good, Smelling Good, Feeling Good - 050927

If you don't know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else. ~Yogi Berri

First let me say, let me know when I smell bad, okay.

Try to be a little understanding, before you say, "J'accuse!" The other day, I was dancing Argentine Tango with a tall woman who did not smell the best (understatement), and she left her BO on my shirt. Mortifying. The teacher was petite, and when she came over to me to dance, I had to warn her, that her face was going to be at the same spot as the other person's arm pit! I asked her to do a smell test, and she said I was fine. Whew.

If you are one of those people that are not worried about how you smell, you need to read this.

While we do have the most attractive group around, (you are a good-looking bunch), it never hurts to remind ourselves that we need to be nice and fresh when we dance with others.

In the tradition of our great Rabbis of the Talmud, every subject is open for discussion, even how we look and smell.

Some of you may know, I used to be quite the hoopster. One of the stratagems on the basketball floor is to stink up the place. That way no one wants to guard you.

A good way to accomplish this is to not shower before going to the court and to wear the same clothes you have been wearing all day. Then, when you start running around and sweating, you can really permeate the air with your musk, thereby overpowering your opponent. It also has the same effect on your teammates, who will stay far away from you, and give you plenty of room to operate.

While this is an effective technique on the basketball floor, it has the same effect on the dance floor - keeping everyone away from you - which are not the results you want, especially if you are dancing with a partner.

You should be worried about how you smell. If you are not worried about how you smell, you can bet, you probably smell bad. Take it from one who knows, winner of smelliest underarms in my college fraternity.

How do you know if you smell bad? There is a simple test. If you are human, you smell bad.

Do not take it personally. Only those people that worry and obsess over how they smell, do not smell bad. Be thankful you now know and freshen up.

There are a lot ways to smell bad. Here are some practical suggestions on smelling fine, looking fine and feeling good.

  1. Under arms - these can be pungent.

    Bacteria builds up during the day and are the major cause of under arm aroma. Best, if right before you step out, you take a shower and give those arm pits a good scrubbing. Rinsing alone will not do it. If you do not have time to shower, at a minimum, use a wash cloth, and scrub under your arms with soap and water.

    During the dance evening, do a self check, and if you are ripening, you will be surprised by, and your fellow dancers appreciative of, what a little scrubbing in the bathroom with a paper towel will accomplish.

    Under arm deodorant (I keep a bar in my dance bag) is a must when going dancing.

    Perfume or cologne will not cover a bad smell, only spread it around. Be careful, if you use any, only a dab; not too much because your perfume or cologne can end up on everyone there.

  2. Clothes - can smell too.

    If you have been wearing those clothes all day, change before you go out. You might think, like I do, that you are just going to get them sweaty, and why dirty more clothes. Bacteria builds up in your clothes, too. At the least, put on a fresh top. Everyone will appreciate your generosity.

    If you get your clothes sweaty during dancing, well we all do that, but if your sweat bleeds through, bring extra shirts and wear them. You will look better, smell better and feel better.

    Try not to wear the worst possible clothes you can find. You are not going to the gym or out for a jog. Dress like you are going out on a first date. Gym shorts and ratty T-shirts are not cool. Nice dress shorts and presentable T-shirts are the minimum for the men. Try a polo shirt with a collar, to look a bit nicer.

    For the women, thongs and halter tops are good. Just checking to see if anyone is reading this far. Far be it from me to tell women how to dress. If you do not know, check out the other ladies.

  3. Breath - should be minty sweet, like fresh rain (it is late).

    Stay away from onions the meal before you go out and other foods that are not so agreeable. Breath fresheners will not cover up your last meal. Stay away from garlic for the three days before your dancing. If you are a dancer, giving up garlic and onions are one of those sacrifices we have to make for our art.

    Treat yourself to treats. Have some fruit, or ice cream with whipped cream. You are going to burn off all those calories dancing, so enjoy yourself. Mints, gum, and the usual breath fresheners are helpful. Most people can not detect their own bad breath, so ask a friend. While they are at it, have them check for things stuck in your teeth.

    As for gases from the other end, hold it in, and save them for the bathroom, please.

  4. Smoking

    Many non-smokers are very sensitive to smoke. So, if you smoke try to keep the smoke out of your hair and clothes. Do not take your last puff one second, or even one minute, before you walk through the door of the dance studio. Breath some fresh air first. I do not know the tricks for de-smokifying, but you should find out what they are.

Hey, if you are Israeli dancing, you are part of one exceptionally attractive group of people. Let us keep the atmosphere enjoyable for all. Take care and pride in your appearance and fragrance.

By Andrew Weitzen 2/14/2006, first version 9/27/2005

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