Dancing in the summer is hot, hot, hot – and there’s not much you can do to avoid that! But when you’re craving your dancing fix, then you need all the tips and tricks you can get to keep you on the dancefloor. Not only is it more comfortable for you, but it is better for the other dancers around you, and you’re more likely to get asked for more dances throughout the night if you’re smelling fresh.
Start out fresh
This should go without saying, because as Tim likes to say, dancing is a contact sport. Before you leave home, always, always, always have a shower, and use deodorant. If you like a little spritz of perfume or aftershave, so much the better. You aren’t going to be able to avoid getting sweaty on the dancefloor, but clean, fresh sweat doesn’t smell bad – it is when it sits on the skin that it gets whiffy.
Choose your clothes carefully
You’re going to get hot, so you need to find what is going to be the most comfortable. If you’re comfortable wearing something in the sun on a hot day (bikinis and bare chests are the exception!) then you’re likely to be comfortable on the dancefloor wearing it too. Amongst the fabrics that work best are loose cotton, linen, stretchy sweat wicking fabrics, and football shirt material. Gym leggings, shorts, and skirts are all great choices, as are loose shirts, and vest tops.
Ladies, make sure you check your outfit before you head out – you need to be sure you’re not going to accidentally reveal a bit more than you intended. Cycling shorts are a good plan under those dresses that flare out, and sports bras under looser tops will make sure you’re completely covered, and comfortable.
Check your dance bag essentials
You’ll almost certainly be bringing a bag with you to carry your bits and bobs – and in the summer, this is even more important! These are a few of the things you’re definitely going to need.
Water bottle or reusable cup
When you’re sweating, you need to replace those fluids, or else you’re going to feel grotty the next day. Get yourself a good water bottle or reusable cup – ideally one that is easily identifiable as yours – and make sure it is in your dancing bag every time you head out.
I’ve already mentioned putting deodorant on before you head out, but always carry a can with you too. You don’t want to be wondering if that whiff you just got could have been you! A quick spray partway through the evening will stop you worrying, and keep you in favour with other dancers.
Being able to mop up your sweat is simply good manners – there’s nothing to be ashamed of here! Nobody wants to get dripped on mid-dance (even if it is an inevitable risk of dancing in the summer heat!) and so you should do a quick towel off between dances when you need to.
Guys, this is mostly for you – but ladies, if it is really hot, you might want to do this too! Bring at least one clean shirt with you, and make sure you change when you get sweaty. During the evening, head to the loo for a quick towel off, splash of water on the face, maybe a baby wipe where you need it, some more deodorant, and a clean shirt. It will leave you feeling much better, and your dance partners will appreciate that you aren’t sweaty!
Personal, handheld fans are a really good idea, even if the fans are just moving hot air around – it makes you feel better. It is up to you whether you prefer a traditional handheld fan, or you want a rechargeable electric fan, but you’ll definitely be glad of it on those summer nights.
Gum or mints
You’re dancing close with your partner, and even if you didn’t have garlic and onions for your dinner, your breath can get less than fresh when you’re exercising – and dancing is exercise, after all! Most of us carry either gum or mints in our bags for that exact reason.
Other cooling products
These ones are up to you – but I’ve found they can be really helpful on a hot evening! Combined with a fan, cooling mist sprays (or just a spray bottle with water) can help you feel that bit more comfortable on a hot night.
I’ve bought ‘ice towels’ that are made from a fabric that is similar to a football shirt. You wet them with cold water, then shake them, and they go really cold – perfect for your face, the back of your neck, wherever. When they warm up, as long as they are still damp, shake them again, and the cold is back! These were a game changer for me – you just have to remember to put your used one in the wash at the end of the night so it doesn’t go smelly in your bag.
If you’re doing it right, you absolutely cannot avoid getting sweaty on the dancefloor during the summer months – and most of us get sweaty during the cooler months too! But you should always take steps to make sure that you’re fresh and smelling sweet. Most dancers are quite forgiving, but you definitely don’t want to be known as someone who is smelly. Following these steps will keep you looking, feeling, and smelling good through the summer and into the autumn. We dance on...