Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Avoid New Partners When Soaked

I get lots of private e-mails and I just had to write about this issue on behalf of my female partners. It's similar to bad breath or body odor. Nobody wants to let you know, so I'll take one for the team.

You'd think this is obvious, but guys pay attention: When you're totally soaked from some great dances, that's not the best time to ask a new partner to dance. Find someone you already know who doesn't care or take a break.

If it's a first dance and you are not already a known superstar or elite dancer in your pond, most women are not thrilled when they figure out you're all wet. It just isn't your finest first impression. If you do dance with a new partner and you're soaked, avoid close holds or putting her hand on your shoulder until after you've established you're an amazing dancer. Sometimes that softens the reality, but often it's not enough for a new partner.

It does change a little as you build a positive history with a partner. After a set of fun dances with a partner, fewer care that you're all wet.

The opposite applies to the ladies who are new to the scene. They are often not ready for the reality of dancing in hot weather or a club without enough air conditioning (read: almost all of them). Many are very uncomfortable when you're all wet.

Sometimes I see someone I've known a while and said, "I'm all wet" just before the normal "salsa hug" greeting and some hug anyway, even after I warn them off. If a dancer has been in the scene a few years, they are much less likely to get bothered. They've seen it before and sometimes it simply goes with the territory on hot nights.

It's much less of an issue if you're in a club where everybody is soaked, because it's the dead of the summer and/or the AC can't keep up. Look around, and if you're way beyond those around you, find a previous partner and/or sit one out every so often. It never hurts to bring extra shirts and change every hour or two if you know it's one of those warmer nights.

One of my favorite clubs requires men to have shirts with collars. On those nights I wear golf shirts made from materials designed for playing sports in the hot sun. (I like the Nike Dri-Fit , but there are plenty of others.) The fabric is designed to dry faster, and some of them look pretty classy.

I go to athletic stores and look in the golf, tennis and training sections for shirts designed for outdoor, sunny events. By design, those shirts dry quicker and they feel dryer even when damp. Some are not as salsa stylish, but I'm a guy and being partner friendly is more important to me than being fashion forward.

The overall rule is: Dance with known partners, experienced dancers and/or take breaks when your soaked. Avoid the beginners and those new to the scene, as it's a total turn-off for many women when you're soaked and they don't know you.

Ladies: As a rule, most guys don't care as much and many are turned on by your hair being a little damp (or more). Few will mention this out loud, but it often reminds them of more intimate moments in their life. Guys are just not that picky overall.

Ladies might avoid backless attire on extra warm nights, but again, most guys get over it if you're wearing something that makes you feel great. Your confidence and smile are more important to most and when you feel great about your outfit, it positively impacts your attitude and attracts more guys.
The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits.
--Sam Carbin

1 comment:

  1. Well said and very funny too. Sadly most of the guys still don't realize this issue. Perhaps a 10 minutes of introduction to social dancing etiquette should be taught at the beginner class. Oh, please also don't forget to mention that smokers should wash their hands before they touch their partners. Thanks.


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Don Baarns - Unlikely Salsero