9.3 On Personal Hygiene, Dehydration And Contagion

If you’re going to spend so much time and energy learning to dance with other people, it doesn’t make any sense to neglect your personal hygiene. Things like breath odor, body odor, cleanliness of clothing, hands, fingernails, etc.

Drink a lot of water and dance like a camel. If you drink a lot of water before you go dancing, you may prolong your need to replenish your liquids. They say if you get thirsty, it is too late – you’re dehydrated. I’ve shared this with a few friends, who have tried it and found it to be a success.

We’re taught to cover our mouths when we sneeze, and usually we cover them with our hands, and if we’re social dancing we’ll then be joining those same hands with countless other people. Just something to be conscious of, now that flu season is upon us. After catching pneumonia at Wild Week 2 years ago, I’ve become much more careful at dance camps and weekends – particularly swing events where people sweat and exercise more – about washing hands frequently and not touching my own mucous membranes (mouth, eyes) in the interim.