Do you find it hard to maintain your graceful appearance as the night progresses? Are you worried that the garlic bread you had for dinner is repelling more than just Vampires? Do you feel like you are standing in a pool of sweat after an hour or two of dancing? Moreover, do your partners look like they just had a shower with their clothes on after dancing with you?

Your Salsa survival guide has arrived!

If paranoia is affecting your ability to dance and enjoy your night, here are a few pointers that could help!

1. Let us start with Makeup Ladies!
Forget the layers of heavy foundation and trying to squeeze your makeup case into your handbag! Being hot and sweaty, it will not be long before the face you spent hours creating will melt along with the lighted candles at the club. The reality is we are all in the dark anyway! Leave the heavy foundation at home. Your skin will love you for letting it breathe. Highlight your best features: Your eyes & lips. Bring only the essentials for the odd touch up:

  • Concealer
  • Lipstick
  • Lip Gloss
  • Two tones of eye shadow
  • Eyeliner (if you're really desperate)

2. Hair
Remember - whichever hairstyle you choose, be prepared to maintain it! The more elaborate the hairstyle the harder it will be to keep neat. For guy's it's much easier - Fudge is the all-purpose heavy duty hair product. It keeps the hair slicked back or spiky, as required.

3. Dealing with oops…. body odour!
Let's face it, no matter how much antiperspirant we use, we will still perspire. Moreover, our favourite perfume will slowly fade away, bringing our natural aromas to life! So here's the trick…
If you have body lotion scented with your perfume, use it after your shower, paying special attention to essential spots (like the underarm area and neck). When you start to perspire, the perfume released from the skin creates an aura of scent that permeates your clothes keeping you smelling fresh as a daisy for longer.

4. Do the flowers shrivel when you stop to smell the roses…and breathe?
Short of carrying a toothbrush around with you, the only thing you can do when it comes to garlic or bad breath is to carry some mint flavoured chewing gum in your pocket. The disadvantage of chewing is that you end up looking like a cow chewing cud. The alternative is to carry mint lollies to suck on… "Zones" are great!

5. Do you look like a drowned Cat?
If your sweat is flooding the dance floor, it might be wise to bring a change of clothes! This is usually only a problem for the guys. So gents, don't let your problem go until your partner looks like she just entered a wet t-shirt competition after one dance with you! Just bring a couple of changes of shirts with you and your partners will be much more comfortable. It's also handy for men to carry a handkerchief in their pocket to avoid stinging eyes as sweat slowly meanders down their brow - and for avoiding that sweaty neck syndrome!

6. Nightclub wear
Do you get overheated easily, sweat profusely even after one dance? Do your clothes retain odor? Perhaps you're wearing the wrong fabric! Most synthetic fabrics don't breathe. This is a problem because we need air circulation around our skin to cool us down. Synthetic fabrics also tend to retain odour for the same reason. Avoid 100% polyesters and heavy wool fabrics, and try to wear loose fitted shirts. Try natural fabrics like light cotton and cotton blends. Open weave or knitted fabrics also allow more air circulation.

7. Are you dancing in the Sahara?
When we dance we perspire out a lot of fluid. So it is very important that we replenish our stores of water. Make plenty of drink stops throughout the evening. Water is best but soft drinks and juices also have sugar and some minerals, which can give you that extra zing to tackle that energetic Cuban dance track. Just remember, alcohol, coffee and even Coke (containing caffeine) dehydrates you. So be aware of what you are drinking! My personal favourite is the Fizzy Grapefruit drink.

8. Do your feet look like they have been through a war-zone?
Solid dance shoes support the heel and ankle. When you dance, your steps are more stable and hence your dancing, and your dance comfort improve. With the right shoes, you can try more of the fancier dips and spins without worrying about injuries. Leather or leather substitute soles are all important. Avoid gripping rubber soles.

Ladies, most strappy shoes do not provide the necessary support for Salsa Dancing. They fail to provide adequate heel and ankle support leading to twisted ankles. Also when people are stepped on…and they will be…injuries from heels can be much more severe.

These days you do not need to compromise style for a good dancing shoe, you just need to shop around and see what is available. If your not sure, ask an instructor for advice.

Happy feet = Happy Dancing for longer!

Looking good and dancing your heart out are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Just follow these tips for an enjoyable evening of Hot and Spicy Salsa while maintaining your cool and elegant exterior!

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