It's gotta be the Shoes!

If you've never partner danced (or taken ballet) you might not think twice about how shoes play a factor in dancing, I didn't!  In my first lesson, and for two months after that, I wore rubber-soled "Doc Martin-styled" boots before the difference was pointed out to me.  Rubber soles on a hardwood floor are great for basketball because it grips, but when dancing you want to be and feel smooth.

The thought of a $50-$100 financial investment for shoes, just for dancing, sounds crazy especially when you first start dancing.  Dress shoes with leather soles are smooth and will work, but they don't offer interior cushioning to make 3-4 hours of dancing sound pleasurable.

Then I was introduced to the wonders of Duct Tape.  Duct Tape on the bottoms of an old pair of tennis shoes (sneakers) creates perfect, and more importantly, very affordable dance shoes.  Tennis shoes provide great cushioning and the tape gives the shoes the perfect amount of slickness. 

Another inexpensive choice that some experienced dancers opt for is applying chrome suede to the soles of comfortable shoes.  You can purchase chrome suede from your local cobbler and glue it to the bottom of a comfortable pair of shoes.  I own two pair of dance shoes — one chromed and the other duct-taped!

If you don't want to go the "home-made" route, I have friends who swear by their Aris Allen's.  Bottom line: Comfort should be the first consideration and then price.

Sweatin' to the Oldies.

Dancing generates body heat — winter or summer.  If inspired I try to dance to almost every song during a night of dancing, but man do I sweat!  Since I prefer to shy away from giving potential partners reasons not to dance with me, I avoid wearing cotton.  While cotton's cool because it breaths, it also retains moisture — and it shows.

During the winter I easily go through 2-3 shirts in a night, and come summer I know to take at least five (5) shirts!  Bowling shirts are a fashionable option or shirts made with a wicking material — like runner's shirts.

I don't have a much concern over the type of pants I wear.  I tried shorts in the summer, but they just don't look "right" when dancing, so I often wear jeans or Khaki pants.

Follows should should take heed of this information too.  Although I've noticed that I don't sweat as much when I'm following and haven't noticed similar perspiration "problem" with the partners I've had.