5 Hygiene Rules Every Adult Ballet Student Should Follow

It happens. With all that squatting, kicking, and jumping, we’re bound to get funky from time to time. Youths don’t always understand why they need to take care of themselves physically. You, however, should know better. Male or female, these five tips will help keep you fresh for class.

1. Wear deodorant.

After you have showered, you should always put on deodorant. Never, ever, put deodorant on an already dirty body. That would be like putting flowers on top of your garbage can and expecting it to smell like a spring meadow. You can’t mask offensive odors with fragrances. Find an antiperspirant that works well with your unique body chemistry, or consider making your own with baking soda, which acts as a neutralizer. Sometimes, finding what works best for you is a matter of trial and error. Nonetheless, if you take 10 seconds to slap deodorant on before class, your peers will thank you. Better yet, keep a stick in your dance bag.

2. Use feminine care.

Ladies, don’t panic! You can still dance while you’re on your period. There are many discreet products to accommodate your needs. You can try wearing a thin pantiliner, or tampon. If you’re concerned about odor, bathe before class, or consider using hypoallergenic wipes. Avoid douching or fragrant soaps which can be harsh. If you’re worried about leakage, use a product with greater absorbency and add an extra layer, like a skirt or shorts, to your dance clothes. To play it safe, always pack a stash of feminine care products in your dance bag.

3. Wash your leotard and tights after every class.

Always wash your dance clothes after every class. Sweat and dead skin become embedded in the fabric and create bacteria (yuck!) Same goes for your dance shoes. If you dance in them three of more times a week, throw them in the wash, or invest in a few more pairs. Regardless, you should always wear clean garments to class. Even if they don’t particularly smell, they shouldn’t have stains from your energy drink or egregious dirt marks from stretching on the floor. You want to do your best to look clean and presentable.

4. If possible, shower before class.

Sure, it’s not always possible. You may be taking an evening class after you get off work and not have time to shower. Unfortunately, we have a tendency to sweat or pick up odors from our surroundings (cooking, smoking etc). Giving yourself a squeaky clean start before class is ideal. However, if you can’t make it home for a spritz and you want to freshen up, you can use a washrag for your face or other areas. If nothing else, wear a clean change of clothes. Also, use mouthwash! It emits a fresh scent and covers up cigarette breath (if that’s true in your case).

5. Avoid perfume/cologne.

While the thought is appreciated, refrain from contributing your favorite fragrance. Think about it: if everyone wore perfume or cologne, can you imagine all the conflicting scents swirling around in an already stuffy room? This only creates a suffocating environment, even inducing headaches and nausea. Plus, if you’re already a mess, splashing this stuff on will only make matters worse. Soap, water, deodorant. Done.

Of course, you’re going to sweat and get worn out. You’re working hard! But personal upkeep will benefit everyone involved!

image credit: vk red
Creative Commons license Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)


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