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Hacking Your Dance Lessons, Part Three

In part one, I gave you a taste of how a few simple tricks could transform your dance practice. In part two we took it further, covering everything from preventing foot blisters to making homemade icepacks out of wet sponges.

But this time, we’re taking it to the stage. This time, I’m covering the secrets you need to be better prepared, better looking, and better able to perform your heart out to cheering fans. THIS time, it’s personal.

Welcome to #DanceHacks 3: The Final Act.

Smooth the curls

Full disclosure: I was the kid who cut off their curls when mom wasn’t looking. Anyone else? Anyone?

For those looking for a less drastic solution, wet or wash your hair, then dry it with a T-shirt (towels can over-dry your hair, causing frizz). Rub in some leave-in conditioner if you want the shiny look, then comb your hair while it’s still wet and pull it back in a tight bun. Use a blow dryer to speed up the drying process.

Build some traction

You’re killing it in the studio, but what if you get stuck with a slippery performance stage? Here are a few things you can use to increase your sticking power.

  1. Spray your dance soles with hairspray.
  2. Apply Castrol oil to your dance soles.
  3. Scuff your shoes on rough concrete to break up the surface a bit. DON’T do this for ballroom or Latin shoes!

What if the practice floor is sticky? Use socks like I mentioned here. 

Sock transport

Speaking of socks, they’re also great for transporting shoes. Use one sock per shoe to keep them from rubbing against each other and damaging the finish. Oh, and if they have rhinestones, stick them in a satin nightcap (the fabric will keep it from getting caught on the stones, and you can sleep in it while preserving your hairdo!)

Carry an “oh sh*t!” kit

Life has a way of throwing curve balls on performance way – take a few key items to be ready for any (most) situation:

  1. Band aids and disinfectant
  2. Bobby pins and elastic bands
  3. An ice pack in a ziplock bag (see part two for details)
  4. Dental floss and sewing needles (that’s right – you can sew tears with dental floss!)
  5. Hair and makeup products
  6. Breath mints
  7. Phone charger (you know it’s going to die when you need it most)
  8. Trail mix
  9. Water with some lemon juice for electrolytes
  10. Tennis ball and electric heating pad to roll out angry muscles
  11. Cold hard cash for anything you may have missed

Moisturizing wipes

Remove that post-performance makeup like a pro – dap some petroleum jelly or coconut oil on a tissue or your finger, and wipe away. The moisturizing oil helps break down the makeup for easy removal, and leaves you with soft skin too 😉

Water: The static remover

I love this one. Is your costume sticking to itself, or attracting dust and fluff? Remove that static electricity by simply wetting your hands and brushing the costume off. You don’t need enough water to actually get the costume wet. Dryer sheets work great for this as well.

Cold finish

The problem with having your nails done is you become nearly useless until the paint has dried. Speed up the process by dipping them in ice water – it only takes a few seconds! Good ‘ol magical hairspray also works for this, but hold it about a foot away when you spray.

About the Author

Ian Crewe has been dancing ballroom for over 18 years, and has a Licentiate in American smooth and rhythm. His passion for dance eventually led him to blogging and the World Wide Web. Ian currently teaches at the Joy of Dance Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada.

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