Since I moved back to Europe I've had more opportunities to attend swing camps. These are just 10 items that I always bring to socials - sometimes for my own sake, sometimes for my partners', and some are just good things to have. Hope you find the suggestions helpful :)
～前十名～ Top 10 ～
A a swing camp attendees dance with other attendees from absolutely everywhere. This means a ton of germs. Whether during workshops or social dances I bring hand sanitizer and sanitize every once in a little while. Otherwise dancing all night and workshops all day, combined with travel fatigue from driving or flying - all this adds up to compromised immune system and a cold as soon as you get home. Or worse, a cold AT THE CAMP, so no one will dance with you (sob).
Mints or gum - anything that freshens your breath. Surely this is self-explanatory?
Handkerchiefs or a towel to wipe away your dancing sweat - good for you, your partner, and the environment. I sometimes see people using paper towels and then scrunch it up and throw it out. It's ugly and not environmentally friendly. Vintage hankies come in so many designs - pretty embroidered ones as well as masculine ones. You can put it your back pocket or put it in your breast pocket - it's decorative, stylish, and pragmatic. If you sweat a lot, nothing wrong with just using face towels.
If you have nice dancing shoes it's worth taking good care of them. Sweaty and warm leather shoes can warp and get mouldy if you don't let them air out. Shoe trees allow shoes to ventilate and keep their shape. The best are made of wood (naturally deodorizing), but when I travel I like to use metal or plastic ones as they are more light weight.
If you shove your feet into your shoes without a shoe horn every time, the back of your shoes won't last very long. A shoe horn fits in your palm and easily takes care of that problem. I've had my dancing shoes for 7 years and they are still serviceable, so I think it makes a difference.
Even if you don't need to change socks during a social, I find it nice to change into some non-sweaty socks after I take my dance shoes off. Nicer to go home in.
A little fan to fan yourself and your favourite leads/follows while you take a break. A good conversation starter and flirtation device too.
Anything can happen to pretty dresses on the dance floor. A handful of safety pins is the difference between a quick trip to the bathroom for a fixer-upper and spending the rest of the night sitting down because dancing means exposing yourself to everyone else due to the tear in the hem of your skirt (don't laugh, it's happened to me!).
Dinner at 7 and dancing till 3. Venue possibly out in the middle of nowhere with not a shop in sight. A bar of dark chocolate to treat yourself and your friends is always a win.
Venues probably have a bar, but they don't always have tea or coffee. I like to bring a thermos of tea for a pick me up half way through or at the end of a dance.
最後兩個給男生的 BONUS - Two Bonuses for the Guys
If you sweat a lot, bring a few extra shirts or t-shirts. Followers would be much less hesitant to put their arms on your shoulder. Some leads take 4-6 tops to a dance. It's better to change more often rather than put people off.
As above. Self-explanatory.
Feel free to share if you have your own must-bring items for social dancing :)