How to help prevent the spread of germs when social dancing

social dance hygiene
Vintage health poster warning that “coughs and sneezes spread diseases”

Preventing the spread of disease is nothing new. Take this Ministry of Health poster from WWII – nobody wants to be near that guy in a queue.

The coronavirus is the big news story currently dominating the headlines. And when the news coverage of a disease outbreak is unrelenting, it’s easy to feel worried or scared.

It’s understandable to be concerned about the health of yourself and your family. And you might be thinking about some extra precautions you can take to stay healthy during this time.

Swing Dance MK cares very much about our lovely dance community. So, naturally, we want to help keep our dancers safe and healthy too. We will be taking appropriate action as and when required and will follow the advice issued by the Ministry of Health.

Good hygiene is normal for social dancers

Encouraging good hygiene among their dancers is normal for social dance communities, whether it’s at a class or a social event. So, you are as likely to catch a virus from a social dance as you are from going to work or school.

You can see this in action when our SDMK dancers proactively keep their germs to themselves by missing a class when they’re not well.

We can help prevent the spread of coronavirus in the same way as we help prevent the spread of any disease – good hand hygiene and a little consideration.

How to help prevent the spread of germs

Stopping the spread of a disease is a team effort. It’s about reducing your chances of catching a bug as well as not passing your germs onto the next person.

The steps we can take to help keep ourselves and our dance friends safe are simple:

Wash your hands

Hand washing is the best form of personal hygiene that can help prevent the spread of germs. But make sure you are doing it properly:

  1. Wet your hands first
  2. Add soap and wash for at least 20 seconds.
  3. Pay attention to between the fingers, knuckles, thumbs and backs of your hands as these are often missed.
  4. Dry your hands properly

Here is a video from the NHS showing you how to wash your hands properly.

Cough or sneeze into a tissue

Cough or sneeze into a tissue, throw the tissue away and then wash your hands. If you don’t have a tissue, don’t cough or sneeze into your hands: direct your cough or sneeze into the crook of your arm.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth

One of the fastest ways for a germ to get into you is through the eyes. Touching our faces can be a habit we’re not aware of so make a conscious effort not to do so. If you do, please wash your hands before you start dancing again.

If you’re ill, stay at home

This goes for work and school as well as dance classes. If you are poorly for whatever reason, you should take steps to limit spreading your illness to other people.

Having a sick day at home is a form of self-isolation. You’re not being a hero by going into work unwell and presenteeism just makes you a problem for your colleagues instead.

The NHS currently recommends anyone who feels unwell with a fever to contact 111 rather than visiting their GP surgery.

It’s business as usual for Swing Dance MK

There is no reason to change our daily activities. The simple steps above are good practice regardless of any current news stories. But:

  • We will be encouraging all dancers to wash their hands before, during and after the classes.
  • Hand sanitiser will be on our front desks to help reduce spreading germs.
  • Tissues (and a bin) will be provided at all events.
  • Please bring your own water bottle or cup to lessons. Water for refills will still be available.
  • Our refreshments will be limited to drinking water and individually wrapped biscuits/sweets.
  • If you do feel unwell, please stay at home.

So, unless we hear otherwise, all of our classes, workshops, socials and events will continue as normal. Thanks for your co-operation.

Happy and healthy dancing, everyone!


Written on behalf of Swing Dance MK by Nicola Hasted

Nicola Hasted is a freelance health writer and part-time swing dance teacher. Nicola works with pharmacies and healthcare business to produce accurate and helpful consumer health information.

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