Dancing stinks!
December 30, 2009 12:44 PM   Subscribe

We have a small dance hall space and it starts smelling bad because certain people who come don't wear deodorant, but we can't necessarily tell them to. The dance hall burns incense, but many people are allergic to the incense, like me. Apart from opening the door, which we can't do because people sneak in, what would be a good way to get rid of the smell during the event?
posted by ph00dz to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (17 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Air purifiers with charcoal filters?
posted by Solomon at 12:50 PM on December 30, 2009

What's your budget? A slew of air cleaners would do it. They even made my uncle's small apartment bearable to be in despite his heavy smoking.
posted by small_ruminant at 12:50 PM on December 30, 2009

Mount a two or three box fans (one blowing in and one blowing out) on a couple of boards such that the fans, with maybe a couple braces, act as a door to block people from sneaking in. The assembly can be secured in the door frame with spreader clamps or pick up truck cargo bars.

If that'll be to noisy then a simple screen door in the door way again secured with spreader clamps or cargo bars would be venting and silent.
posted by Mitheral at 1:06 PM on December 30, 2009

Response by poster: Budget is very small... how much does a charcoal filter with an air purifier cost? The place is around 600 square feet...
posted by ph00dz at 1:07 PM on December 30, 2009

You can absolutely ask people to wear deodorant. It doesn't have to be personally, but you could put up a deodorant/perfume corollary (the more the better/the less the better) in the bathrooms.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:16 PM on December 30, 2009

Our swing dance club has made a point of asking people use deodorant.
posted by bonobothegreat at 1:34 PM on December 30, 2009

Nthing roomthreeseventeen, you can definitely make a deodorant rule. LAN parties do this all the time and the larger ones supply a few free-floating sticks when they hear complaints. Granted this is all noted in agreements participants sign. IANAL, but perhaps that's all you need.
posted by june made him a gemini at 1:44 PM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]

You could have a soap-suds gun and fire it into the club.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:26 PM on December 30, 2009

Fabreze, extra strength for pet odors, actually does remove odor and not just mask it. Too bad they discontinued the unscented version, but it does work. To be used afterwards, with the box fan or other ventilation during.
posted by StickyCarpet at 2:59 PM on December 30, 2009

It is not unusual for dance events/classes to include general guidelines which include asking people to comply with minimum personal hygiene standards which include using deodorant....
posted by koahiatamadl at 4:42 PM on December 30, 2009

LAN parties do this all the time and the larger ones supply a few free-floating sticks when they hear complaints.

on the list of things i would not do is using deodorant that other people at a LAN party had already used. ew.ew.ew.
posted by nadawi at 7:30 PM on December 30, 2009 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: bonobothegreat - That's kind of what's going on here, from what I gather. I should say -- I posted this for a friend, so I can get whatever details tomorrow... but yeah, this is for a small, swing dancing type space. How did your club bring that up with people?

I'm not sure a fan in the door would work, given the intense heat of the AZ summers. Presumably, that's when this is the worst...
posted by ph00dz at 8:20 PM on December 30, 2009

If I remember correctly, it was printed in one of the handouts for listings of the upcoming events. Then word of mouth kept it going. I seem to remember a few people complaining about sensitivity to deodorant and perfumes but that didn't seem to last long. We kind of lapsed not long after that, so I can't really speaks to it's long term effectiveness. I suspect the policy might have been aimed at raising awareness of just a few particularly stinky people.
posted by bonobothegreat at 8:45 PM on December 30, 2009

Can you get an unscented spray deodorant and bottle of Febreeze or something similar, and just leave them in the washroom laid out or labelled in a way that suggests they're for public use?
posted by pseudostrabismus at 9:52 PM on December 30, 2009

but yeah, this is for a small, swing dancing type space. How did your club bring that up with people?

here's already expectations and conventions of behavior in swing dancing, most of them based on some sense of genteel behavior. (Don't harass people who don't want to dance with you. and on the flip side, assume dance invitations are in good faith and not come-ons, etc.) Word it slightly verbosely and put it in old-timey font on the flyer. Seriously. People will giggle but they'll get the hint.

You can read a whole bunch of old AskMe threads with assertions from people that they don't need/want deodorant to see why people need a specific reminder for an event.
posted by desuetude at 6:32 AM on December 31, 2009

The Finns, among others, discovered this problem when they banned smoking in clubs. Clubs in countries where smoking bans have been introduced have tried various approaches to de-stinkifying the dance floor, but I remember reading about one (can't find source) that introduced essential oils like rosemary and eucalyptus into the ventilation system.

Approaching the problem from the other end, here in the UK, where aerosols are more commonly used than sticks or roll-ons, my gym stocks communal cans of spray deodorant in the women's changing room. Product-sharing ickiness problem solved.
posted by stuck on an island at 6:49 AM on December 31, 2009

Desuetude is right. Cute-ish poster with guidelines for a successful dance. Post in bathrooms.
1. Deodorant Helps.
2. If you think #1 doesn't apply to you, your dance partners will assure you that it does.
posted by theora55 at 7:01 AM on December 31, 2009 [1 favorite]

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