Last month, Selena Gomez came close to canceling a show thanks to an annoying summer flu—but ended up nailing both the performance and making it to the after party! Selena gave her fans a heads up on Snapchat, telling them she was under the weather and may not be able to pull off her Brisbane, Australia performance. More than a performance, it was also her friend’s 24th birthday and in the end Selena rallied (and of course looked fabulous doing it). She posted an Instagram video of her salsa dancing with the caption, “When my babies take me salsa dancing, even when they told me not to because I’m sick, I don’t care.”
Although she doesn’t look ill in the video or from photos of that night, celebrities have strategies for looking the part. Massive hydration, mild painkillers, some caffeine jolts and sheer adrenaline can help anyone power through a night of performing and partying. However, for the average salsa dancer, dancing while ill isn’t a very good move.
Is One Night Worth It?
It’s unclear who Selena’s partner is in the video, or whether or not he knew she was ill (however, since she’s Selena Gomez, he probably would have happily signed on to get her cooties!). Contagious illnesses can easily spread while salsa dancing, infecting your partners as well as anyone they may come into contact with. Dancing while ill is more dangerous and likely to spread than going to work or school when you’re under the weather. Plus, it’s very likely that you won’t be informing every single dance partner throughout the night so they don’t get a choice in the matter.
Plus, dancing while ill can often exacerbate and even lengthen the amount of time you’re ill. It’s not worth the risk for many, especially since you already have a compromised immune system. Being ill makes you more vulnerable to other illnesses, and there’s no telling what might be lurking on the dance floor. It’s also common to imbibe while at salsa clubs, and dehydration can make symptoms of illnesses even worse. Also, who wants to add a hangover to the already trying symptoms of an illness?
When You Should Rally
If it’s “just” a night at the salsa club or your routine salsa class, it’s best to skip it when you’re feeling ill. It’s a double whammy: You might infect others and you’ll probably make your own illness worse. However, if you’re gearing up for a big performance like Selena (okay, probably not that big) and your dance partner agrees, you might be able to dance with adequate rest and hydration. However, this will be one outing where you’ll be in and out in record time. Try to avoid waiting and watching other performers because that will further stress your immune system.
If you do decide to dance, it’s protocol to “warn” all dance partners and regularly wash and sanitize your hands. However, once you’ve warned potential dance partners, it’s their call whether to dance with you or not. You’ll find a mixed variety of responses, and it’s your responsibility to have a thick skin. Dancing, especially salsa, involves close contact. You don’t want to modify your dancing—if you’re very concerned about spreading an illness, just stay home.
When You Should Skip It
You (probably) know if you’re up for dancing or not. If a doctor recommends that you rest, if you know you’re contagious, or if you feel like dancing will make the symptoms last longer, sit this one out. There are also options at home to modify your dancing. For example, you can check out some salsa competition videos, try some shorter video tutorials that don’t require a partner (and allow you total control over length) or simply pop in one of your favorite salsa-centric movies. Modifying your dancing, reading about the history of the dance, or finding a different and unique way to engage in the world of dance won’t just help you recuperate, but will also improve your dance in other ways.
Of course, if you’re Selena Gomez and getting paid millions to perform, that’s another story.