Talcum powder is a highly advantageous aide to enabling clothing to survive dancing. Athletic movement inside the often sealed and humid atmosphere of the ballroom leads to perspiration on the dancer’s outfit, which in turn results in that outfit acquiring an unpleasant odour.
Essentially, the microorganisms that inhabit our skin interact with our sweat to produce odours; this ecosystem transfers into the fabric of our garments and the leather of our shoes when worn. Further, those microorganisms will perpetually emit a smell if allowed to establish themselves in clothing or footwear. Washing the parts of our outfit made from cloth usually removes the bacteria that cause odour, however it’s not always convenient or practical to so, while cleaning leather is more complicated.
The offending microorganisms rely on moisture to exist. A convenient method for quickly drying cloth and leather is to powder it lightly with talc and to air it. Talc is a mineral composed of the elements magnesium, silicon, hydrogen and oxygen. The raw material is crushed and combined with scent to make the product commonly known as talcum powder. Talc is remarkable for its ability to absorb moisture.
Powdering shoes, knocking the soles together to distribute evenly the talc, and leaving them in a dry place will accelerate the departure of moisture. Ditto for belts and other leather accessories. The inside of a cloth cap or hat may similarly be treated, as may the collar and interior of a jacket. Following this routine after each evening of dancing will allow your outfit to retain its original olfactory character.
Evidently there is a point at which a thoroughly perspired-upon cloth cap should be washed or delicate clothing steam-cleaned. However, in a situation where time or amenities are not available, talcum powder will suffice in the interim. Leather is not able to be washed in this manner. Preventing dampness subsisting once the dancing is over is entirely more effective than attempting to clean the leather after microorganisms have already installed themselves in your shoes.