Allergies

Dear Tango Tia: I’ve danced tango several months and love it but am allergic to perfume so I don’t dance close with partners who are wearing a noticeable scent. If I can smell their cologne, hair spray, lotion, etc. I dance open. I’m afraid if I explain they will be offended and won’t dance with me again. But if I don’t say something, I have to back away in order to breathe. Should I tell them when there’s a problem or try to make it through one dance and say “Thank you. ” Not Sure What to Do

Dear Not Sure: A delicate dilemma, however, if your partners don’t know what is wrong, they won’t know what to fix and they deserve the opportunity to adjust. Also, you deserve to be able to let them know when you are uncomfortable. If someone is offended when you explain, that says more about them than about you. Considerate followers will make appropriate changes. If you say “Thank you” early without an explanation, your partner will feel rejected which will compound the problem. You could say something like: “I’m allergic to perfume so if I stop breathing, just take me to the nearest emergency room.” Or, maybe not. But, keep track of “safe” followers and keep Benadryl at the ready. It could make the difference between being able to continue dancing and having to take an, um, breather. (I’m giving myself a breather for not resisting that one.)