Some of us work up a real sweat

Now I have a bit of a reputation on the dance floor, and it has got me in to trouble in the past.  You see I soon work up a sweat.  It’s easily done, when you want to dance to every track, and really give everything to those hi-energy song.  Sadly ladies don’t want to dance with a man wearing a wet shirt.  Embarrassingly for me, I was told so on several occasions during my early days at freestyles.  I can even remember a lady walking off half way through a dance.

I soon learned a lesson

I’m not the kind of guy who needs too many prompts before I get the message, and so I quickly realised I would have to take a towel and some extra shirts.  It still wasn’t enough.  The thing was, I wanted to look smart on the dance floor, and I’d fallen in love with a style of long sleeved Jeff Banks patterned shirts.

I knew that these cotton shirts were still going to get wet, so I would take along several.  It seemed to make no difference how many I took, because I was still had a problem.  I’ll dare to tell you this story.  In my early days, one of my favourite venues was The Pirate Jive freestyles held at The Willington Power Station between Derby and Burton upon Trent.

I’m saved by the warm air drier

My first shirt would lasted about an hour, but with my body temperature up, the second lasted barely fifteen minutes.  I’d only brought two spares, so I was going to run out very quickly.  I tried sitting out a few dances, but it didn’t really help.  The only thing that would have worked was to have a cold shower!

As the second spare shirt inevitably developed a large wet patch across my back I went to the toilet some what forlornly.  In desperation I took my shirt off and dried it under the hot air hand drier.  It took an age and I would have to stop occasionally, to give men, who had just washed their hands, a chance to dry them.

I spent a lot of time in the toilet that night drying my shirts, but I was still constantly worried that it couldn’t have been nice to dance with a man giving off a whiff of dried sweat!  Something had to change, or my dance journey was going to have to come to an end.

And then a friend suggested . . .

It felt a bit like someone going to an AA meeting:

My name is Paul, and I’m sweaty

Well Paul, admitting to your problem in front of us all, is the first step to solving your problem.

Fortunately help was at hand, and I didn’t have to attend any self help groups.  A friend suggested I try Murphy’s Shirts.  These are shirts made from a fabric that helps keeps them dry.  This is some seven years ago, when these shirts were only available in a polo style, in two colours – Black or White.  I duly ordered two of each colour.

Thankfully the Murphy’s Shirts worked

Breathable Murphy’s Shirts are made from a special Supercool lightweight fabric, which is woven to create a series of slots to siphon moisture away from the body.

Thankfully the shirts worked and I became quite an advocate for them.  I’d be in the toilets, and there would always be someone changing their shirt.  The conversation would invariably turn to the number of shirts we had each brought along, and I would enthuse about the shirts that meant I now didn’t need so many changes.

Still in love with my Jeff Banks designer shirts I would always start of with one of them.  They would still only last the first hour, but even with my body temperature up the Murphy’s shirts would manage another hour each, so three of them would easily see me through the night.  No need for the hot air hand dryer any more, and no worries about smelling stale either.  A refresh of my deodorant and I was good to go.

I eventually switch to Callaway Golf shirts

At this time I was dancing four or even five times a week, and the Murphy’s shirts took a bit of a hammering, and started to look tired, and so several were replaced.   One day I was about to place another order for some Murphy’s, when a keen golfer I knew suggested I try Calaway golf shirts.

The fabric of the Callaway shirts had been developed to keep golfers cool during hot days.  I gave them a try, and while they were more expensive than the Murphy’s shirts, I became a big fan.

Sadly wearing Callaway Golf shirts didn’t improve my golf.  I’m still rubbish at it!

Let’s play the Shirt Guessing Game

The Calaway shirts were available in more colours and I soon had the full set – Blue, Red, White and Black.  I would still start an evening off with a smart designer shirt, but then switch to the Calaway ones, when this inevitably got wet.  Little did I realise that people were spotting the different colours and noting how many times I changed them.

I would often be asked how many shirts I’d brought and what number shirt I was on.  It seems that some of the ladies were playing a game.  Guessing how many shirts I would wear in a night, and see who was the closest.  I have long wanted to be known for my writing about the dance world.  Sadly I appear to be known more for the number of shirts I wear!

Let me be serious for a while

There is a reason for coming out and offering my self up for ridicule.  It seems the Sweaty Guy is a real problem, and when asked most ladies will tell you so.  Some are even prepared to name names, but here is not the place.

Recently I wrote an article giving advice to men about making the jump from class nights to freestyles.  The article gave tips like making your first freestyle a local one, and suggested ways that men might build up their confidence when it came to asking ladies for a dance.  The article had a surprisingly large take up and was read by many women too.

One day I opened up my blog dashboard to see a very supportive comment from a women, though it included this sentence:

Taking a shower and deodorant before you dress to come out, is equally important.

I know that in our defence we could cite the times we wished the ladies had used more deodorant, but they are hardly the villains here.  Remember it is social dancing, and that means we guys have a responsibility to do what ever we can to give the ladies a pleasant evening.  If that means remembering the deodorant and a few spare shirts then so be it.

Deodorant in the toilets is much appreciated

I’ve been to a few venues where deodorant is a made available in the toilets.  I can only presume it’s provided in the ladies too.  This is much appreciated and I would wish all venues would follow suit.  I remember going to one where the brand of deodorant on offer was Lynx the butt of many a joke.  I remember spraying it all over – better to smell like an adolescent, hopeful of equally young girls stripping down to their undies, than smelling like the boys changing rooms.

Would you test a Murphy’s Shirt please

I’ve been very happy with my Calaway golf shirts, and have often been asked if I was a golfer.  Sadly my golf career was some what short lived after I sliced a tee shot in the direction of the previous hole.  I’ve also recently tried the Under Armour Brand ones, and these have worked equally successfully, and so my equally happy relationship with Murphy’s shirts faded from my memory.

It was with interest then that I open up an email from Murphy himself asking me to test one of his shirts.  I did wonder how he knew of my overheating problem, but perhaps he’d read one of my reviews and sensed that any man that danced so enthusiastically, as DJs set the floor on fire, was bound to be in need of the right dance attire.

Murphy’s dance shirts are available in two styles and five colours

New Years Eve was the perfect testing ground

With the prospect of six hours of dancing, I decided that New Years Eve would give me just the opportunity to test a whole range of shirts.  As well as the Murphy’s shirt I could also test it against the Calaway golf shirts and two other normal shirts – a very smart long sleeved formal shirt and a designer short sleeved one.

Interestingly as I walked in with my dance bulging with the shirts I’d brought along,  I was asked how many spare ones I had.  I couldn’t help wondering if some of the ladies ladies were betting money on how many changes I would make!

The formal dress shirt does really well

Considering it was ordinary M&S cotton my formal long sleeved shirt did fairly well.  The Ceroc Heaven New Year’s Eve Party was a two room affair, and the second room was given over to Motown and Soul for the first two hours.  Being the Soul Boy, that I am, I had to dance to every track – no sitting out a dance to cool down for me.

The shirt lasted a surprising one hour and ten minutes, before my dance partner suggested I change it.  Sadly while I was away from the dance floor changing my shirt, DJ Mark played everybody’s favourite Northern Soul Track – Frank Wilson’s Do I love you (Indeed I do).  As I returned to the room the song was being faded out – that’s the price you pay for being sweaty!

The second one lasts just four songs

For the interests of science it should be remembered that my body temperature takes time to get to that point where it generates enough heat to cause sweating.  It was a cold night and my body temperature reflected that when I started dancing. I doubted the second normal cotton shirt, even though it had short sleeve, would last as long, as my body temperature was at now at a real high as I changed in to it.

Sadly the shirt lasted only four tracks, and I had no choice to miss another of my beloved Motown discs.  I was soon back on the dance floor, this time in a red Calaway golf shirt.  Would it last more than four tracks.  There were four tracks left in Marks Motown set including the finale of McFadden and Whiteheads ’70s disco anthem Ain’t no stopping us now.

Still in my Callaway shirt I moved on to the Main Room.  DJ Ashley had the place rockin’ and it wasn’t long before I joined in.  The Callaway shirt was doing well, and I could enjoy my dancing for quite a few more dances before my dance partner (who knew I was testing the shirts) suggested I change again.  The Callaway shirt had done really well.  It had lasted forty five minutes.  Now it was time for the Murphy’s shirt.

Can The Murphy’s handle The Bongo Song?

As I walked on to the dance floor in my pristine white Murphy’s shirt, DJ Mark started a run of tracks that I was never going to sit down to.  It started with Macy Gray’s Kissed it, a thumping track that I had to give my all to.  This was followed by an all time favourite Ace of Bass’ Always have, always will – I couldn’t sit this one out.

The great tracks kept coming and I was ready for a rest, but then I heard the introduction to Safri Duo’s Played alive (The Bongo Song).  This track is in my all time Top 5.  I remember hearing it when I was a beginner, and even then I was determined to learn enough moves, suited to it’s hi-energy rhythm, to be able to ‘Smash it’!  I remember the first time I truly danced to it.  It was the moment I visited Dance Heaven for the first time.

I was already hot.  Would the Murphy’s shirt cope?  The answer was yes, but two songs later my dance partner insisted I change my shirt again.  The Murphy’s had lasted only thirty seven minutes.

Let’s level the playing field

The Callaway shirt had out performed the Murphy’s one, which I was kind of disappointed about.  I’d expected it to beat the golf shirt.  I wondered if the Murphy had been at a disadvantage.  The later in to the evening the more my body temperature is up, and that last run of dance tracks had been truly full on.

It was time to level the playing field.  I’d change in to another Callaway shirt, and make sure I danced with the same energy output I had while wearing the Murphy’s.

Mustn’t confuse the ‘shirt change’ gamers

I had a choice of colours left in my bag.  Blue White and Black.  I couldn’t wear the white.  The Murphy’s was white, so those people playing the ‘How many shirts will Paul wear tonight’ game might get confused.  I chose the Blue, so they’d easily spot the change of shirt.

Now I went back on to the dance floor.  Fortunately in the interests of ‘The level playing field’ DJ Mark keep the tempo up.  Anyone wanting to dance to more chilled tracks could always walk across to the second room, where DJ Ash was now playing his well loved mix of contemporary chilled music.

Would the Blue Callaway shirt win it?

As I danced with the vigour of someone a lot younger, the clock was ticking on the Callaway shirt’s performance.  Would it match the performance of the earlier red one.  Some how I doubted it.  After the run of tracks that included The Bongo Song my body’s ability to generate sweat was at a peak.

As one full on tracked followed another the clock ticked towards the real target – the thirty seven minutes performance of The Murphy’s.  I caught a glance of the clock on the wall.  I was up to thirty four minutes.  This track would soon end and then one more track would see the Blue shirt win it for Callaway.

My dance partner calls time

As the track ended I couldn’t help wonder what track DJ Mark would play next.  He was yet to play one of his and my all time favourite – Edwin Starr’s H.A.P.P.Y. Radio.  What a track for The Callaway to claim victory.  As I listened for the new track to start my partner called time on the competition:

Your shirt’s quite damp on the back.  I think you should change it

Right at the end The Murphy’s had snatched it.  The Blue Callaway had managed just thirty six minutes – a guitar solo from victory.

Both Shirts prove their worth

I doubt when Murphy himself asked me to test his shirt, he was expecting it to be put to the test in such extreme circumstances.  I suspect he had even less idea that I would have so much fun with the whole process – but I had to try to make this article at least slightly entertaining.

You can see that a normal cotton shirt is just not suitable, if you want to stay on the dance floor for long periods, and dance will the energy that some tracks demand.  Remember my second short sleeved cotton shirt only lasted four tracks.  The Murphy’s shirts are without doubt more suited to a hot dance environment, but so are the Callaway golf shirts too.

The Callaway shirts are perhaps more stylish, and they come in a lot of colours and designs, but they are also more expensive.  I am more than happy to endorse the Murphy’s shirts, but I will continue to wear my Callaway and Under Armour golf shirts.

Please guys take several changes of shirt

One of the reasons I was happy to test The Murphy’s shirt, was because it gave me an opportunity to get over the message that we men must take the freshness of our clothes seriously.  Take a shower, use plenty of deodorant, pack a towel and a few changes of shirt, and the ladies will really appreciate  you for it.  It might be a little patronising of me to say it, but you might find you get asked to dance a little more.

The Official Result

It just leaves me with one more thing to do, and that is to give the official figure for the number of shirts I used in the night.  I know that there were a few people playing the ‘How many shirts will Paul get through’ game.  So here is the result.  Including the dress shirt I came in, I got through six shirts.  Not a record actually. I have been known to beat that figure at Southport.

There is one more thing to say to the ladies.  I suspect that the idea of dancing with this sweaty guy might not sound appealing, but I promise I’ll keep changing my shirt.


More information and how to order Murphy’s Dance Shirts