Ten stupid things beginners do to mess up their contradance experience/Dressing Impractically
1. Dressing Impractically.
Contradance is a very active aerobic dance form. You will be moving more-or-less constantly for 10-20 minutes for each dance sequence, so you will get warm and, consequently, sweat. Clothing that is tight, restrictive or overly warm is likely to get uncomfortable very quickly. You will notice experienced dancers dressing in response to this – women in sun dresses or light skirts (that whirl up during circular figures), women and men in shorts, and men in kilts, utili-kilts and skirts (which also whirl up during circular figures). Bike shorts under skirts can be comfortable. There are lots of options that will leave you drier and more comfortable if you plan ahead a little bit.
Also, it's important that shoes be soft-soled and clean to protect the surface of the floor. Jazz-shoes, ghillies, ballet shoes and other kinds of dance-friendly shoes can be found in stores (especially those that cater to square-dancers) or on-line. Many dancers take comfortable, supportive shoes, like athletic shoes, and have them re-soled for dancing at a shoe repair shop: they can grind down the sole and put dance leather on the bottom. Others like to dance in bowling shoes. If you're going to be dancing very much, good dancing shoes are a good investment. You can step the equivalent of several miles of walking in an evening of contradancing, and doing that in the wrong kind of shoes can be like hiking several miles in the wrong shoes – painful for you and also destructive to the dance floor.
If you're dancing in shoes you've worn on the street, it's important to use a stiff brush (usually provided at the dance) to brush off small bits of grit or sand that might be clinging on them -- these little bits add up to a considerable amount of abrasion on the finish of the dance floor.