If you’ve ever walked home from a concert with a ringing in your ears, or been too close to a speaker during any event, you know that repeated and prolonged exposure to loud sounds can have damaging effects over time – and salsa socials are no exception.
The volume of the music at a salsa party can vary depending on the DJ, but it’s generally on the loud side, sometimes verging on “Holy cow, is that DJ deaf?!”. So it’s a good idea to keep a pair of earplugs in your dance bag.
We recommend musicians’ ear plugs, which reduce the volume of what you’re hearing without muffling sound, and still let you hear the music, at a comfortable level, as well as carry on a conversation. Regular foam earplugs you find at the drug store will protect your hearing as well, but because they mainly cut off high-frequency sound, they will distort the music and make having a conversation even harder – and some dancers also find that plugging their ears with foam throws off their balance.
You can get custom ear plugs fitted, which not only provide the best ear protection for your ear shape, but are also virtually invisible unless someone really takes the time to look in your ears (creepy). If you’re not that hard-core (and most of us aren’t), there are lots of good, non-custom, far more affordable solutions (starting around $15 for a good pair). For a good selection, check out the Ear Plug Superstore. If you’re not a fan of online shopping, music stores also usually carry a smaller selection of musician grade earplugs.
Do you use ear protection when dancing? Why or why not? Tell us in the comments!