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Originally published Aug 13, 2015

What is rosin?

Rock rosin is crystallized tree sap that is used to make things sticky. Violin players, cellists, and other musicians use it to coat their bowstrings, many ballerinas crush it onto their pointe shoes, and most aerialists use it to enhance their grip.

Is it like chalk?

Nope. Chalk is magnesium carbonate, and it’s used o reduce moisture since it’s hygroscopic. So if your hands get sweaty and you’re slipping off the trapeze, it’s time for chalk.

Don’t mix them.

If you mix chalk and rosin, not only will you cover your silks in white streaks, but you’ll counteract the useful qualities of the rosin. Rosin actually works better with more moisture. That’s why it gets stickier as your workout goes on and your hands start to sweat.

You’ll also notice that you need less rosin in hot and humid environments than you will in the cold, dry winter months.

How to get it off after training.

Soap and water aren’t usually enough, unless your soap has moisturizer in it. This is because the rosin is broken down by oil. By using a teaspoon of coconut oil or other cooking oil on your hands before using soap and water, the rosin comes off easily. DO NOT USE MOISTURIZER BEFORE TRAINING!!!!

Where do I buy rosin?

Rosin is not expensive and you can find it at your locally owned dance store. Don’t buy the 5 gallon pail! Rosin dries out and doesn’t work as well between 8 and 15 months after opening the package. A 4 oz. package will last one person at least a year of training.

Spray rosin.

Don’t go into a dance store and ask for spray rosin. What you’re looking for is bandage adhesive and you can find aerosolized cans of it at medical supplies stores or United Sport & Cycle.

It’s SUPER STICKY...for about a minute, and then it’s like someone walked by you with kryptonite. A better use for it is on the legs of slick costume.

Spray rosin can be an addicting habit. If you’re curious about it, you’ve now been warned. For those that adore it, a cheap alternative is a homemade solution of rock rosin and rubbing alcohol.

That’s all, folks. Happy Training!

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