Quite a few deep and meaningful thoughts are being written about Argentine tango and life in the milongas. To my knowledge, room temperature has never been one of them. This terrible wrong ends right here. One of the main motives for starting our milonga was my need for temperature despotism. I’ve resisted traveling to Mediterranean festivals because of the high temperatures. Milonga guests express opinions about temperature and have certain expectations. Optimal room temperature and humidity are essential for a good milonga experience. Too hot, you get a laid-back, humid atmosphere. Too cold, you get no atmosphere at all.
Any discussion involving room temperature is incomplete without mentioning a) sweat and b) human body heat. I am an expert on both topics. For many years, my family has accused me of being the Secret Cause of Global Warming. They are sworn to secrecy now. Wouldn’t it be a simple solution to the climate crisis have me fall out of some window? Once, on a trip to Mongolia, while sleeping on a hillside in a raging storm, the group of explorers used my body as a windbreaker. Everyone who sought shelter behind me enjoyed a great night’s sleep. On camping hikes, during cold nights in a tent, my body keeps a family of four, and hundreds of hungry insects, perfectly happy. My patented layer of fat may be useful during Mongolian nights, however, but isn’t helping me to enjoy tango during hot, humid summers or centrally heated, winter nights.
If you are one of those dancers who doesn’t sweat and looks perfectly composed under all circumstances, we have probably never met. I avoid your kind. It’s just too intimidating and embarrassing. Like dancing with Galadriel, the mightiest Elf queen from Lord of the Rings. I need earthly creatures, with hot cheeks, desperately in need of a fan after each tanda. Like most tango dancers, I am not bothered by a little exchange of salty fluids during the evening. A bit of humidity never hurt anyone, and once you sweat as a group, there is a point where most people stop caring about it. It only becomes unbearable, when, right in the middle of some dramatic pasada, you can’t avoid dripping on the follower. That’s where I draw a line. Also, the floor may become harder on the knees because of the humidity. Clearly, the milonga organizer has failed to keep the temperature below 22 degrees Celsius.
If the room is too cold, the ladies usually feel it first and complain. The floor remains dry and slippery and people make sure you know about it. A general mood of frustration creeps in, which may make the guys grab an extra beer and start discussing soccer rather than dancing. Anything under 18 degrees Celsius will cause this. But what about the temperature developing during the evening? A group of twenty people exercising is like putting a gas heater in the middle of the milonga. On average, we welcome between forty and sixty dancers every Tuesday, the equivalent of three gas heaters. In common Dutch weather, the temperature then rises to 24 degrees or higher, without countermeasures. Before becoming the hottest milonga in town, you may have to work your ass off on being the coolest.
Published: 15 Aug 2019 @ 12:49