La Cachila, Toronto's Sunday night milonga, is currently being held on the top floor of Dovercourt House. Now, Dovercourt House consists of several floors of dance halls/dance studios, and the weekends are the busiest days of the week for events. Sunday is no exception - while La Cachila is held in the hall three steep flights of stairs up, the ground floor hall is occupied by a popular weekly Salsa dance.
The salseros are always milling about the lobby and the landing on the ground floor, chatting and taking a break from the literally sizzling hot atmosphere of their salsa dance. I say literally, because the sweaty crowd and the lack of air conditioning results in this humid, sweaty mist that permeates the area. To access the top floor milonga, tangueros have to wade through crowds of attractive young salseros sitting and lounging all over the steps. More so since so many of the salseros are overheated and have to take a breather outside the front door in the relative freshness of the night air.
Dovercourt House has nice floors and a great location but it really is an old building without air conditioning. The building's caretaker opens the ancient vertical windows - but to no avail. When you have a lot of sweating on the ground floor, the hot air rises up like it was the gulf stream and collects at the very top of the building. As more and more people crowd into the milonga (it's the long weekend, La Cachila has its regulars as well as plenty of people from out of town) the air gets thick with heat and moisture from the exhalations of many lungs. The milonga gets piping HOT.
I went to the ladies' washroom on the top floor and encountered a lady dressed to the nines in dancewear, diligently applying her makeup over the only sink. As she was going to take some time, she stood aside a little to let me wash my hands.
"Are you going to tango?" She asked.
I nodded. "And you.... you're from downstairs?" I didn't recognize her as a milonga regular, but then again I couldn't account for tangueros who were visiting Toronto from out of town. And sometimes the toilets downstairs are so crowded the salseros would head upstairs. In any case, there was something about her that didn't... seem to have anything to do with tango.
"I'm performing later downstairs," she said proudly. "Tango Salsa."
I must have blinked but I kept a straight face. I grabbed a paper towel and dried my hands.
"Have fun .... performing," I said. And made a hasty exit.
Martha's Apartment in Buenos Aires
A Non-exhaustive set of Tango links in Toronto
- La Cachila - weekly milonga
- Paradiso -- weekly milonga
- Practica El Beso
- WE Tango
- Tango Sur - classes, shows
- Rhythm and Motion - classes, milonga, practica, annual Toronto Tango Festival
- Tango Obsession - classes, weekly Practica La Coqueta
- Tango Lirico - classes, practica, weekly milonga
- Tango de Oro - classes, shows
- Tango Soul Productions - classes, weekly milonga, shows, El Congreso annual Tango Festival
- Vivatango - classes
- Tango Argentino - classes
- Club Milonga - classes, special events
- Alternatango - classes, weekly milonga
- University of Toronto Tango Club - classes, practica
- El Abrazo - classes
- Tangoloft - twice monthly milonga