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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Air Conditioning


MJ

Some like it Hot  

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  1. 1. Air Conditioning?

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"I thrived on dancing in un-airconditioned studios in the summer in Louisiana many years ago in college. We generally soaked through our leotards, dripped sweat on the floors, and kept dancing in 95 degree temperatures with 99% humidity. It actually felt pretty good."

 

Same for us in Queensland, in the sub-tropics. Even in the middle of summer, I prefer to be non-airconditioned, although a powerful fan or two doesn't come amiss. The only thing, is that the streams of sweat on the floor can be slippery.

 

Jim.

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This discussion really surprises me because most seem to like air conditioning. I have been dancing for many years and in several studios, and in every single one most of the dancers hate air conditioning. Several studios didn't have it at all. My current studio has it but there is a constant battle between the professionals and most others, who don't want it on, and a few of us who like it. Those who hate it believe that it's much better for their muscles to have it hot. [maybe also their relative thinness makes them less sensitive to it] While it's true that my muscles are easier to stretch when it's warm, I find the heat saps my energy and sometimes i feel light-headed because of it. Usually the anit-air people win, but when it's really hot, we can usually get to have it on for at least a portion of the class. :)

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I like air conditioning. I have lived in MS or TN all of my life. Air conditioning is necessary here. By 8 am its too hot to comfortably go walking outside (i.e. walk a few miles for fitness). When I run errands in my air conditioned car I get sweaty going in and out of buildings during the summer months--its that hot. Maybe in areas where temperatures are not as warm I could see not having air conditioning. But here, its absolutely essential, or many people would be collapsing in class from the heat. I am a cold natured person, too, but at times when our studio's air conditioning is not quite working properly, I get a little too hot like everyone else. I worked in Virginia for 6 weeks for a summer program one year; the dorms did not have air conditioning and were almost unbearable, but the studios did have air conditioning thank goodness. Everyone was hot in the dorms and all of us were thin people as most dancers are. Now I don't like a very cold studio either; usually our studio is warm enough that I don't wear warm ups at all in the summer, but I do wear warm ups during barre in the winter, and usually I get too hot to wear warm ups in center. I think our studio is kept in the 80's too. Works well for us. We unfortunately do not have an accompanist.

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I hate working in a cold studio, and always try and near the radiators in class. A warm studio just feels so much better. I thought a ludicrously hot studio was just part of the joys of ballet class. :)

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I'd love a/c. I take class in a church which is poorly ventilated and has a slate roof. Fans only circulate the hot air (and drown out the accompanist).

 

Last week we had a heat wave, exacerbated by high humidity and smog. Though I didn't like to do it, I decided to skip class. I saw little point in risking heat stroke. :)

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I like the comment that ridiculously hot studios were just a part of the Joys of Ballet.

I always thought so too.

After reading through these posts again and thinking of a recent experience, I have decided I am just going to be the sweatiest one in class for the next few years.

I woke up one morning drenched in my own sweat and freezing. I thought I was sick with fever. As there have been a couple of repeat performances in the last couple of days, I am betting I was not sick at all but just being hormonal. My mother used to tell us she had a "broken thermostat" internally and just couldn't take the heat. Hmmm? She was nearing age 50 at the time. I guess I am just going to be having some private summers for a while and have to suck it up.

Regular exercise is supposed to help reduce the sweats. We shall see.

I did also consider the idea that one can enter classs all sweaty on a hot day and not be "warmed up" in the least. I think that is something important to consider in the warmer studio months to avoid injuries.

 

Laschwen

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  • 2 weeks later...
Same for us in Queensland, in the sub-tropics. Even in the middle of summer, I prefer to be non-airconditioned, although a powerful fan or two doesn't come amiss. The only thing, is that the streams of sweat on the floor can be slippery.

 

Jim.

 

As a QLD dancer, I recently changed schools and am at one that has air con - although we only turn it on if it's boiling, previously the school i was at was an oven, and I found it hard to concentrate - esp on 36 deg C days with 90 something % humidity.

 

However, that was far less nasty that living down south and dancing in freezing conditions in an un-heated studio. (i'd not survive in england or russia) So i'd take the heat over the cold anyday.

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I'm not doing anything related to ballet since my recital (it's been 1 month) and I'm happy because my country is a southern country and it often reaches to 40+ C degrees (104+ F degrees) during summer here and we do not have an AC in our studio. And what is worse, we cannot open windows during classes! Because the studio is located under an apartment and I think they don't want the sound to disturb anybody living upstairs. And no matter how cold it may get during winter (it's generally -4 C degrees (25 F degrees) in winter)I still could watch some sweat dripping to the floor and the studio starts to smell awful after a while..So I don't think that AC is a bad idea at all... In fact it's really necessary but it should be used wisely.

 

By the way about chilly people getting the coldest spots... Well it happens everywhere. Especially, I sometimes go nuts on the bus because (I don't like to sound mean at all, and I don't want you to get this as a disrespect to old people but...)buses are free here for our older people. So, especially on hot summer days when it hits 40+ degrees here, buses are just like sardine cans, and older people always take the nearest seats to the windows where fresh air comes in if we are lucky, and they close them all!!! I cannot understand how they can get "that" chilly in a boiling summer day... So I asked the same question to myself many many times....But there's no answer to that one... :)

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And do they ride round and round in them all day to stay warm in winter?

 

Jim.

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This discussion really surprises me because most seem to like air conditioning. I have been dancing for many years and in several studios, and in every single one most of the dancers hate air conditioning. Several studios didn't have it at all. My current studio has it but there is a constant battle between the professionals and most others, who don't want it on, and a few of us who like it. Those who hate it believe that it's much better for their muscles to have it hot. [maybe also their relative thinness makes them less sensitive to it] While it's true that my muscles are easier to stretch when it's warm, I find the heat saps my energy and sometimes i feel light-headed because of it. Usually the anit-air people win, but when it's really hot, we can usually get to have it on for at least a portion of the class. :sweating:

 

I definitely see where you're coming from. I've been taking classes at a particular school for about five years and last week was the first time we'd ever had air conditioning in the studio. There was a 99 degree heatwave and the room was even hotter due to humidity and prolonged sun exposure so for safety concerns, the AC was turned on very low for part of the class. It was still hot enough in there to build up a respectable sweat, though. The teacher hated it but recognized the necessity, especially in a class that included some older folk.

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I sweat a lot so I don't mind the ac (assuming the weather is hot enough). It seems like the studios I've taken class in don't have good circulation - either not enough windows or whatnot. I hate taking class in stuffy studios so I would rather the ac be on (and just warm up sufficiently on my own before class starts) so I can breathe.

 

Our studio has overhead ceiling fans which provide a nice alternative to no circulation vs ac. However, some dancers still complain about the fans... and yet they stand right underneath them!

 

When it gets really hot and there isn't sufficient airflow in the studio, my skin starts to itch and it feels like prickly heat (not sure if I actually have that condition)... while those who are too cold can just throw on an extra layer, I have no alternative when I get too hot!

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I rather work in a cold studio where I can warm up than a hot studio. I sweat puddles in my new studio, at first I thought it was my body turning fat into energy, but then I noticed that there was no air conditioner.

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Given cold or hot, I prefer very cold, since you can always layer on warm-ups but you can't strip down past leotard and tights! Besides, I have occasional bouts of asthma, and when the temperature goes up (and consequently there are fewer oxygen molecules in a given volume of air) I can't breathe very well.

 

At least my current school keeps the thermostat set at a reasonable temperature (low-80's) so it's a happy medium, and far more pleasant than the unairconditioned Southern California studios of my youth, where temps can top 110 in the summer!

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I gotta have AC. I get migraines if I get overheated, which happens quickly. I've gotten migraines from swimming laps too long!

 

I'm ok if I'm sweating, but if my face gets that hot, pulsing feeling, it's time to quit and RUN for the migraine meds!

 

I've never gotten a good explaination from any doctor about this. Grrr... It's why I had to quit playing tennis, even though I love it (and my serve-and -volley game was just starting to click!)

 

Lisa

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