photo: Jake Davies
It’s cold in Berlin. So, I’m dancing. I’m dancing more than I do in summer. Does that sound weird to you? It’s solely logical, and here’s why:
Generally, we never really stop raving here – because, well, we can. When the first leaves fall, however, and folks get out their army coats and Doc Martens, it drives me onto dance floors all the more. Am I missing the rain outside when I forgot my rain jacket, again? Am I missing freezing on the streets, tucked in my coat, while sweating in the metro, peeling off all the layers? So, when I’m not outside, what am I missing out on?
photo: Daniil Kuželev
Berlin in winter is melancholic, it’s dark, it’s gritty. Aren’t we all choosing hibernation over activity, tucked in blanket cocoons in our bed caves, with a year supply of tea, chocolate, and TV shows to binge? When in summer there is, as the young kids would say, that general feeling of “FOMO”, that “Fear Of Missing Out”, there’s no such thing in winter. No “Freilichtkino” I’m not attending, no sunny day I could spend at “Prinzenbad”, no trip to “Schlachtensee” I missed, or a “Späti Tour” I wasn’t around for. Too much in too little time.
And maybe that’s even the reason Berlin is the techno capital of the world. Dancing to that heavy four-to-the-floor on a beach with a Margarita in one and a straw hat in the other hand does seem weirdly odd. Heavy, dark beats, that purely is the soundtrack to the Berlin winter film, rolling in my head.
So, instead of choosing apathy between my sheets, in winter, I, as many other Berliners, choose movement. While its soundscape does reflect the gloomy atmosphere outside, I seek out that place where I can dance, shirt off, in between beats and body heat. I might still be melancholic – but I’m actively melancholic.
You see, seeking out a dark bunker, a badly constructed wooden shack, strobe lights and 120bpm might be escapism, but very active self-therapy just as much. Even health-promoting, one might say. I mean, in depressing winters with no daylight northern Europeans hang out in saunas, and, that’s pretty much the same, temperature-wise. Anyone familiar with a proper Berlin dance floor will agree. Mind, body, and soul staying healthy in winter – the Berlin way.
That’s different in hot Berlin summers, of course – gladly they’re clever enough to put up speakers outside. Never a reason to leave, no FOMO needed.