My alarm went off at 5:45AM. I peeled myself out of bed, it was dark outside, dawn was breaking. 30 minutes later I left for a club in the Meatpacking District, stumbling my partially awake body off into the sunrise.
Wait, what? That must be a typo (you and your typos Mary Lane…), right? You’re GOING clubbing at dawn? No way.
Sure, every Sunday morning hundreds of New Yorkers stumble home from clubs in the Meatpacking District, one of Manhattan’s biggest nightlife scenes. But stumbling to the club at sunrise? That’s an SNL sketch, right? An Onion worthy satire.
Yeah, I know that’s how it sounds, but I’m here to tell you that 7AM clubbing is, in fact, a thing.
When I received the email from a PR representative inviting me to DAYBREAKER‘s NYC dance party, I smiled. The invite promised “good vibes, infectious smiles and energy, we supply the breakfast treats, killer beats and artists.” Yeah, it all sounded like my bohemian cup of tea. Except the event time was 7AM-9AM! 7AM!! No way am I dragging my ass out of bed that early! Then my blogger side got the better of me. You’re New York Cliché, girl, you have to check this out.
I arrived at Gilded Lily at 7:10AM. The entrance was a buzz of people in coats, checking their names off a list held by a pretty girl with sparkly eyeliner and streaks of green in her long hair. She was damn perky for 7AM and nothing like the surly bouncers one usually finds at doors in the Meatpacking. Another girl with a list had a crown of fabric flowers on her head and a wildly patterned crop top. Me? I was at a NYC club without a stitch of make-up on my face, wearing leggings and an oatmeal colored tank top. Such attire would normally get you death-stared away by any bouncer, but at this dance party workout clothes were pretty typical.
There is no alcohol at DAYBREAKER events. I found the bar lined with organic energy drinks and Naked Juice smoothies. No stale smell of spilled alcohol in the air, a refreshing change I noticed immediately.
The promised “good vibes” were already palpable in the atmosphere. So familiar yet completely different from the party experience I’m used to. Dancing unaided by alcohol….no surprise, things felt awkward at the start.
Okay. I’m actually doing this. I mean, I made it here at 7AM in the morning. Wow.
Okay, I’m going to dance. Yeah… Oh man, what if this isn’t fun at all?
These were the thoughts of my tired, sober brain. I downed an energy drink and went out onto the already crowded dance floor.
Wow, this is awkward. Am I always this awkward when I dance but alcohol obliterates that feeling?
There are so many people crammed on this dance floor. It’s like the subway at rush hour.
Why am I doing this?
I’ll be honest, that’s how I felt in the beginning.
Then the caffeine kicked in. For me and the rest of the crowd. As our bodies and minds embraced the day, the feelings of awkwardness subsided. There’s always a little discomfort when trying something completely new. This dance party was unlike any other we’d previously experienced.
Have you ever been clubbing surrounded by people who aren’t thinking about sex? Who are thinking about starting the day in an energetic and positive way instead? Building each other up with smiles and community instead of thoughts of tearing each other’s clothes off? Yep, DAYBREAKER is big on “cultivating a community that values camaraderie, self-expression, wellness, immediacy… and mischief.” Hello list of my favorite things ever. It’s different I tell ya, different in a pretty amazing way.
DAYBREAKER does a great job of increasing the energy, joy, and keeping the party accelerating for two hours. A 3 piece band came out and trumpeted, tromboned, and saxed it up to the beats of the DJ Tasha Blank. 8AM, a giant eggplant and ninja carrot joined the dance floor. Goofy, hilarious, and so unexpected, they helped pump up the crowd. As we all started to get sweaty from dancing, the awesome emcee started a chanted along with the house music “Hydrate yourself, drink water”. All of this increased the fun and best of all let self-consciousness to melt away into embracing the experience.
“DAYBREAKER is a morning movement that will start your day off unlike anything else.” So says their website. So say I. By the end, I’d totally embrace the crack of dawn dance party atmosphere. I had a total blast.
At 8:55AM we all sat down, listened to some words by co-founders Radha Agrawal and Matthew Brimer and a performance by a local artist. At 9AM we all left the darkness of Gilded Lily and emerged into the sunlight, ready to start our day. Feeling more alive, awake, and awesome than I could ever remember feeling at 9AM.
DAYBREAKER has currently has events in New York, San Francisco, and London. Soon they’ll be spreading to 12 more cities across the world. They are also planning an event for South by Southwest. The next NYC Daybreaker is March 11th. Tickets at $25. Check out their website, follow them on Facebook, and I hope someday you decide to go clubbing at 7AM. Once you convince yourself to get out of bed, it’s all worth it, I promise.