This morning, I went dancing. And by dancing, I mean shake-your-body-make-shapes-work-up-a-sweat-all-to-a-persistent-beat dancing. And yes, I did it before going to work.
So how did this come about? How does one find oneself dancing their face off with a bunch of completely sober, SUPER happy strangers on a weekday morning?
It all comes down to my flatmate, Louise. A week ago, she posted this to my Facebook page:
That took me to the Morning Glory London website, which states: “Morning Glory…is an immersive morning dance experience for those who dare to challenge morning culture and start their day in stlye!” It’s basically an early morning rave, where you can shimmy and shake before heading to work. It is definitely not an after-party; they want you to come sober and they want you to be excited about starting your day. If you think that all sounds a little hippy-dippy, well you’re not really wrong.
This video gives you a taste of what it’s like:
At first, I just laughed it off. Louise is a constant source of these random activities. Yes, they are usually very very fun, but I am not a morning person, so the idea of waking up at 6:00am on a workday didn’t really appeal to me. But the more I thought about it, and the more I watched that video, the more I thought it just seemed too good to miss. After all, I love dancing! I decided I was in and spent the rest of the week talking it up to anyone who would listen.
So that’s how this morning at 6.30, Louise, Sarah (friend/neighbor) and I found ourselves in a taxi heading to the backstreets of Bethnal Green, where the hipsters roam free.
We thought we might be the only ones to arrive so early, but oh no! There was already a line down the street at 6:45, with people shuffling forward to show their tickets or pay at the door. There was a news crew interviewing people on their way in; staff offering to help you jump the queue if you had to get to work early; a special “Guest List” line; and clowns offering hugs for those who were feeling stressed.
We made our way to the ticket counter, got our hands stamped as you do at a club – be it early morning or late night – and headed upstairs.
We were greeted by an overpowering smell of incense and an already thumping techno beat. The vast majority of the large room was open space for getting down. And there were already a good number of folks shaking their booties to the the music.
While dancing was definitely the main focus of the morning, there were several other points of interest around the room. Not least of which was the massage corner:
Two lessons learned for next time: 1) if you want a massage, get there super early and get your name on the waiting list; 2) think about whether you really want a massage if it means lying on those pillows where dozens of super sweaty bodies have lain before you.
We joined the crowd and started to groove. As the morning wore on, things became more and more surreal. It was an experience almost beyond description, but let me try to paint you a picture…
There was a smoothie bar and a coffee cart; there were people doing yoga in one corner and a woman working on a painting of the rave as it happened in another; we were led in an aerobics routine from the stage; there were people wearing Christmas onesies and others dressed as unicorns; there was more spandex than one would ever expect to see in a single lifetime; there were young children and pregnant women; people wore wigs and glitter paint and floral headdresses; there was a Tokyo news crew and a German DJ; an old Asian man did a kind of superspeed Tai Chi routine on the stage at one point; we sang along to “What Shall We Do with a Drunken Sailor?” and “These Boots Were Made for Walking”; a man in pajamas shouted positive-speak-feel-the-love platitudes from time to time, asking us to cheer if we were happy to be alive and encouraging us to hug the person next to us.
Dancing was my main pre-occupation, but I couldn’t help but indulge in some extremely fascinating people-watching. In fact, observing the many types of people, their various get-ups and their dance moves may have been the best part.
While the majority of the crowd were undoubtedly students or hipsters who worked in book stores/record shops/coffee shops/food trucks or owned their own independent business of some sort (and therefore could easily party the morning away and still get to work “on time”), there were plenty of people who were clearly from the corporate world. In fact, my favorite people were those who had come in their work wear and therefore looked completely and totally out of place and borderline uncomfortable. And there were people of all ages as well. There were the aforementioned children (which…let’s just say I am not totally sure how I felt about that) and the old Asian man, but there were also a bunch of people who probably fell in the 40-55 age bracket.
The crowd just kept growing the longer we were there. By the time we left, the place was packed and showed no signs of slowing down.
It was a crazy morning, and totally, completely, 100% fun. Louise is already booking tickets for the next one, and I’ll be right there with her.
London people, who wants to join us!? It’s a really good time, I promise!