For a lot of people, working out in the morning is the only way to ensure a daily sweat session. A morning run through Prospect Park or cycling over the bridge and back before work sparks that much-needed energy for the day. For some, it’s the only time of day that they can carve out for themselves. If you are a morning person, and even if you aren’t, pre-workday exercise can really make all the difference in your mood and your decisions. Sometimes, however, when that alarm goes off at 6.00am, the last thing you want to do is lace up your sneakers and run.
So bust out your cheetah print spandex leggings instead! Throw on your favorite, ripped up “I’m in Miami Bitch” t-shirt you bought on spring break in college, that you can’t seem to part with. Better yet, roll out in your pajamas! Head to New York’s latest craze, Morning Gloryville. But don’t try to pull an all-nighter and attend with alcoholic remnants from last night’s festivities. “Morning Gloryville – Rave your way into the day,” is a no-drug, no-alcohol, open-to-anyone-and-everyone dance party that originated in London and since spring of 2013, has spread to more than 16 cities all over the world. It’s a phenomenon that is catching on fast. Expect anywhere from 300-400 sober ravers in attendance, and the list keeps growing. Everyone from executive producers to models to the guy that makes your latte every morning, lets loose on the dance floor at least once a month before starting their work day.
Starting from 6.30am – and until wrapping up around 10.30am – the energy is vibrant and loving. The founders do recommend that you allow yourself at least an hour to really get in the groove (no pun intended). This means one hour of solid cardio, accompanied by various well-known DJs, before your work day even starts. Go alone or with friends, it doesn’t matter. Costumes are welcome, flower leis are in abundance, and balloons fall seemingly from the sky. Everyone just wants to love, smile, and express themselves to the pulsing beat of the music.
And dancing isn’t your only option. Opportunities abound to practice yoga, enjoy a massage, and get your tarot cards read. You can even attempt rock-climbing if you’re lucky enough to catch the rave that takes place at Brooklyn Boulders rock climbing gym. Organic juices, smoothies and teas are available for purchase, and plenty of water and coffee are offered at no extra charge. Entry to the rave will run you anywhere from $15 to $22, depending on how early you book it. But book it fast, because tickets sell out quickly. Email the founders for more information about how to get on their mailing list.
What are the benefits of freestyle dancing? Well, we all know movement in any capacity is good. Dancing with no restrictions has many health benefits, from increasing your heart rate, to toning your muscles, to burning calories and fat. Another benefit of dancing is improved balance and coordination, much like that which you gain from yoga. Dancing is meditative as well, giving you a chance to connect mind with body and allowing yourself to move according to what you hear, and how it makes you feel. There’s a reason we grab our closest girlfriends and drag them to a night club after a hard break-up – dancing is therapy! Additionally, Morning Gloryville provides a non-judgmental environment which can lead to increased confidence and higher self-esteem.
Last but not least, according to a study at the prestigious Stanford University, dancing often has the ability to lower one’s risk of dementia by 76%. That’s 29% higher than the second best activity, doing crossword puzzles 4 times a week, which came in at a rate of 47%. This could be because not only does dancing increase neural connectivity, it also requires split-second decision-making. With dancing, there isn’t time to think about what you want your body to do. It’s a reactionary decision made in the moment, which in turn, is stimulating for your brain- not to mention, much better for the soul than struggling through the New York Times crossword puzzle every week!
Are you traveling and want to check out Morning Gloryville in other places and groove with different cultures? If so, Tokyo, Paris, Barcelona, San Francisco, and Amsterdam have all jumped on the early morning rave train, and that’s only naming a few locations. Follow the parties on Facebook and Instagram to see where to go, when to go, and what other cities are being added to the list. For New York City locals, most dance parties take place in Brooklyn and feature DJs such as Subsonic and DJ REsy. PulseRadio recently named Morning Gloryville one of the top 10 parties in the city for the month of April. The raves have also been featured in Vogue, Huffington Post, BBC News and the Metro.