Off nightclubs? Daybreaker brings a Friendsgiving dance party to Philly

2 minute read
Philly’s Halloween-themed Daybreaker event came to the Met in October. (Photo by Max Grudzinski.)
Philly’s Halloween-themed Daybreaker event came to the Met in October. (Photo by Max Grudzinski.)

I can distinctly remember the night I became too old for clubbing. Ten years ago, at age 26, I was at a nightclub at 3am, surrounded by drunken, handsy strangers, and I thought, I’m done. Nights that left me feeling existentially empty and mornings where I woke up beside people whose names I never bothered to ask had forever lost their appeal.

I went home and went to bed, but not before making a promise to myself that, thenceforth, I’d be more likely to wake up at 5am than get home at 5am. I purged my closet of all the barely-there halters and sexy slingbacks. I stopped hooking up with people whose last names I didn’t know. I stopped going places where the lights in people’s eyes were as dim as the lights in the room. Nevertheless, my soul remained the soul of a dancer.

A natural high

I’m not the only one who is hard-pressed not to move when there’s music playing. In fact, we’d all do well to shimmy and shake more often. Dancing is proven to provide a natural high, without the addition of any mind- or mood-altering substances. So it naturally follows that a great way to get all of the benefits of communal dancing without any of the downsides would be a daytime dance club.

A unique and innovative movement that first arrived in Philadelphia in January 2018, Daybreaker offers once-monthly day- or dusk-time communal dancing events. But dancing isn’t all you can expect from a Daybreaker experience. Each three-hour event begins with an hour of optional yoga followed by about 90 minutes of dancing, and concludes with a sound meditation.

While they have the same basic formula, each of these monthly events is unique. Every yoga/dance/meditation pop-up takes place at an iconic local Philly venue. Thus far, I’ve been to a Party Animals par-tay at the Cherry Street Pier, a 90s-themed Back-to-School bust-a-move at the Shops at Liberty Place, and most recently I Boo-gied down at the Met to celebrate Halloween. Each event offered free healthy refreshments, and $1 dollar out of every $35 ticket goes to support a charitable initiative.

Consensual hugs

Daybreaker’s Philly producer and renowned sound artist Luna Maye told me she sees this work not as a career but as a calling. “We welcome you with open arms and consensual hugs,” she said. That was exactly how I’ve felt at every Daybreaker experience I’ve attended. Instead of anonymous, vapid interactions, Daybreaker has created a community based on the principle of radical inclusivity. All are welcome. In fact, children under 12 get in for free.

What, Where, When:

Catch the next Daybreaker event in Philly, “Friendsgiving,” at FringeArts (140 N. Columbus Boulevard, Philadelphia) on Saturday, November 23. Optional yoga starts at 9am, and a dance party follows from 10am to noon, concluding with a sound meditation. Get your tickets here.

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