A quiet thrum of energetic conversation touched my ears as I walked into the doors of Flash, a venue on Florida Ave (formerly a pawn shop, now renovated into a rustic yet modern nightclub and lounge) that was chosen to host the inaugural Daybreaker D.C. morning dance party. Able-bodied working class patrons chattered in sporadic groups near a fully stocked bar with bottles glistening in the early morning light. Instead of getting tipsy at 6 a.m., these party-goers were treated to the delicious wares of local vendors: kombucha juices, iced tea, and other fresh-pressed juices from vendors like Jrink were among the breakfast snacks offered with organic banana blueberry muffins and assorted KIND bars displayed on the bar counters. The main dance floor was covered in yoga mats, a representative from Grip the Mat leading variations of asanas designed to help the participants to ready their muscles for the day as more people poured into the building.
When I realized that there was an upstairs portion to Flash, I trudged up the stairs, moving out of the way for others who were already full of energy that I thought was impossible for any human being that early in the morning.
Stepping into the upper lounge, I was greeted by illuminated ceiling and wall lights that lit the growing crowd while DJ Ayes Cold (pronounced ‘Ice Cold’) set up shop at the DJ booth. Dappho of D.C.’s own CooLots revved the waking human dance machine with an introduction to DJ Ayes Cold and the DayBreaker dance jubilee.
It was obvious that it was early as the turntables began to spin – most people were lightly swaying side to side as they warmed up to the music. Random individuals were getting into the groove, setting the precedent for the ensuing vibe. Incense wafted through the air, insinuating impressions of benevolent wishes for all and bolstering the Feng Shui. Groups were simply standing around, some seeming as stiff as I felt, and many were peering around them as if to see who would be the first to spur the moment in which the entire dance floor would be engulfed in the flame of body heat and rhythmic movement but weren’t too sure if they were that one. By the time 7:30 hit – I could have mistaken my surroundings for a night party filled with working-class people, dancing away the troubles of the work week. Brightly colored headbands, shirts, and workout gear dotted the scene, the desire to dance intertwining strangers and friends as individuals seemed to forget that it was in fact hours after dawn as opposed to hours after dusk.
Neon glow-in-the-dark hula hoops sparkled as the lights flickered sporadic shades of red, green, and blue. More people poured in, some with business suits, obviously prepared to partake in the festivities. A young man darted in and out of the crowd, drumsticks in hand – ‘everyone has a job to go to,’ I said to myself, not giving him another passing thought. I realized I was mistaken as a drum set was placed in the middle of the dance floor, giving the talented percussionist a stage that caught the attention of everyone in the room. With dazzling skill fitting for a D.C. party, he provided a strong introduction to the trumpets that suddenly appeared around him to join in the acoustics, giving the audience the ultimate morning energy boost.
The musicians’ space gave way to a lively dance circle and, when 8:30 ticked on the clock, the party began to die down as many began the trek to the office with smiles on their faces and a bounce in their step. It was obvious that the motives of the creators of Daybreaker were achieved – the coming together of diverse entities united under the love of good music and dancing without the shadow of alcohol or drugs had nestled its vibes into the pulses of the attendees and surely in the ears of everyone they came into contact with that day.
As the dance floor thinned, Daybreaker founders Matthew Brimer and Radha Agrawal asked those remaining to take a moment and have a seat while they passed out cards stamped with “What Do You Desire” surrounded by the Daybreaker logo.
They took a moment to thank the vendors, participants, and supporters then asked the crowd to turn the cards over and repeat what was written on the back as a collective group.
It was a quote by Caroline Adams:
“Your life is a sacred journey. It is about change, growth, discovery, movement, transformation, continuously expanding your vision of what is possible, stretching your soul, learning to see clearly and deeply, listening to your intuition, taking courageous challenges at every step along the way. You are on the path…exactly where you are meant to be right now…And from here, you can only go forward, shaping your life story into a magnificent tale of triumph, of healing, of courage, of beauty, of wisdom, of power, of dignity, and of love.”
What a way to start your morning.
DayBreaker’s first event in D.C. was on June 3rd, at Flash DC. But don’t be discouraged – there will be many more at different venues with different DJs and special performances to provide a different way of starting your morning. Not only that, but DayBreaker is bringing their innovative coffee-substitute to the world. With a recent event in Tel Aviv and permanent installations in London, San Francisco, Seattle, and New York, they are expanding their movement to places like Philadelphia, Copenhagen, Cape Town, and Tokyo just to name a few. Check them out at http://www.dybrkr.com/.