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January 31, 2018

What it's really like at Daybreaker, the early morning dance party

Fitness Dancing
013118_Daybreaker_Carroll.jpg Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

Hundreds woke before dawn to attend a yoga session followed by a sober dance party at Philadelphia's inaugural Daybreaker party held early Wednesday morning, Jan. 31, 2018.

Some of your co-workers may have been at a rave this morning, dancing in tutus with glitter face paint before you even poured your first cup of coffee.

Philly's first Daybreaker, an early morning dance party/workout that happens monthly in over 20 cities around the world, started with yoga at 6 a.m., before two-hours of bopping and bouncing to a live DJ.

The event took place at Rittenhouse nightclub Coda, where a spinning disco ball and flashing colored lights made it hard to believe it was 7 a.m.


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While you felt like you were "in da club," no one was popping bottles full of bub. Daybreaker emphasizes that you don't need alcohol to let loose.

When I entered Coda, I was greeted with a hug from one of the festively-dressed event staff members – a much different experience than passing a surly nightclub bouncer.

In the main room, a crowd of at least 200 was dancing to remixed dance tracks, and water bottles, cold brew coffee, bananas and hemp seeds were up for grabs at the bar for those who needed to refuel.


I skipped the yoga class (definitely not a morning person), but was glad I had dragged my butt out of bed to experience this.

People of all ages were in attendance, dressed in full body unitards, silver, sparkly jackets, neon gym gear and other bold fashion statements. 

Next to me, I witnessed a sweet, elderly couple absolutely kill it on the dance floor.

The DJ/MC kept the crowd's energy up by reminding us all to get out of our heads, stop judging ourselves and not be afraid to dance like no one was watching.

At one point, it almost felt like I was on a trampoline, as Coda's floor shook from all the Daybreak-ers jumping.

I had expected the non-stop dancing but there were a couple of surprises, too. Musicians hopped up on stage – a talented trumpet player was one – to perform along with the DJ tracks, and acro-yogis weaved through the crowd, standing on each other's shoulders.

Dancing for the full two hours, it was easy to work up a sweat before rushing to work at 9 a.m. And the post-party endorphins (plus a big mug of coffee, to be honest) helped me forget I woke up at dawn.

Joining a sober rave before work was a way better experience than any of the times I found myself in a nightclub, where I've always encountered people spilling drinks and shoving past.

Was it weird at first, especially by myself? Definitely. Would I do it again? Definitely.

If you want to attend Daybreaker in Philly for yourself, let them know. The goal is to have one once a month in the city.

Tickets are $20 for just the dance portion and $35 for the whole experience.