It’s 6.30am on a Wednesday morning and the sun is beaming through the windows of east London’s Oval Space, a warehouse-style venue in Bethnal Green.
While most people are still tucked up in bed snoozing, house beats are reverberating across a packed room. People dance wildly and with abandon in every last corner. They’re wearing tutus and sequins. Trusty Nikes and sports leggings. Flippy sundresses and harem pants. And everything in between.
Next to me, a young woman bobs in time to the music. Strapped to her front and wearing noise-protector headphones, is her 10-month-old baby, looking serene. Behind me, a bare chested (rather sweaty) pony-tailed man is striking out some peculiar moves, much to the bemusement of those around him.
This is Morning Gloryville: an early morning dance experience for those seeking their highs minus the lows that a rave often entails.
The event organisers say, “Nothing wakes you up more than a soul-shaking dance, electrifying music, body workers and yogi’s to tune you into your bodies and for those who need it, a mind blowing double espresso!”
There’s no getting around it: during the first ten minutes you will feel awkward. Like Mark in that episode of Peep Show when he goes to Rainbow Rhythms. You know? But stick with it – by 10 minutes in you’ll be nodding and tapping your foot in that self-conscious ‘I’m at a gig and too cool to dance’ way. Half an hour in and you’ll have shed your shyness and can expect to be getting your boom ting on to some hypnotic dance tracks. There’s something completely liberating about tearing up the dance floor sober. Two hours later and I’m a sweaty, happy mess.
If you tire of dancing, there are stands offering smoothies and coffee (cash only) plus outdoor yoga classes and a balcony for the smokers (I’m not kidding – there were people lighting up). There’s a cheeky £2 charge for the cloakroom and it’s worth noting there are no showers.
Morning Gloryville East London is a monthly event held at Oval Space every 3rd Wednesday of the month. Tickets cost £10. The event has also expanded to west London and Brighton.
words: Eva Caiden
image: Carys Lavin