What’s your biggest fear? Public speaking? Being the first one on the dance floor? Some kind of unspeakable humiliation that you can’t quite specify? How about a combination of all three?
Going to the gym does not appeal to me in the slightest so I’m always looking out for new ways to exercise (or “fads” as some of my friends might call them). So when I saw a feature about Dance Dance Party Party, I was delighted that finally something had come along that was made for me. The first time I went along (alone I hasten to add, I was so desperate to go) it ended up being the hottest day on record at that time. It still had a great turn-out and such a good atmosphere, I left absolutely buzzing.
I decided that I wanted to set up on my own branch of DDPP. It’s such an easy idea in theory. Put together playlists partly based on requests, hire a venue, print up flyers and get the word out. I chatted to Helen, the girl who ran that particular London chapter, who was very enthusiastic and encouraging. She said it was one of the best things she had ever done but also warned me that it’s hard at first and slightly soul-destroying when nobody turns up and your friends have other commitments.
January 2012, I arrive in Dublin with the plan of bringing DDPP with me. I don’t have a job at first so this is something to do while I job hunt and study. It’s also a welcome distraction, a regular weekly thing on my schedule, with the opportunity to meet new people and exercise. If you’d met me at the time, I had the spiel down pat to sell it to you. Unfortunately, most people didn’t get it. At all. I have friends now who have the same reaction when I talk about Morning Gloryville (we’ll come back to that later).
The open day at the venue I have chosen arrives. I am nervous as all hell and this is completely out of my comfort zone but this is something I need to do. So, I stand up in the studio and explain the concept and put the music on. People leave. And when I say people, eventually everybody leaves and I’m left there alone. I come home and I cry and cry. This was a stupid idea, I’m never going back. Except I have to. I’m signed up for 12 weeks of this.
Word spread (including a mention from Roisin Ingle in the Times) and people came. It was pretty nerve-wracking each week wondering if anybody was going to turn up. But the people who came got it (mostly), that was why they were there after all. It was like preaching to the choir, no having to win people over. I’m not saying it was ever completely rammed but there were decent numbers. I chose badly in terms of the venue. That was the biggest lesson. People expected to come and learn something, not just have fun. But I forced myself to do something that terrified me and it probably gave those people from the first time an anecdote. Hell, I never have to see them again!
If the idea of booze-free dancing like you just don’t care appeals to you, there are a couple of options. Morning Gloryville is a before work rave, and international phenomenon, from 6.30-10.30 am once a month. You don’t have to stay for the entire session as most people have jobs or other commitments to go to with a lot of people legging it out of the door between 8.30 and 9. It does sound mental I know but give it a go. It sells out quickly with cheap tickets for the next one available online as soon as it finishes. The next one in Dublin is on Wed March 4th.
They generally have themes regarding outfits but how about a GirlCrew uniform of all black with coloured accessories? Something to think about! And if the thought of getting up at mad o’clock doesn’t appeal, Clubbercise is an after-work alternative. This is held at Temple Lane Studios in Temple Bar and involves glowsticks and easy-to-follow aerobic routines.
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