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Here’s What Happens When You Dance Your Face Off First Thing in the Morning

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When my alarm clock went off at 4:50 a.m. on Wednesday morning, I awoke to an instant sense of dread. I had signed up for Daybreaker‘s Pretty in Pink party in collaboration with Planned Parenthood. If you’ve never heard of Daybreaker, it’s an early morning dance party that starts with a yoga class at 5:30 a.m., followed by a two-hour long dance party. Yes, you read that correctly: this worldwide event series gets attendees moving in a raging club setting first thing in the morning. What was I thinking?

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I should go on the record to say I’m not a morning person. I typically hit snooze about five times every morning and am basically a zombie until I get my hands on a cup of coffee. So, yeah, 4:50 a.m. was a struggle. After spending approximately 15 minutes trying to get dressed with my eyes closed, I headed out the door feeling sleepy, but eager to find out if this might just be the thing to finally change my relationship with mornings.

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My first thought when I arrive at the event location, The Argyle in Hollywood, Calif., was, “Ok, wow. I’m really at a club!” I was greeted by chipper attendees who checked me in and handed me a pink button that read “I stand with Planned Parenthood” in support of this particular event’s theme. I entered the venue to about 30 yoga mats spread across what was probably a dance floor covered in tequila just hours ago. Early rising yogis were making their way in, some decked out in bright pink yoga gear, some even sporting tutus and pink hair accessories.

Juliana Bernstein/Get Tiny

Then the class began. As I moved through the flows and took my first deep breaths of the day, I noticed an instant euphoria begin to wash over me. With a playlist that included Solange, Lauryn Hill, and Leonard Cohen playing in the background, I felt proud of myself for waking up early and stoked that I was spending my morning getting centered for the day, and challenging myself to do something so completely outside my comfort zone.

Nothing could have prepared me for me what happened next. At promptly 6:30 a.m., after a short interim where attendees had the chance to have some healthy snacks, drinks and coffee (beloved coffee!), the lights went down and music boomed from the speakers. Staffers shuffled pink balloons and a couple of giant inflatable pink flamingos into the space, and strobe lights rained down from the ceiling. The thud of dance music vibrates through the room. And in an what felt like an instant, the crowd had tripled. The dance floor was completely packed with early birds who came here to get their life, and I was totally into it. What’s this? A dance battle forming in the center of the dance floor! It’s lit!

Juliana Bernstein/Get Tiny

Watching people of all shapes sizes and colors dancing together in support of each other and of Planned Parenthood was a beautiful thing. I was there alone (and with my reporter hat on), so I didn’t find myself in the middle of the dance battle. But I stood on the outer edge tapping my feet and giggling at the utter happiness everyone was exuding. It was impossible to ignore the good vibes. I felt like a kid again, taking the wonder of this place and taking mental snapshots of the funny moments.

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I had to cut out before the party was over, and as I left I noticed that the stream of people arriving to dance the morning away was still going strong. As I drove home in the traffic that was already accumulating on the roads of L.A., I reflected on what I had just experienced. I had entered tired, but I left feeling uplifted. And I carried that feeling with me throughout my entire day. I don’t think I’ll be making a regular habit of rising before the sun—but maybe a sun salutation, some good music, and a two-step wouldn’t be such a bad routine.

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