My morning began particularly early, the kind of early that's only acceptable if you're going on holiday at at the crack of dawn and don't have to deal with everyday life later that day. When I awoke, the sun hadn’t yet risen. It was dark, and cold and I wanted to cry. This didn't feel right. Even the four hungry foxes who regularly dine outside the front of my flat looked up from their delicious day-old bin lasagne as I walked past and were like “what the fuuuuu…?” I know, guys. It’s officially stupid o’clock.
I took the already crowded tube to Bethnal green, the home of Morning Gloryville HQ. Morning Gloryville is a glittery, ravey haven for all of London’s early risers. On their website, they describe themselves as “the pioneers of sober morning raving” - a pastime I was not used to executing without a vodka tonic in hand and the dark cloak of night hanging over my head. Its popularity has grown hugely after people realised that there was a better way to wake up than with a bowl on cornflakes, and it involves a lot of glitter. There are now ravers giving themselves Morning Glory all over the world with events taking place in Melbourne, Rome and even Toronto. There’s yoga, massages and free hugs for everyone. And, once you’ve limbered up, there’s the main rave where you can dance away your tiredness.
My tiredness, however, was a little harder to shake. I met with fellow SoFem writer Emmy outside the venue where bongo drums were already audible, and upon arrival we came across ‘laughing yoga’. This combined yoga with laughter and a lot of stranger hugging - in other words, my nightmare. I promised myself I would come back to it once I’d limbered up.
We decided that, if we were to immerse ourselves with the locals, we were going to have to look the part. We had both already failed miserably by not wearing anything remotely ravey, so we followed a rather ethereal lady with a paint pallet and a ton of glitter until she agreed to throw a bit of both on our faces.
Now we looked the part, but how I felt inside did not match my glittery face. I was tired, and the last thing I wanted to do was dance.
Until I entered the Great Hall.
As we pulled open the door a wave of stifling heat hit me. There were bodies everywhere. Sweaty, writhing, energetic bodies, throwing themselves this way and that. How was I going to navigate this? I don’t even like accidentally touching hands with someone on the tube. I was now in the warmest room known to man, rubbing shoulders with the sweatiest humans alive. The music was deafening and the walls were decorated with neon signs and glittery murals. We slid to the front, where the heat was the most intense, and then there was nothing left to do but dance. With my steamed-up specs in one hand and phone in other other, I threw my arms in the air. It was strangely liberating. Yeah! This was cool! I could get used to all this jumping around!
And that, folks, is how I became a Gloryviller. Really, it was that quick. For all my cynicism, I found that Morning Gloryville was my sort of place: a place where you can go and rave your sparkly heart out, get an exotic smoothie in a coconut, and meet a new, eclectic bunch of people. And for someone who doesn’t normally dance without having consumed a bottle of wine first, this was the perfect place for movers and shakers of the shy variety. Morning Gloryville is all about celebrating each other and ourselves, and if anyone’s looking at you, it’s because they like what you’re doing. But mostly, people are in a world of their own, moving to their own beat and not giving a shit what time it is or what anyone else thinks. Its followers were vivacious and spirited. I didn’t see one unhappy face in the whole building. Everyone who was there wanted to be. (I mean, of course they were - why else would you get up at such a crazy hour?)
But didn’t these people have places to be? What about work? A chat with the regulars proved that the majority of people were in creative jobs: theatre directors, dancers, and the like. But one woman I spoke to said she worked in financial investment. I asked why she came to rave this morning. She told me she loved to get away from it all and dance. It seemed like some simply came to escape the monotony of everyday life for an hour or so; to let go, and be free, before it was time to put on their suits and high heels and go do their day jobs. And I get it. I didn’t, but I do now. I mean, there’s nothing like jumping around to a bit of The Prodigy to get the morning juices flowing.
Before too long it was time to head back to SoFem HQ for the day’s work to begin. I was sad - we both were. We were ready to dance until the bitter end. As Emmy and I headed towards the exit the next session of laughing yoga had begun. There was a long, loud ‘HA!’ sound, and I could see people hugging. It seemed cool to me now. I wanted to join in. Next time, I told myself.
Now my insides felt as glittery as my face. Morning Gloryville was like a shot of adrenaline in its purest form. Really, it’s amazing what throwing your arms about in a sweaty room can do for the soul.
Have you been to Morning Gloryville? Let us know! @sofeminineUK
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