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Ditch the hangover. Club nights and raves with a difference

Ditch the hangover. Club nights and raves with a difference

If you like to party and go clubbing, but don’t always want the unhealthy drinks and bad attitude that can go with it, you might be interested to hear about these club nights with a difference. Combining socialising, dancing, DJs, classic tunes, and wellbeing; fitness raves are proving to be very popular.

Picture the scene; there are hundreds of sweaty bodies waving their arms in the air. The room is dark but lasers flash all around you in time to a thumping bass. The DJ is playing dance music club anthems, using their skills to keep the audience moving, as if he were conducting an orchestra. Flashes of light flicker throughout the crowd as glow sticks are held and pumped in the air, and sounds of happy cheers and whoops hit your ears when the tune really gets going. At first glance you would be forgiven for assuming this is a normal clubbing night out for a hardcore dance crowd, but look a bit closer and you’ll see the only drinks being served are water and fresh juices, and the only highs on offer are adrenalin and natural endorphins.

This is the scene of a fitness rave on a Saturday night; a new type of social event and fitness phenomenon, proving to be to be a popular choice among those looking for something a bit different to do on a Saturday night, and those looking for a fresh way to keep active.

The concept of fitness raves started in New York, founded by the fitness franchise Barry’s Bootcamp, and have a host of celebrity fans including Jessica Elba, Kim Kardashian, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Katie Holmes. These dance fitness parties provide a Saturday night out with bouts of high intensity interval training, and structured cardio workouts, interspersed with shots of fruit smoothies. These US self-styled fitness dance parties are now hitting UK shores, and a new Saturday night club night has just been launched in conjunction with the upscale nightclub Mahiki. Clubbers enjoy an intensive 60 minute workout on treadmills and bikes, as well as strength training with weights – all held at a London based fitness studio – and all in time to the beats of a Mahiki DJ. Guests are then served healthy refreshments before getting dolled up and being whisked off to Mahiki for a night out; on the guest list, of course.

The instructors at the front lead the party-goers in a rave based fitness class of aerobics, lunges and dance moves. Glow sticks, lasers and fluorescent clothing are the look of the night. After the main work out, the tempo changes giving clubbers a much needed chance to warm-down and stretch. The response to these club nights has been nothing but positive and party goers seem to really love them; the lack of alcohol is a selling point more than a hindrance. The venue, music, general environment and large crowd make it a much different experience to a normal fitness class. It’s a special event, and the vibe, banging beats, and overall atmosphere give rise to hundreds of sober, happy, smiley faces.

Since the first fitness club nights were held, word has spread, and demand for more has meant there are now plans in place for rave fitness events to be held in Manchester, Edinburgh and Dublin, and potentially even an event in London’s Olympic park. How about that for a big crowd?!

If raving it up on a Saturday night isn’t enough for you, how about a quick dance-off before work? Morning Glory is the early morning clubbing event held at the Village Underground nightclub in East London. DJ sets consisting of deep house club anthems, and clubbers here dance freestyle; anything goes as long as you’re moving.

Morning Glory’s tag line is ‘Rave your way into the day’. Coffee, fresh juices and massages are on offer at the club event, where the party-goers are just as enthusiastic as any found in a normal night club, if not more  - and they fill the room with whoops and cheers as they move and shake their stuff to their favourite beats.  It may be 6.30am but this is no tired after party, rather a clubbing event filled with a genuinely happy, up-for-it crowd. But it’s not so strange if you think about it. Many people attend fitness classes first thing in the morning, the difference here is that there’s a bigger social, music and fun element.

These tea-total raves give people the opportunity to dance and exercise, whether it be freestyle or structured, in a proper night club environment, and provide fans with the endorphin rush of an intense work-out. Dancing is a great way of keeping active; combining a good cardio work out with lots of fun. Dancing can also do wonders for your brain and emotions (to find out more about that click here) and moving to music is something that people seem to do innately.

Fitness club nights are proving to be hugely popular and let’s hope this is a result of people not only looking for an alternative to alcohol-fuelled dance parties, but also for ways to integrate wellness and fitness into lifestyle and social habits.