Gym Rat: Daybreaker dance workout gets day off to a rollicking start

Daybreaker dawn dance party workout at Wurstkuche in Venice
The Daybreaker, this one at Wurstkuche restaurant in Venice, is a dance party of a workout at the crack of dawn.
(Al Seib, Los Angeles Times)

If you’re feeling a little weary of cycling and other fitness classes, here’s a way to start your day with your cardio workout under your belt and a little positive attitude besides: a 6:30 a.m. stomping, rocking party to dance in the day.

People in workout clothes, PJs and all manner of costumes crowded the cement floor of a Venice restaurant as electronic music blared Saturday-night loud with DJ Overjoy. The Downtown Horns — trombone, trumpet and sax — also played. There were bubbles, lighted jellyfish puppets passed among the crowd, a conga line. For 90 minutes, it was frenetic, crowded dancing. Then everyone sat on the floor for a brief — and charming — rap from Austin Antoine and a group reading of an affirmation about work and play. And off to the rest of the day, all by 8:30 a.m.

Daybreaker, a monthly event, with plans to run twice a month starting in January. Held at various locations, most recently at Wurstkuche, 625 Lincoln Blvd., Venice. Next one is Dec. 10. Daybreaker also occurs in New York and London, with other cities on the way. A mailing list is at

Aura: Wild and welcoming, a before-work sober rave. Just make your way into the couple of hundred moving bodies and move. I wondered if some of them were finishing the night with one last stop before bed. The dancers were mostly young, but not 100%.


Effort: Completely up to you. Not very different from any dance, where some people go all out all the time and others sort of weave back and forth to the music. Join the conga line or not. Dance nonstop or take breaks. There’s no teacher to chastise you.

Style: All your own, from fashion statement to dance style. Some couldn’t dance at all and just jumped.

Cost: $20 in advance, $25 in the final 48 hours before the event. Admission included unlimited iced coffee (hot would be dangerous on the dance floor), energy bars and a couple of bottled drinks.

If you have suggestions for classes, please let me know by email or Twitter (@mmacvean).