Sober raving: dancing your way to connection

At Morning Gloryville breakfast raves, people let loose in a party atmosphere. Part of the movement’s runaway success, explains its founder, is that it creates intense connection – strictly free from booze or drugs

“I used to drink and take drugs to gain confidence, to connect with people,” says Samantha Moyo, ‘founding mother’ of the conscious clubbing movement Morning Gloryville. Five years ago, having decided to leave a hedonistic lifestyle behind, Moyo wondered if there was a way to recreate the thrill and escapism of raving while remaining sober.

The result has now gone worldwide: there have been Morning Gloryville events in 14 countries, from Spain to Singapore, from Toronto to Tokyo.

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“Now, I can be that same wild, crazy woman with the confidence I’ve built up over time,” says Moyo. “Our events create the world we want: one in which we compliment, connect and we’re not afraid of strangers. Where we don’t feel we need Dutch courage: the courage is instilled in us already. It’s just beautiful.”

Events usually start at 6.30am, with welcoming huggers on the door, and feature energising, uplifting music as well as free massages, yoga, organic coffee and smoothie bars. They’re often themed, leading to some inspired fancy dress efforts and moments of group connection are planned in too: holding hands in a circle, or group meditations, for example. Sobriety, and the shared intention to connect, creates a unique atmosphere, believes Moyo.

You can be childish, playful, silly, you can hug people and dance like no one’s watching

“There’s trust in the space, more harmony in the crowd and it puts everyone on the same playing field. In our culture, it’s become the norm to get drunk in order to connect, or take MDMA to get into cuddle huddles. But we show you don’t need any of that. You can be childish, playful, silly, you can hug people and dance like no one’s watching. It’s become a phenomenon because people thought ‘why haven’t we been doing this all along?’”

All images: Jason Purple Photography


This article is part of a special focus on addiction, which also features in Positive News magazine. Subscribe now to get the magazine delivered to your door each quarter.