Sunset reflections are still bouncing between buildings, and already a line has started to form at the door of House of Yes in Bushwick. An eclectic ensemble of people drop laptops and other work-day paraphernalia at coat check and proceed directly to the dance floor, where a humid mass pulsates to thumping EDM and live drums. Somebody is holding a pineapple aloft.
This is The Get Down—an early evening congregation of party people with no agenda other than several inhibition-free hours on the dance floor. It’s a safe space for wild gyrations where phones are frowned upon, alcohol is unnecessary, and the vibe is strictly non-judgemental.
On the decks, front and center, is Tasha Blank—a figurehead of “positive clubbing culture” (think raving for the wellness crowd), pioneer of the deep house yoga movement and founder of this post-workday revelry. She’s also the leader of The Get Down Crew—a musical collective that blends steady DJ-spun bass with live instruments, resonant vocals and uplifting mantras.
For many people, dancing is an activity aided by, if not entirely reliant upon, inebriation. The Get Down Crew is on a mission to remind us that dance is a fundamental channel for human expression, and the act of shedding your inhibitions without the use of substances feels liberating. For the increasing number of millennials consciously monitoring their alcohol consumption, a fun social event that doesn’t revolve around booze comes as kind of a relief.
“In New York a lot of what we do revolves around drinking—trying a new fancy cocktail bar, or rooftop wine with friends,” says Jennifer Lewis, a 31-year-old advertising strategist who came with a group of girlfriends. “The Get Down is cool because there’s no pressure to drink. All anybody wants to do is dance, no intoxication needed. It’s way better than happy hour.”
Dancing at The Get Down isn’t the drunken stumble-shuffle generally associated with nightclubs—it’s practically athletic. Some people don activewear and sneakers like it’s a cardio dance class at a boutique fitness studio, others spangly getup more befitting of a Burning Man party. One couple performs a sensual tango like there’s nobody else in the room—high on their own natural concoction of endorphins and oxytocin.
Just before the event wraps up at 10pm, the pineapple, which has been doing the rounds all night, is sliced up and shared out. With sticky fingers and smiling faces, the revelers slowly make their way back outside. There’s no talk of an afterparty, just enthusiasm for the prospect of a cool shower and a great night’s sleep.
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