Daybreaker Starts 2016 With a Clean Slate: An All White Affair

“Waiting for you Amanda :)”

My phone flashes a text.

I meet him out front at 6:30 a.m.

I’m skipping yoga. But, I’m coming.

I get into his car.

“Are you going to work?” he asks.

“No, I’m going to a dance party,” I answer.

“You’re funny.”

Five minutes later, as I watch the sun begin to rise over Lake Michigan, my Uber driver realized he was driving me to a 7 a.m. dance party.


A Word About Yoga:

It’s Wednesday, January 13, 2016, and I went to my fourth Chicago Daybreaker party. Daybreaker is  a start-up founded by Matthew Brimer and Radha Agrawal to change the way we think about having a good time.

I have been to all of the Chicago Daybreakers, and this is the first time I skipped yoga and showed up at the beginning of the dance party.

I was nervous. The yoga portion of Daybreaker is one of my favorite aspects of the experience. Well that, and listening to hip hop in the morning, something that helped me to wake-up at 6 a.m. when I was in high school.

I arrive at The Annex (1620 W. Chicago Ave.) a creative space noted as a Millennial study in emerging culture, creativity and consumerism in East Village.

Yoga was led by Julie Chez, a Chicago blogger for fashion and fitness.

Dance Party Ready:

As I walked into The Annex, I felt like I died.

Literally, died.

It was like heaven. Everything was white and everyone was wearing head to toe white.


There was an energy in the room that was nowhere else in the three degrees streets of Chicago.

I didn’t need the yoga, I was awake. I was immediately awake.

There were bright lights. Heavenly light. The lights stayed on for the entire dance party.


The Music: David Bowie Throwback and Hip Hop Hits:

The party started right away with hip hop hits and EDM mash-ups like, Bye Felicia. They didn’t wait until 8 a.m. to bring in the hip hop and familiar beats like in past Chicago Daybreakers.

Huge shout out to the DJ, Zeke Thomas and the special performance by, Kweku Collins.

DJ Zeke Thomas also added in throwbacks to David Bowie and the crowd went wild singing along.

Who Came to The Party?

For the fourth Daybreaker in Chicago, there were trumpet players, an MC, and of course dancers. But, it was a lot different.

Here, everything was on one level. There was no stage at The Annex.

One of my favorite performances was by a tap dancer. Her split was incredible, as was her costume. A dancing pair, also added an extra jolt of energy to the lit dance floor.

Special shout out to the dancing Clif Bars. Their hair and style was on fleek.

Another favorite was a participant. He was tall and looked like a Calvin Klein model. Best of all, he knew the words to every song and danced his heart out.

Also on the list was WGN TV anchor, Ana Belaval, who covered Daybreaker Chicago in the morning segment, Around Town. Belaval interview two attendees, Vanessa Baker, owner of Flying V Marketing and  Karrie Ozyuk, owner of Lucky Brake Bicycles.


Two attendees, Vanessa Baker and Karrie Ozyuk were interviewed for the TV segment about Chicago Daybreaker on WGN TV. Photo: Amanda Elliott

Tips For Your First Daybreaker:

  • Bring your friends or make them (people are pretty friendly).
  • Go to yoga. It’s harder to work out after work when you have been up since 6 a.m.
  • Bring your own yoga mat.
  • Dress up. Go with the theme. If it’s a white out, wear white.
  • Remember you’re not too young or to old. People in their 40’s come. Millennials come.
  • If Snapchat is your social media of choice, take snaps. Chicago Local Story on Snapchat resnapped a few stories for January 13th Daybreaker. You could be one of the locally famous ones featured. P.S. mine was chosen (Snap: @Rationalization).
  • Subscribe to the Daybreaker newsletter to learn about future Daybreaker events in Chicago.

Windy City Cosmo Guest Appearance on Chicago Podcast:

I’m excited that Windy City Cosmo was featured as Man Afraid of Everything’s first guest in its second series to discuss the first Chicago Daybreaker.

In Jed Stoneham’s podcast,  Man Afraid of Everything, he documents his experience trying things he is afraid to try.

“I do little things that most people have done already that I was afraid to do,” Stoneham told me.

We both cringed at Coconut Water and showed up to Daybreaker alone.


Listen to Chicago Daybreaker Experiences:

Stoneham describes his experience at Daybreaker in the beginning of the Chicago podcast and around 8 minutes into the show, we start the interview.

Listen to the full podcast, Dancing at Daybreaker (Season 2, #1).

Let me know your thoughts about the podcast and Chicago Daybreaker in the comments below and on Twitter (@WindyCityCosmo) and Instagram (@WindyCityCosmo).



Social Media Week Meme Themed Daybreaker

There were drums at 7 this morning, Wednesday, November 18, 2015. And no, you couldn’t throw your clothes over them.  Legacy Drumline was beating on them loudly as he welcomed daybreakers to the second Daybreaker, dance party at Tunnel (151 W. Kinzie Ave.). 

Daybreaker is a global movement founded by Matthew Brimer and Radha Agrawal to change the way we think about having a good time.

Like a new boyfriend, you can’t compare your first Daybreaker with your next.

What Do You Meme?

Each Daybreaker is a unique party and has another event, social cue, or meaning inspired by it.

For the second Daybreaker in Chicago, the team paired up with Social Media Week (#SMWChicago), a week program (November 16-20, 2015) that is part of a global conference which combines social technology, creativity, and human interaction to discuss the latest trends and best practices for social media.

Much like a meme, which is an image or clip that goes viral, the conference  has been trending on Twitter since Monday afternoon.

“This week is Social Media Week in Chicago, and we loved the idea of how memes are viral and create communities around creativity…and mischief!” said a Daybreaker representative.

As a movement that hinges on community and creativity, Daybreaker added meme ideas to the invite like #DrakeAlwaysOnBeatGrumpy Cat, and Condescending Wonka, and encouraged further discussion on the Daybreaker Facebook page.

During the event, a few dressed up as memes, which included Beyonce and Batman.



Dress as a meme theme. Photo: Amanda Elliott

“I definitely think this is the highlight of the week,” said returning Social Media Week attendee, Vanessa Baker, owner of Flying V Marketing.

Yoga Six at Six:

The morning started with yoga instructor, Rachel Hessen of Yoga Six.


Yoga led by Rachel Hessen. Photo: Amanda Elliott

Hessen kept the practice centered more on yoga then prepping for a dance party.


Morning Vinyasa flow at Chicago Daybreaker. Photo: Amanda Elliott

Attendees enjoyed the yoga experience, and a few migrated in between 6:15 and 6:45 am to an overcrowded room.


As always, there was a lineup of entertainment.

Braden Coucher, the MC for the morning, started off the show in his black hat, with a moment of meaning, “If 50 or 100 people show up, it becomes a movement,” he said, ” No one did anything of significance alone.”

Daybreaker NYC’s resident DJ,  David Hohme, flew to Chicago for the party.


Dance Party at Tunnel. Photo: Amanda Elliott

Singer Mike Golden, was the headlining performer, who incorporated his soulful voice in between EDM beats. Golden is featured on Chance the Rapper and Donnie Trumpet’s “Surf” album.

Christine Harris incorporated her Afro Fusion dance fitness moves to the party, as well.


Mother and daughter at Daybreaker.  Photo: Amanda Elliott

But, it wouldn’t be a party without the people, and they came. They brought their mother or came alone. This time around, while attendees were predominately in their 20s and 30s, there were people in their 40s and 50s joining the party. One woman came up on stage and had the crowd in a frenzy over her hula hoop moves. Her daughter joined her for a double act.

While the beats were consistent, by 8 am, the DJ turned up the momentum with faster tracks and some hip hop.


Hula hoop dancer at Daybreaker. Photo: Amanda Elliott

Daybreaker Invite:

Daybreaker is a new movement gaining acceptance throughout America and other countries. Chicago’s first Daybreaker was in October, and the new team hopes to keep the momentum going with a new event every month.

The next Daybreaker is anticipated to be December 2, 2015. Stay connected with the Daybreaker newsletter.



Neon lights at Daybreaker. Photo: Amanda Elliott