Every month a group gathers in Much Dewchurch to smash a shot of raw cacao and rave like it’s the late-90’s.
This is what it’s like going to the Wild Chocolate Club for the first time – by Rosie Walsh.
After my first sober clubbing encounter as a University fresher, I vowed: never again.
Waking up the next day with every Britney lyric from the 90’s spinning around my head was not a worthy enough replacement for a spinning head. But, at the risk of sounding like I have a problem, 6 years on and I can safely say that I successfully managed to dance my socks off 100% sober and I have 100% loved it.
‘The Wild Chocolate Club’ describes itself as a ‘raw, ecstatic, conscious clubbing experience’. At this point you may be confused, how can you achieve ecstasy (whatever that may be) whilst being completely sober? Don’t us insatiable adults need external stimulation to get ecstatic? Well, yes, but as I discovered – raw cacao and some banging tunes are enough to do the trick.
Wild Chocolate Club, at its essence, is dancing around in a room full of strangers with your eyes closed. A novel experience for most, I should imagine.
All expectations, inhibitions and humility are invited to be left at the door, because no one is watching you. No one is judging you, no one is eyeing you up on the dance floor. No one else cares if you know the Cha Cha slide or how to successfully Drop It Like It’s Hot. You are free to shake what you were given in any way you feel you need to.
A pre-dance boost comes in the form of a shot of the highly-nutritious and endorphin-releasing ‘raw cacao’ – which is also highly-delicious (and requires no salt or lemon).
With endorphin levels high and the lights down low, the music started playing and our eyes started to close.
Wild Chocolate Clubbers are first guided to warm up by ‘shaking’ their bodies, a quite literal description. A strange sensation at first, one really does feel like both the day and all its worries have been shaken off into the abyss.
I vow to shake more often.
Then, the main event; a rare chance to unleash all those crazy moves you have been suppressing out of fear people will say you dance like your parents. Your limbs can throw shapes that even you didn’t know were possible, or that your body knew it desired to throw.
The music played throughout different tempos and rhythms, encouraging the body to express itself in a plethora of ways – I defy anyone who doesn’t leave without purchasing a CD – and Zoe and Rebecca are on hand with pillows to gently guide away individuals whose grooves are about to bust into a fellow dancer’s space.
There is more to WCC than just simply dancing. The whole experience can be thought of as an ‘active meditation’.
Those of you who, like myself, are full of beans and find it hard to grasp the ‘sitting and being still’ part of meditation, are perfect candidates for WCC.
The way the lovely hosts, Rebecca and Zoe, guide you through the different stages of the dance with a focus on the breath, really puts you at ease and helps you connect with your body in a way that squashes the ever present mental chatter we are all faced/sentenced with. The feeling of being free from cluttered thoughts as endorphins flood a body buzzing from the beat, is one of a kind.
The night draws to a close with a sublime sound bath, before we all reconnect to share our experience over some wholesome and hard earned fruit and nuts.
It is a rare phenomenon that you will feel more relaxed and invigorated by the end of a night out, as opposed to the start.
I have often asked myself ‘why must I go out when I said I would stay in?’ And now I know. DANCING – it makes us feel alive. Music brings us together, movement binds us. WCC has reignited the energy of my inner child and reminded me that – far better than a pint – all I need to boost my mood is put my headphones on, go to the apple orchard and dance like no one is watching (good God let’s hope no one is).
Failing that, I can attend one of their weekly ecstatic dance class that WCC hold every Month.