by Durrie Lawrence
If you’re getting bored of that daily tuna sandwich in your cubicle, it may be time to check out Lunch Beat.
What began as one hour of midday dance in Sweden has inspired an international following, with lunchtime dance parties including as many as 600 participating dancers. Local dancer Venus French organized Lunch Beat’s Bay Area debut on Thursday in downtown Oakland, where about 50 people paid $15 each to attend at In the Groove Studios.
Volunteers helped French transform the studio into a mini-nightclub, complete with a DJ and disco lights. Professionals in business attire and dance enthusiasts jumped, shimmied, and yelped to the music.
“[It’s] a roomful of people that are just totally loving dancing during the daytime, and really digging the opportunity to do something different on their lunch break,” French described the scene.
After dancing, participants noshed on cucumber mango salad and a vegetarian Indian dish called kitchari provided by a local culinary student.
The Lunch Beat Manifesto:
1st rule: If it’s your first lunch at Lunch Beat, you have to dance.
2nd rule: If it’s your second, third or fourth time lunch at Lunch Beat, you have to dance.
3rd rule: If you are getting too tired to actually dance at Lunch Beat, please have your lunch at some other place.
4th rule: You don’t talk about your job at Lunch Beat.
5th rule: At Lunch Beat everyone present is your dance partner.
6th rule: Any Lunch Beat are to be no longer than 60 minutes long and set during “lunch time.”
7th rule: Lunch Beat always serve their guest with a 1 Dj-set and 1 take away meal.
8th rule: Water is always served during a Lunch Beat for free.
9th rule: Lunch Beat is a preferably drug free environment.
10th rule: Lunch Beat can be set up anywhere by anyone as long as they are announced as public events, are nonprofit arrangements and are directed by this manifesto.