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New Buffalo group to start hosting morning dance and fitness raves

Members of a Buffalo church look to start a new morning ritual: a dance and fitness rave.

Sunchasers will kick off the new effort from 6 to 8 a.m. Thursday in a large group space in the city. Those who would like to participate need to visit the group’s website,, for an invitation to sign up.

“It’s a great different way for professionals, students, everyone, to come together and share this positive thing in the morning and then go about your day,” said Joella McLaurin, a member of the Buffalo Church of Christ, where the idea bubbled up in recent weeks. “You’re energized, it’s something positive and it starts your day off right.”

McLaurin described the Buffalo organizers as “a very, very diverse” group that ranges in age from 19 to 44. They borrowed the idea from similar efforts in New York City, Chicago and London.

“There’s a negative connotation with raves and nightlife in general,” McLaurin said. “The reason this is being done internationally, and that we loved it, is because in the morning it takes away all of the negative consequences. People can still have fun – especially people who enjoy fitness and enjoy dancing – and not have hangovers the next day.”

Organizers expect 50 to 150 people to show up for the first event, which will include a Zumba class taught by a certified instructor, followed by a dance rave led by a DJ. The high-intensity music will be upbeat but vary in style.

The fitness class will cost $10; the dance party alone, $20. The entire event will cost $25. The dance party will include cold-pressed juices and granola bars from Ashker’s, a sponsor.

Sunchasers hopes to do one such event at least every other month to start. The fitness class will vary in style but the dance rave will be about the same. Locations will shift.

“Typically we’d like warehouse or gallery-type locations, bigger open spaces, maybe group fitness rooms – anything that can hold 50 and up,” said McLaurin, 27, who lives in Snyder.

McLaurin lived in Uganda and Ottawa and on Long Island before moving to Western New York about eight years ago to attend the University at Buffalo. She works at the Food Bank of Western New York; her husband, Cameron, who grew up in the Hudson River Valley, is also among the Sunchasers’ crew. He works as an engineer in Springville.

“I hope people love the first event and can see the vision we see,” Joella McLaurin said. “We think it’s going to be great, and hope it grows in Buffalo. It’s something new and exciting, and healthy and positive.”


Twitter: @BNrefresh, @ScottBScanlon

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