In the wise words of Lady Gaga: "Just dance."
That's what everyone is welcome to do this Tuesday at the River Market. The market is hosting Lunch Beat, a daytime, hour-long dance party that originated in Sweden as an underground movement that motivated office workers to do a little dancing on their lunch break as a way to re-invigorate their work day.
It was Melissa Balfour, River Market events coordinator, who came up with the idea of having a Lunch Beat at the market.
"I knew that New West had enough cool people to come out and dance," Balfour says. "We are in a unique position here with so many office buildings surrounding River Market as well as easy access to the SkyTrain. It's a perfect way for people to come and enjoy their lunch break."
Everyone - office workers, moms, seniors, students, market visitors, etc. - is invited to grab a little lunch from one of the market's delicious vendors and then head to an upstairs room where they can boogie the lunch hour away.
"You go back to work, and you feel better. You feel refreshed. You feel happy," says Balfour, who hopes the Lunch Beat mid-day dance parties will turn into a monthly event at the market.
Balfour laid out the Lunch Beat rules in a media release:
Rule 1: If it's your first lunch at Lunch Beat, you have to dance.
Other rules include no drugs, no alcohol, no freeloading and no talking about your job.
The set lasts 60 minutes, includes water and a DJ. Participants are encouraged to come on their own, as partners are not mandatory.
Lunch Beat began in 2010 in an underground Stockholm garage. The inaugural group of 14 grew to hundreds and Lunch Beat spread across several European countries, to India then across the Atlantic to New York and Toronto, Balfour wrote.
Balfour has partnered up with The Network Hub, a co-working space that calls River Market its home, as well as DJ Emiko, who is doing the set for free.
New Westminster's first Lunch Beat session is set for Tuesday, Aug. 28 from noon to 1 p.m. on the market's second floor. Admission to the dance party is free with the purchase of lunch from any of the River Market restaurants.
The event will be held in a conference room, which currently houses the market's artists-in-residence, a group of three young artists - Remy Siu, Natalie Tin Yin Gan and Milton Lim - who called their collective Hong Kong Exile.
Along with working on their own creative endeavours - Tin Yin Gan is a choreographer, Lim is in theatre and Siu is a composer - they also act as curators in their space at the market. They host art events, including screening short-and SFU-student films on Sunday nights. All three are ready to get grooving on Tuesday.
"Essentially, people can come by and just boogie," says Siu, a musician who grew up in New Westminster.
"If Remy (Siu) can dance, anyone can dance," Tin Yin Gan says, laughing.
For more information about Lunch Beat, see www.rivermarket.ca.