We’ve Got the (Lunch) Beat

I was approaching the dreaded teenage years when Footloose and then Dirty Dancing  boogied their way into our collective consciousness. From the popularity of those and other dance films, as well as shows like Dancing with the Stars, it’s clear that we have a foundational love affair with movement set to music.

However, I had not ever considered combining dancing with my lunch, unless eating while standing by the kitchen sink can be considered a kind of dance. If you’re like me, lunch is often ignored. Or, best case scenario, it’s twenty five minutes out of my day where I cram a sandwich or a can of tuna and call it good.

But what if lunch time became a highlight of the day, a time when we set aside the stress of the daily grind and actually…danced?

Introducing Lunch Beat

It was late 2010 when a group of coworkers in Sweden decided to take their lunch break literally underground to the garage and dance during their hour of relative freedom from their desks. They decided to call this event Lunch Beat. As information has spread about this weekly event, groups around the world have sprung up and Lunch Beat has formed an international network of, well, people who dance during their lunch breaks.

A Different Kind of Networking

Even though the founders of Lunch Beat call this gathering “your week’s most important business lunch,” there’s not the traditional kind of networking that you would expect to find in a group of professionals. Instead, there’s dancing from noon to one in a venue that allows you to forget about work for awhile in order to do a better job when you get back to your desk. In addition to the space and music, the organizers also provide then a simple lunch (i.e., sandwich and fruit) and water before you head back to the daily grind.

The First Rule About Fight Club Lunch Beat

Lunch Beat, like any good underground organization, has specific rules – one of them states that there’s no talk about jobs during this sacred hour. A good friend of mine compared it to Fight Club, the movie in which both the first and second rules are, “You don’t talk about fight club.”

While the rules for Lunch Beat aren’t as threatening, they are serious. There are a total of ten rules, the first two most reminiscent of the movie:

  1. If it’s your first lunch at Lunch Beat, you have to dance.
  2. If it’s your second, third or fourth time lunch at Lunch Beat, you have to dance.

While these events can be independently sponsored, founders encourage people to join the Lunch Beat network, providing specific guidelines especially when it comes to the non-profit spirit of the organization. It’s not a time to make money or focus on your career. Instead, in the timeless words of Ren McCormack as he slid across the floor during the high school prom, “Leeeeettttt’s Daaaaannnnncccccee!”

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