Urban Dance Party | Spring 2018
I am a professor at the University of British Columbia and public health physician who works in the field of harm reduction. The ongoing opioid overdose crisis has led to an unprecedented number of illicit drug overdose deaths with fentanyl detected in more than three quarters of deaths in 2017. Those who consume recreational drugs may be unaware of the content and how dangerous illegal drugs can be.
Peer influences and normalization of substance use (drugs and alcohol) in party culture can pressure youth to take substances when they have little desire to do so. Party4Health normalizes healthy behaviors such as dancing and socialization in the absence of substance use by designing events that promote healthy party culture and natural euphoria. Party4Health markets healthy partying as the new cool, and gives youth an alternative, safe and fun environment in which to socialise. I have worked with Jacques personally and support his team fully. I wish them success in their endeavours.
I am proud to support the concept of Party4Health. The premise of the organization is to encourage youth to enjoy social interactions with music without the need for drugs and alcohol. This concept is particularly relevant against the background of the opioid crisis which has hit the lower mainland and province.
Recent deaths of young people using popular rave drugs contaminated with opioid analogues emphasizes the need to enjoy dancing without the risk of respiratory arrest and death. The benefits of dancing and social interaction without the use of artificial stimulants have enormous positive health implications.
In a sense, Party4Health represents the ultimate Harm Reduction maneuver available to the public health community and should be supported to the fullest extent.
Active Engagement: We are in the here and now. Our experiences encourage participants to actively socialize and engage in their surroundings, as opposed to absentmindedly. Phones are only necessary at our parties to capture euphoric memories.
Natural Euphoria: We get high on life. Our events make people momentarily forget about their job title, their to do’s, their sources of stress, and their sense of self-criticism, while rediscovering the euphoria of human connection and dance.
Nonjudgement: We encourage active inclusion and diversity. Our events are public, inclusive, and all-ages. Everyone is welcome, everyone is accepted and everyone is encouraged to be their self. At our events, participants are ambassadors of active inclusion. There’s no such thing as embarrassment here.
Mindfulness: We behave respectfully and courteously. Our events operate within the bounds of civility and the law. Our participants exercise self-restraint and refinement. Although our events are wild, we follow rules and common courtesies when interacting with the environment and each other.
Leave No Trace: We are grateful to party here. The environment we are privileged to play in is sacred. We leave nothing behind, aside from a positive reputation with the surrounding residents. We acknowledge our parties take place on the unceded territory of the indigenous Coast Salish.
Wellness has five parts: Spiritual, Social, Physical, Financial, and Community.
Partying for health boosts your social, physical, community, and spiritual well-being. Here’s how:
Social: This is sourced from your social connections and closest relationships. Partying for health means nurturing these relationships and creating new ones in an inclusive, nonjudgmental environment.
Physical: Sleep, nutrition, physical activity, and mental health underpin physical well being. Partying for health encourages physical activity through dance and exploration, and positive mental health through stress reduction and stimulation of positive emotions. The most important feature here is that partying for health does not necessitate the use of drugs or alcohol to enjoy or lose oneself in the moment. All the chemicals you need to get high on your own livelihood (endorphins) are already present!
Community: Your community well being is least under your control, as it is determined by the social, economic, environmental, cultural, and political conditions of your community. Partying for health is a powerful force that can shift social and political norms by bringing people together in the moment. It’s about cultivating diversity in a social environment.
Spiritual: While most people seek out external sources of euphoria and contentment, (through buying luxuries, pursuing fame, or getting rich) people who party for health learn how to tap into their inner genuine selves to find a sense of wholeness, harmony, and bliss. Partying for health is one of the means, along with meditation, to discover an internal source of validation and happiness.
Financial: Healthy partying is healthy for your bank account. Substances are expensive. Nightclubs are profit-hungry. Exclusive dress codes are meant for people with money. In contrast, our parties are free and impact-driven!
We are the future of partying: A group of event designers setting out to create a more engaging, inclusive, and healthy party culture. We leverage partying to promote health and community, to reconcile Health and Fun.
Embodied in partying is a tremendous opportunity for undermining division, spreading positive mental health, building lasting professional and personal relationships, encouraging physical activity, and promoting community and team development. In North America, this opportunity is tarnished by toxic social norms. Conventional entertainment, party, and nightlife events often encourage “drunkenness” and are associated with negative health effects by design. These include drug use, hearing loss, motor vehicle accidents, violence, sexual violence, sense of humiliation, crime, and illness. The especially sad truth is that substance use forms the underlying social lubricant for these events.
From a broader viewpoint, modern recreation has taken a turn for the worse; screens are replacing other human beings; engagement with the world is becoming more and more passive; and apathy and inactivity are being spread. You witness this on public transit, in nightclubs, and at music festivals. We are losing our ability to engage in genuine, euphoric human connection.
Party4Health is a movement and community, with the objective of spreading healthy party culture. Our unprecedented events and festivities are public, all-ages, and inclusive. They are designed to make participants feel natural euphoria (positive emotional stimulation), ego dissolution, and connection. We capitalize on dance, laughter, inclusiveness, physical activity, and exploration to create naturally-euphoric experiences, which form high-lit memories. At Party4Health, we are harnessing the positive health benefits of partying, building capacity in youth for healthy fun, and normalizing dancing and socializing without the presence of drugs.
Our Mission: Spread healthy party culture across the nation.
We have done our research: regular socialization (1) and naturally-derived euphoria (2) is healthy, increasing our well-being and decreasing our negative emotions. However, these positives are obliterated by the negatives of traditional partying.
Read more about our Vision.
Get involved. Partner with us. Hire us. Party with us. Get in touch with us, below.