Brattleboro Dawn Dances

Survival Guide

Let’s be honest – dancing all night long is crazy. Not in a bad way, just in a “you have to be a little nuts to want to try this” way. And it’s true, we’re all a little nuts. Now that we’ve stablished that, here are a few tips to help you survive the night, have an awesome time, and not regret it (too much) in the morning.

What to Bring

  • Water: Bring lots of water, in a sealable bottle or jug (no alcohol bottles please, even if they contain water). You can refill your bottle from sinks or water fountains in the hall. Remember to take breaks and drink water throughout the evening.
  • Food: Drinking lots of water won’t be enough to get you through the night, so plan on eating snacks or even a meal to keep your energy up. You can purchase sweet and savory food from the vendors at the dance, or bring your own. Sweets like chocolate, cookies, brownies, etc. are certainly yummy, but remember to also bring something with protein and something salty.
  • Changes of clothes: You’ll definitely want to change your outfit one or more times during the night, and your dance partners will thank you if you do. Some people go through 4 or 5 T-shirts in the course of the Dawn Dance, and we support that.
  • Towel: There are showers available in the bathrooms at the Gibson Aiken center.

What NOT to Bring

  • Alcohol, Alcohol Bottles, or Drugs: We can’t emphasize this enough – if you bring alcohol or illegal drugs, or bottles that look like they contain alcohol or once contained alcohol, you could jeopardize our ability to use the Gibson Aiken center and cause the Dawn Dances to never happen again. You don’t want to be that person. Seriously.
  • Sleeping Bags, Pads, Pillows: There is absolutely no sleeping or lying down allowed in the building. This is a fire code issue, and the Town of Brattleboro (which owns and manages the building) is very strict about this. Please help us enforce the fire code regulations by leaving your sleeping bags, pads, etc. in your car and reminding your fellow dancers not to sleep or lie down anywhere in the building.
  • Suitcases, Large bags, etc.: There’s not much room in the hall for storing your belongings. Please leave large bags and anything you don’t need for the dance in your car.

Survival Skills

  • Take a nap earlier in the day
  • Arrange a place to crash ahead of time (see the lodging page for info)
  • Work out with your friends/carpool buddies about leaving early if you need to sleep
  • Don’t push yourself – if you feel lightheaded, winded, or just exhausted, take a break, drink some water, and have a snack. Don’t keep dancing if it makes you feel bad.
  • Take care of your feet – if you feel yourself getting blisters, stop and take care of them early in the night before they get really bad. There are first aid supplies in the front hall, including bandaids and moleskin.

Contact the Dawn Dance: 802-451-0822 or

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