Secret Dance Addiction – the brainchild of husband and wife duo Mike and Amber Handby – has taken Denver by storm with a Waking Up The Summer Dance Party Series. The series, continuing throughout September, offers a new type of nightlife – free of alcohol and with a focus on wellness and mindfulness.
Mike and Amber started their journey of partying their way to wellness after meeting each other seven years ago in a recording studio. The two then came together as a couple and later formed the DJ pair DoubleCrush, adorably named after the crushes they both had for each other. The couple now co-own Secret Dance Addiction and are the force behind a new festival experience they call Sundown Colorado. Mike is also DJ Ignight and the owner of Ignight Entertainment.
As the pair performed sets at parties and nightlife events, they discovered that they also had a passion for health, wellness and most of all – connection.
“As DJs and musicians, we built platforms for ourselves to have thousands of conversations about how parties are and what makes a party super fun and what makes them more fun and different than others. And at the end of the day, we found that connection is really the main reason people go to parties,” Mike explained,
As the two delved deeper into finding those connections while hosting parties, they discovered a common factor that often helped along with people’s ability to connect – alcohol and drugs. So, the duo started to experiment by taking away the influence of alcohol and drugs at Secret Dance Addiction events to see if the connections stayed – and if they changed.
“When we remove certain things from events and it’s all about the connection, those are the parties that really hit it home. Everybody’s stoked when they leave. It’s like, yo, I connected. I had a great time. Secret Dance Addiction was an idea of what happens if we remove filters and connect raw with each other?” stated Mike.
After hosting several virtual events throughout lockdowns and receiving positive feedback, the duo decided to move forward in bringing Secret Dance Addiction to Denver as the city welcomed the return of in-person events. As Amber and Mike were making plans to host in-person events, Awake Denver opened its doors in Jefferson Park. The pair then got into contact with Awake owners Christy and Billy Wynne to partner for the poppin’ summer series.
“We always knew that after the virtual events that we [held] all throughout COVID and people were joining from all around the world. We knew that we needed to bring it in person as soon as possible to Colorado,” Amber said. “Waking Up the Summer was born out of that need to bring the community together. And by community, I mean anybody who loves to dance, anybody that wants to come out and party. And alcohol has no ownership over music and nightlife at all. And it’s that freedom that comes from connecting and just dancing and seeing crazy stuff like bubbles or a unicorn bathtub full of ducks, you know?”
The Wake Up the Summer Dance Party Series from Secret Dance Addiction uses the idea of turning down first and then turning up by starting with meditation. The DJs turn down the noise, get silent together with the crowd and ask everyone at the event to make an intention to connect. After the meditation, everyone raises their non-alc0holic beverages in the air for toast – which then leads to a turnt up party (without really being “turnt”).
The latest shin-dig, dubbed Bubbles + Bathrobes, came to fruition on August 8 after being rained out and postponed from July 31. Partygoers danced their hearts out in form of a silent disco with Sound Off Colorado headphones in front of Awake while donning funky outfits and of course, some killer bathrobes. Attendees enjoyed refreshing non-alcoholic beverages from Awake Denver while partying the evening out and rocking to beats from the adorable duo and founders DoubleCrush.
Another goal of Secret Dance Addiction’s Waking Up the Summer Dance Party Series? Inclusivity – for everyone. The parties are a safe space and open to people of all ages, children included. So if you love a good dance party as a family outing, the series is perfect. You can also bring your furry friends to the events, as long as they are down to jam.
The next event in the Wake Up the Summer Dance Party Series lineup is a Party Animal Soiree on August 21 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The party is free to attend. You can register here. The event will be located at Awake Denver at 2240 Clay Street #Unit 100, Denver.
The series will culminate to a wild finish with a fully sober festival dubbed Sundown Colorado on September 11. The festival, created in partnership with Ignight Entertainment and Secret Dance Addiction will offer a vendor village filled with local vendors, art installations from local artists, guided meditations and more. You can also party it up to performances from DJs including DoubleCrush, Yolanda Be Cool and Autograf.
“The need for an event like Sundown has been a long time coming, and we could not be more excited to host the inaugural Sundown festival in Colorado,” said Mike “Our overall mission is to bring parties back to the days of gathering to reconnect and dance, and with Sundown Colorado we’re reminding people what a music festival can be.”
Sundown Colorado is the first festival put on by Ignight Entertainment and Secret Dance Addiction. The festival partners again with Awake Denver to present a full sober bar serving up non-alcoholic cocktails. The festival also offers a detox bar with wellness IVs, wellness services and elixirs for an elevated experience.
“We want people to leave Sundown, literally feeling better than when they came. Not just the short-term better, but actually sustainably positive, like a net gain when they leave. We want to bring that health, we want people to be healthy at our event. So we’ve discovered that ourselves as individuals and we just want to bring people into that world for just a day,” explained Mike.
With the Waking Up the Summer Dance Party Series and Sundown Colorado, Mike and Amber press forward in their passion for connecting with others without the influence of alcohol and drugs for more meaningful relationships.
“As artists and DJs, we are tasked with igniting connections between people on the dance floor, and Sundown Colorado brings this concept to the next level. We invite you to be open-minded and present while connecting through healing, creativity and dance in this urban playground of electronic music,” Amber said.
Sundown Colorado will occur on September 11 from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. The event will be located at RiNo’s Festival Grounds at 3715 Chestnut Pl., Denver.
Photography by Nick Annis and Martha Wirth Photography, courtesy of Secret Dance Addiction.