We’ve all heard the saying “Dance like no one’s watching;” there is something wonderful about the notion of being free and uninhibited and allowing your body to move as it pleases to the music. An activity usually reserved for private lounge-rooms or by a lone punter at 4am on a nightclub dance-floor, it is now bopping it’s way into a safe space in the form of a fun and inspiring movement which is called ‘No Lights, No Lycra.’
No Lights No Lycra, or NLNL as it’s affectionately known are regular dance nights run at over 50 locations all over the world. As the name suggests, these sessions are all about dancing in the dark. Participants gather in a certain venue, at a certain time and are encouraged to dance freely and without judgement for approximately 75 minutes. There are no rules, there is no choreography, there are no costumes and there is no audience. It is simply moving to the music, independently, in groups or alone.
NLNL sessions are great exercise, stress relief, non-pretentious, no skill required, easy, relaxing places to just be yourself and allow the music to take you away. The music varies each week and there is often a mix of genres; pop, disco, funk, RnB, hip-hop, alternative, mainstream and everything in-between. There is music to cater to all tastes.
The Perth sessions are run twice weekly at “The Ring” in Northbridge on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 7:30pm. They cost just $5 which is payable on the night to the facilitator, or the NLNL Ambassador as they are known.
There are also sessions in Fremantle, run every Tuesday at 8pm- 9:30pm at the Fremantle Lawn Tennis Club.
The No Lights No Lycra movement was started in Melbourne in 2009 by Alice Glenn and Heidi Barrett and has since grown to over 50 locations all around the world.
The sessions are open to people of all ages, genders, abilities and backgrounds and provide an inclusive, non-judgemental place for people to relax, shake off the stress of daily life and just enjoy the music.
In our current world where everything seems to be so over scheduled and everyone is busy, the idea of no rules and no dress code is very appealing.
At the heart of NLNL is the belief that everyone can dance.
While there are no rules about the dancing, there are some guidelines which everyone must adhere to. It is integral that NLNL is a safe space; this means that there is no touching, no alcohol and no drugs. Also, talking must be kept to a minimum and judgements must be left at the door.
The Perth chapter has been operating for approximately 4 years and Bryony Calendar, the Perth Ambassador tells us that for her “NLNL is about taking whatever has been bouncing around in my head during the week, be it work stuff or home stuff and taking it through the physical experience of dance to let it go. I use the darkness and the music to explore how my body moves and allow it to move how it wants. There are times I’ve opened my eyes and realised I’ve lost myself in some bizarre dance move but I just let it keep going. It borders on meditation for me. I always walk away from NLNL feeling like a lighter and more authentic version of myself.”
These sessions are a great way to clear your head and reset yourself for a new week.
Dance allows music to soothe your soul and quieten your mind.
So, why not try a ‘No Lights No Lycra’ session and dance like no one’s watching.
Because they’re not.
They’re dancing too.
To find out more about the movement or the Perth or Fremantle sessions, click the links below.