Have you ever wanted to dance like nobody’s watching – with other people? Well now you can!
No Lights No Lycra (NLNL) is a global dance movement originally started in Melbourne by dance students Alice Glenn and Heidi Barrett in 2009, founded on the belief that everyone can dance.
Tired of critiquing themselves in the mirror, they started busting moves with the lights off in their house and quickly rediscovered their joy in dancing. They soon moved from their living room dance sessions to St Marks Church Hall in Fitzroy, Melbourne, where five people got together to freely express themselves without judgement. In the winter darkness, the warm glow of the heaters, No Lights No Lycra was launched to the song ‘Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien’ by Edith Piath. The dance night grew through word of mouth and within a few months the hall was full of people who shared the same yearning for a dimly lit space to dance as freely as they do in their living rooms.
NLNL now runs dance nights throughout Australia and in over 60 locations around the world. With attendees aged from 8 years old to 74 year old and everything in between, there’s always a good mix of ages, genders, bodies, abilities, backgrounds, and dance styles – united by their shared love of dance.
There is no light, no lycra, no teacher, no steps to learn, no technique, just free movement. NLNL is a space where you are encouraged to completely let go, shake out the stresses of the week, and lose yourself in the music and the physicality of your body. It’s light enough so that you can see the silhouettes of people around you, but dark enough so that you can’t make out their features.
For Laura Morgan, an attendee in Melbourne, the lights off, free form nature of the events provides more than just the excuse to bust out some daggy moves unseen, but something more profound. “Many of the constraints of our modern society can be transcended through dancing in this environment, gender and sexuality become irrelevant, and space is negotiated without words or power struggle.”
Now you can truly dance like nobody’s watching.
Perth’s sessions are on Monday nights 7:30-8:45pm at Leederville Town Hall, 82 Cambridge St, West Leederville.