No lights, no lycra, no fear

Dancing

Not a day goes by without a classic 70’s song coming on the radio causing me to break out in spontaneous and uninhibited dance.

However, the suggestion “we should do a dance class together!” has me reeling in apprehension of offensively bright lighting, unflattering dancewear and “a-one-two-three-four” count in.

Look no further, fellow lovers of dance; No Lights No Lycra boasts everything your average dance class does not.

NLNL is a non-competitive dance space where participants are invited to burst out of the confines of modest dancing and unleash their wildest, dorky and most uncoordinated moves all in the name of self-expression.

Spawned in 2009 by Melbourne dance students Alice Glenn and Heidi Barrett,there is no lycra, no lights, no instructor and no steps, just pure musical anarchy.

African dance instructor Diana Raczek and wellness coach Anna Crommelin have teamed up to coordinate the Gold Coast’s own NLNL dance party, which kicked off at Miami’s Rabbit and Cocoon this month.

“The heart of No Lights No Lycra is the belief that everyone can dance”, said Diana.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re old, young, coordinated or not – you’re in a happy environment and a dimly lit room full of people just like you.”

Aside from the freedom of self-expression, dancing has proven to be beneficial for both your physical and mental health. In an age where spare time is rare and schedules are tight, No Lights No Lycra offers your fix of exercise, music and playtime all within the one-hour event.

“People are struggling to find downtime in their day-to-day lives”, said Anna.

“At No Lights No Lycra people can just rock up whenever they like, dance the day off and leave feeling a little sweaty but very happy.”

First time NLNL attendee Mella Bunker described it as a “crazed night of dancing in the dark”.

Before attending NLNL, a friend of Mellas asked “Why don’t [NLNL participants] just go to nightclubs?”

“Because frankly, I thought, if you don’t drink or take drugs you’ll find nightclubs are boring as hell, play shitty music and are full of drunken idiots.”

“Us sober people still like to dance and we want to do it outside the lounge room but we don’t want to have to go to sleazy clubs to do it.”

Eager for a night-out free of judgment, drunken people and bad music, Mella and her wing-girl/7 year old daughter took to the NLNL dance floor at Rabbit and Cocoon.

“I won’t lie, I felt awkward and I’m pretty sure everyone else did, but the song I requested came up straight away, so I felt like I had to pay homage to my chosen track and preceded to dance like no one was in the room but me. “

For the next hour, Mella and her daughter danced their little butts off.

Although there were some unfamiliar songs, Mella said NLNL was a chance for the girls to test out their booty dancing and awkward attempts at twerking without anyone noticing.

“I hoped so anyway! You do have to make a conscious decision to not judge, stare or copy other people. That’s my philosophy anyway.”

Attendees are invited to request songs as they leave, but the request of Ricky Martin’s She Bangs prompted Mella to approach the NLNL organisers and politely suggest a “No Ricky Martin” clause be written.

“I guess it doesn’t matter whether you’re clubbing in Surfers Paradise or dancing in dark empty sheds, shitty music is everywhere and everyone likes dancing to different tunes.”

“At the end of the day, it’s the most fun way to exercise and I’ll keep coming back as long as they play my song requests and write in my clause.”

To keep in the loop on upcoming events and request your latest jam for the next dance party, follow NLNL Gold Coast at https://www.facebook.com/nlnlgoldcoast.

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