I tried a no-lights dance class. Here’s the lowdown.

No Lights, No Lycra is a weekly dance event where you can channel your inner Beyoncé in total darkness.

No Lights, No Lycra, dance class, dancing in the dark

In today’s modern society, technology has become fundamental to our very being. Most of us are unable to resist the temptation of being connected to everyone and everything, at anytime. Our constant need to be connected and ‘available’ even has some considering their mobile phone as their third arm or their laptop as an extension of their knee. I’ve come to realize this as I have a hard time switching off, especially when I’m ‘available’ to clients, friends and family…‘Me Time’ is a struggle. As a result, some of my favourite places have become cinemas, airplanes or rural locations – places where there is a great chance of no mobile connection.

Last night my friend invited me to an unusual activity that I’ll admit I wasn’t so keen on.  With the promise of enjoying some ‘Me Time’, sans phone, I begrudgingly dragged myself there. And I’m so glad I did.

Introducing No Lights, No Lycra

It’s called ‘NLNL’ – No Lights, No Lycra.  Held in a community hall, the space was filled with girls (and a few boys) of all ages. Whilst lycra is in no way compulsory and while some people were dressed casually, most of us had turned to lycra as we’re most comfortable in our active wear.

What to expect

The lights went out, and I mean out – I couldn’t see a thing. It was pitch black.  A voice started to tell us that they were going to play some rocking music and all we had to do was break loose and dance.

At first I felt a little silly, doing an awkward 2-step to Beyoncé in the dark, but by the time I was halfway through the second song, something came over me…I got my groove on. I was rocking out like one does at home in the front of the mirror when your favourite teen band song comes on. My dance moves were no longer awkward, I had let my inner Beyoncé loose.

NLNL believes that everyone can dance – an open arena where people can come and feel safe to explore this idea without judgement or exclusion. Not to mention, it’s a surprisingly good (read: sweaty) workout.

‘NLNL is a daggy, non-pretentious place to completely be yourself’

Since launching in 2009 in Melbourne by dance students Alice Glenn and Heidi Barrett, NLNL has become a dance community where there is no lights, no lycra and no teacher to follow. They’ve even spread to places like New York, London, Paris and Berlin. NLNL allows you to move your body, shake it out and let go of any thoughts or stresses of the week. The only thing expected of you: to lose yourself in the music.

Visit the NLNL website to find the closest location to you.


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Mia Lake
Mia Lake is the Interior Design Director at Vic Lake Architect (VLA). VLA is a family business specialising in high end residential homes and boutique multi residential developments. The collaboration between sophisticated architecture and considered interiors, VLA approaches their projects holistically and cohesively. Mia’s design journey began at Sydney’s The Whitehouse Institute of Design. She was awarded a yearlong scholarship to further her studies internationally at Accademia Italiana. That year in Florence, Italy was a major influence on her career and design style. Prior to VLA, Mia’s has been fortunate to work at two leading Sydney interior design practices, Arent&Pyke and Briony Fitzgerald Design, specialising in high end residential interior design and custom made furnture. A strong construction knowledge, understanding and love of craftsmanship, and sensitivity to the client’s practical needs are the key ingredients to a Mia’s successful design. Mia loves using luxurious natural materials, colour and layering textures. She believes injecting personality into spaces and surrounding yourself with objects that tell stories of your live, makes you happy and inspires. A well designed space can truly improve the way you live.