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.
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.
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.