No Lights No Lycra – Turn off the lights St Kilda is Dancing!

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By Louise Avery (known to dance everywhere)

Everyone dances, even if they don’t think they do; a small tap of the foot to a song they like, a slow sway of the head to a tune that resonates or a heart felt booty shake at a favourite band’ s gig.

While it might seem a little weird creeping into a dark hall and realising there are other people you can’t see but only sense as shapes dancing at No Lights No Lycra; its very freeing to be dancing without anyone watching. Because its dark very dark and for an hour we dance without being able to see who is with you. The idea started in the Northside at St Marks hall in Brunswick by two contemporary dancers Alice Glenn and Heidi Barrett in 2009, who have a firm belief that anyone can dance. Finally the NLNL has arrived in St Kilda. Being totally self interested in my love of dancing anywhere I get a chance, I was there with my leggings and enthusiasm almost immediately. All ages can come along and boogie in a space where the only light is an exit sign or a streetlight lingering under a gap in the doorway.

Simone, who runs the St Kilda NLNL, is a contemporary dancer who missed moving after the birth of her two babies, so contacted her old uni buddies Alice and Heidi who suggested that she bring the groove to the St Kilda area. Simone is offering the NLNL model of the darkened room, some cracking good dance tunes and a warm welcome to the St Kilda side of town. The music playlist can be an eclectic mix of anything from Broadway tunes, 80’s funk or 90’s hip hop music and is not limited to genre or eras and you can sweat or move as little as you feel works for you on the day.

Dance is a way to feel and move in ways that your body may have forgotten and a way to move out of the ruts of routine we place ourselves in every day. After all dancing is just a whole lot of fun, who doesn’t come out smiling after a night on the dance floor?

The experience of dancing in complete darkness is disconcerting at first however eyes adjust and we manage to avoid bumping into each other in the space. The first time I went I spent the whole night in a corner dancing next to a woman who I only recognised once the lights came on. If you want to do weird interpretive dance then this is the place, if you want to just pretend you are at a nightclub again that’s just perfect as well. Dance like no one is watching ‘cos we can’t and everyone is just doing their own dance experience.

NLNL has also gone global now, spreading happy endorphins from St Kilda to Malmo and maybe making space for a little bit more happiness in the world. There’s a radical thought lets go start dancing at a Trump convention and see if the haters are still going to hate… its very hard to be angry when you dance.

No Lights No Lycra at United Styles

175-177 Chapel street, East St Kilda

Time: Thursdays 7:45pm – 8:45pm

Cost: $7

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