No Lights, No Lycra craze still going strong in Belmont


Hunter with her mother and fellow dancer Christine Gilbert. Picture: Will Russell www.communitypix.com.au
Hunter with her mother and fellow dancer Christine Gilbert. Picture: Will Russell www.communitypix.com.au

NO LIGHTS No Lycra celebrated one year of dancing like no-one was watching.

Carlisle student Lauren Hunter established the Belmont branch of the global dancing craze after a session in Perth.

“I first heard about NLNL in general from a friend and when I did I thought, ‘why has this idea not been done before, it’s such a good idea,” she said.

She instantly fell in love with the concept but was disappointed to learn it only ran once a week.

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“I was like, I should run another one,” she said.

No Lights No Lycra was developed by Melbourne dancers Alice Glenn and Heidi Barrett, in 2009.

Participants attend alcohol and drug free sessions where, with the lights off, they can indulge in their favourite dance moves and enjoy exercising without judgement or unwanted attention.

When NLNL launched in Belmont, Ms Hunter said she thought interest would be from dancers in her age group, ranging from early 20s to early 30s.

“It’s all over the shop,” she said

“We’ve got people in their late 40s and upwards and we’ve had a few people with different disabilities.

“I think because it’s drug and alcohol free is a big factor, plus we get more women than guys there because dance part of it is about dancing without having guys leering at them.”

To celebrate the Belmont NLNL anniversary they’re relaxing their no lights policy slightly.

“We’ll have glow sticks: instead of no lights no lycra it will be some lights, some lycra,”

No Lights No Lycra costs $7 and is held every Thursday night at the Forster Park Community Centre in Cloverdale.

Lauren Hunter was a hip-hop dancer for 16 years before problems with her knees forced her to give it up.

“I was devastated,” she said.

“I had to give it up because I can’t do any of the crouching and floor stuff, so to find this where I can dance without unnecessarily hurting my knees I can have dancing back in my life again.

She said it helped her deal with stress.

“I really look forward to it every week.”