Clique Article Henley Beach


We’ve found a way to exercise while having fun. You heard right – an intense cardio workout that has you smiling the whole time. An excuse to put your dancing shoes on and not feel guilty for going out.

No Lights No Lycra (NLNL) is a community that is dancing its way around the world, after taking its first steps in Melbourne in 2009. It’s an hour of free-form dancing, but there are no lights, no lycra, no teacher, no steps to learn, no technique – just free movement. NLNL is a space where you can completely let go, shake out the stresses of your week and lose yourself in the music.

Leanne Vuong, a NLNL Ambassador in Adelaide, first got involved when she heard about NLNL through a friend, and so decided to try it out for a birthday celebration, instead of the usual night in town.

“It didn’t take long to get addicted to NLNL. At that first session, I realised how self conscious I was, even in the dark,” Leanne says. “I looked around the room to see silhouette of people dancing freely and asked myself, ‘why can’t I do that?’ and since then, I rarely miss a night.”

“It’s a safe environment where people can let loose for an hour, without worrying about how they look, what they are wearing, being harassed or having drinks spilt on them. The music is different every week. Playlists are rotated between volunteers and we often spend hours selecting songs that reflect a variety of genres that cater to a wide audience.”

“And just to make you feel better about taking part, proceeds are donated to different charities with our most recent donation going towards the Pinery Fire appeal. This is a fairly unique aspect of the way we run and something that our dancers can be proud of.”

The best part is that you don’t have to worry about impressing anyone. NLNL is a non-pretentious place to completely be yourself. And it’s fun too. How do I know? I went to my first NLNL last week. It felt strange at first, to be dancing in the dark on a Monday night, with comfortable sneakers on and no bar in sight. But after the hour, I could only keep wondering why I hadn’t tried NLNL sooner!

Try a NLNL session in Adelaide at Kick ‘n’ Box in Stepney, or most recently at their new location in Henley Beach. Check the Facebook page for regular updates and playlist hints.

Photography by  Paul Philipson for NLNL