fitness

"I danced in the dark with strangers and it's the most fun I've ever had exercising."

On Thursday night, I did something seriously out of character.

I danced.

I, er, bopped side to side because I’m an incredibly awkward human. And then I danced like I was 18 again in the clubs. And like I was headbanging at a rock concert.

And I did all of this in a room full of strangers and it probably definitely wasn’t pretty, but it didn’t matter because I did it in pitch black darkness.

It was weird. And awesome.

No Lights No Lycra is a dance community that started in Melbourne in 2009 and can now be found throughout Australian (and the world).

As the name suggests, there is no light and no lycra (as in – there’s no pressure or requirements to wear the latest fitness gear). There’s also no dance teacher, no steps to learn, no… technique required (luckily for me!).

Sidenote: When I told my mum about the class she thought ‘no lycra’ meant no pants which is… another kind of class I think.

no lights no lycra message
Mum, that would be something ELSE.

No Lights No Lycra is all about letting go. As its website states, it's "a space where you can completely let go, shake out the stresses of the week, and lose yourself in the music and the physicality of your body. NLNL is a daggy, non-pretentious place to completely be yourself."

I was definitely sceptical before the class. I've never been a dancer, and honestly feel like a bit of a d*ck whenever I'm doing it.

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So, walking into the dark hall full of people who were already dancing up a storm I felt sort of... intimidated.

But then the door closed behind me, all I could see was the glow of my friend's light grey shirt and it was like all my inhibitions disappeared.

So I danced. For an entire hour.

It was without a doubt the weirdest way I've ever broken a sweat. God, it got sweaty. And my poor calves hurt from all the jumping and bopping.

Not only was it a really good workout - it was also so, so much fun.

The music was great, ranging from absolute bangers like 'Absolutely Everybody' by Vanessa Amorosi to a dance remix of Pink Floyd's 'Another Brick In The Wall'. I would be lying if I said 'A Milli' by Lil Wayne was not my highlight, though.

The hour flew by and before I knew it, we were shuffling back out the hall very sweaty, very tired and very happy.

chelsea no lights no lycra
A very sweaty but very happy post-NLNL selfie.

It's admittedly a pretty bizarre concept. Everyone I have told about it seemed a little... confused. As was I, beforehand.

But now I totally get it. It's an hour to forget about your worries. It's all about having totally judgement-free fun (and get those post-workout endorphins!).

Oh, and I have some fantastic news. This week is '90s and 2000s RnB themed.

I'll see you there.

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