‘It’s like dancing in your bedroom with a hairbrush’

In their great blog posts, Mirella and Helena offered us some interesting insights into the shifts about to happen in the Berlin nightlife scene.

In her post ‘All things come to an end. How about clubbing?’ Mirella pointed out that due to stricter GEMA rules clubs might incur higher costs for their events in the future which then might be passed on the consumers. In addition, Helena introduced us to the ‘Club Mob’ initiative that ‘supports clubs to invest in a more environmentally friendly party culture’ in her remarkable entry ‘As if there is a tomorrow’.

Following those great examples, I’d like to share another interesting fact concerning the Berlin party culture with you.

Unfortunately with all the fun you have while out clubbing with your friends, some nasty side-effects usually always seem to tag along:

  • crowded dance floors that render it impossible to attempt any move other than a slight nodding of your chin
  • heavily drunk girls behaving so stupidly you are close to just slapping them or optionally creepy guys trying to hit on or even worse grope you (all of which are mostly Spanish tourists)
  • covers that burn a deep hole into your purse


  • which is especially in Berlin the case – music that encourages no other ‘dance move’ than a vanishingly small twitch of your shoulder plus ‘super-cool’ hipsters that shoot you despising looks should you dare to move any other part of your body or -god forbid! – look like you are actually enjoying yourself

Doesn’t sound like an attractive night out to you?

You’d much rather like to get loose and shake it all out on the dance floor without being stared at?

Well, then it might be time for you to check out the new event series ‘No Lights, No Lycra’ that recently also launched in Berlin.

The concept of ‘NLNL’ which was created in Melbourne, Australia by unruly dance students Alice Glenn and Heidi Barrett in June 2009 is simple: Create an environment where people can dance without inhibition.

Therefore, the lights are dimmed down, no booze is allowed, conversations are discouraged, a joyously random choice of mostly disco-heavy music is being played.

“No Lights No Lycra is a friendly, non-threatening, alcohol and drug free event, where you can shake out the stress of the week, experience new tunes, lose yourself in the music while working up a sweat,” say Glenn and Barrett. “With the lights out, people are truly free to move and a real sense of unity and communion is achieved. This is a daggy, non-pretentious place to completely be yourself.”

Since the first unofficial No Lights No Lycra took place in their living room with just only a few friends who simply wanted to dance without being self-conscious about theor looks and moves, Gleen and Barrett’s innovative concept as spread around the globe with chapters now opened in Berlin, Brisbane, Brooklyn (NYC), Glasgow, London, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and Vancouver.

“We danced our brains out,” said Joanna Kim, 26, after attending a NLNL session in Brooklyn. “Going dancing in a club, you have to deal with crowds, perverted boys, drunken people falling on you. But here it’s just your body and the music. Your senses are limited to what you hear.”

Modern times have seen the act of dance losing its vital role as pure personal expression. Rather, it has been transformed into something undertaken either in an intoxicated state of being or as an activity learned in a class.

No Lights No Lycra, lying somewhere between a workout and a night out, tries to take a step back towards the roots of dancing.

Barrett sums it up best saying:

“In our society, dance has become something that is either studied formally, saved for the stage or for the dance floors of crowded and alcohol fueled nightclubs. With No Lights No Lycra, we hope to provide an alternative, a place where dance is no longer something to be scared of, but a space where dance becomes the everyday language.”

Get Into Groove And Experience It For Yourself!

When? Every second and fourth Tuesday of the month, 8-9 pm

Where? Berolinastraße 7, 10178 Berlin

What else? byo dancing shoes, comfy clothes and a water bottle. changing rooms, drinks and sweet sweaty hangs available after. €2 suggested entry donation.


4 responses to “‘It’s like dancing in your bedroom with a hairbrush’

  1. Fenja, your post is brilliant! Besides the concept you presented (which is also really cool), you build up an interesting and comprehensive structure: Starting with a reference to other blog posts, using the list form to describe the “nasty side effects”, attaching well-chosen quotations (in the blockquote-format,looks nice) and closing with an appeal to your readers participation, you succeeded in constructing your post informative with a nice look. Moreover, I like your way of writing (e.g. in the last real paragraph). Well-done!

  2. Hey Fenja,
    I don’t know where else to post it, so I will do it here. I just wanted to take my hat off for your work as the webmaster of this blog. You really put a lot of effort into your blog and it loooks really better! Did you do all of that with the free theme that is available on worpress.com? Impressive!


  3. Pingback: Retrospect #3 – What we’ve accomplished | BLOG OR DIE TRYIN'·

  4. I really liked how you introduced your topic and it was great to see that you reffered to two other blogpost´s. (That kind of makes me want to read their posts as well.)
    Your style of writing is tariffic as you seem to invite the reader to go on a journey with you. That is just impressive and makes it really easy to imagine all the relevant stuff you are writing about. (For example when you wrote about the nasty side-effects when clubbing I kind of could see myself out there with my friends struggling with this side-effects.)
    Furthermore you really know how to use the font in a way to underline the meaning of your text. This skill even sturctures your text more than it already is through your style of writing – plus it gives a nice first impression when looking at your text.
    The closing of your post with giving the advice to going to a “No lights No Lycra” party by ourselves is really appealing. That´s for that great tip Fenja ! 😉

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