No Lights No Lycra: The values of This Girl Can – Victoria in action


Using campaign resources to promote freestyle dance classes, No Lights No Lycra has been demonstrating This Girl Can – Victoria values since it started.

No Lights No Lycra began when founders Alice and Heidi invited their friends along to St. Marks Church Hall (Fitzroy, Melbourne) to dance without judgement. Since then, growing through word of mouth, No Lights No Lycra operates sessions locally and internationally. Fun fact: the song that kicked everything off was Edith Piaf’s Rien de rien.

So, what exactly is it? No Lights No Lycra is a free-form dance class in the dark, created to attract women who might be intimidated by other kinds of dance and fitness classes. There are no steps to learn and definitely no mirrors. Attendees come along wearing comfortable clothes (lycra optional!), find a style of dance that feels natural, and do it. No Lights No Lycra is the perfect way to get active and sweat it out, regardless of your skill level.


This Girl Can dance like nobody’s watching

Whether your signature dance move is the robot or the twist, No Lights No Lycra won’t judge. No Lights No Lycra Communications & Partnerships Manager Alicia said, “We designed dance sessions in a way that counteracts the judgement barriers that we recognised in other forms of physical activity. These included a focus on skills that can be challenging to learn, and regimented exercise programs.”

Though classes aren’t exclusively for women, a large proportion of participants are. No Lights No Lycra explains, “We have excellent appeal with women, especially those who participate in little or no other physical activity.”

Inspiring women to dance in the dark

Encouraging women to join in and be physically active is not easy. This Girl Can – Victoria research has revealed that 52% of Victorian women worry about being judged when exercising and for 41% of them, this worry is so great it stops them from getting active.

To address this fear of judgement, No Lights No Lycra has designed a physical activity that lets people be themselves and focuses on having a good time.

Alison, attendee of the Brunswick class attested the safe space provided at No Lights No Lycra: “What makes No Lights No Lycra great is the ‘no judgement’ atmosphere. Dancing in the dark makes you anonymous, but nonetheless, you feel a part of a community.” 


The result of targeting anonymity

No Lights No Lycra believes that everyone can dance. Alison said, “When I was first introduced to No Lights No Lycra, I worried about how I would look and if people were judging me.”

She continued, “However, seeing all the other participants lose themselves to dance and just enjoy themselves, I did too! It’s boosted my confidence and made me feel free – I now dance just as exuberantly when people can see me.”

Not only is No Lights No Lycra a great workout, it’s a place to exercise at your own level while having fun. Moving promotes a healthy mind and body, so what’s not to love about an inclusive place that makes dancing accessible for all?

No Lights No Lycra supports the This Girl Can – Victoria campaign by:

  • Providing a judgement-free environment to exercise
  • Allowing casual attendance, taking the guilt out of the equation if a participant can’t go
  • Using This Girl Can – Victoria resources to promote their activity
  • Dimming the lights and turning up the music, so participants can shake out the stressors of the week and completely be themselves.

Ready for more inspiration? If you’re looking to encourage women to get active and join our community, take a look at our other supporter case studies.