My thighs ache. The balls of my feet feel strained under the hard wooden floors. The temperatures rising. My arms are up in the air and my chin is pointing towards the ceiling. Tonight for the first time, at just about half past ten, I’m surrounded by darkness and only one thing matters in that moment. Because for the first time in history, it’s going to start raining men. The beat drops like a thousand raindrops on my face and if I could freeze frame mid jump in the air like a 70s TV show star, I would. IT’S RAINING MEN, HALLELUJAH! IT’S RAINING MEN, AMEN!
I have been getting my life dancing in the dark. For the last few weeks I’ve been going with two of my girlfriends to No Lights, No Lycra; a voluntary activity that involves dancing like crazy in a darkened room for an hour. It is the very literal act of dancing like no one’s watching, and no one is, because they can’t see you. It’s not pitch black but it’s dark enough to not make out anyone’s face, which is good enough for me.
When my friend first suggested it to me, I was like “Nah, I don’t like group exercise”, but boy was I wrong. I mean, not entirely, I still don’t like group exercise with prescriptive moves and everyone at varying levels being judged the same way and motivated by the competition of others. It’s not motivating for me and I kind of loathe the idea. But dancing with strangers who don’t know me AND can’t see me? Yes I will take two of those please and one for the road.
But the concept isn’t the only thing that makes it fun. With a good playlist, an hour at No Lights is a liberating experience. Who cares if you have no rhythm? No one can see you! Who cares if you want to try out that move you saw Beyoncé do last week? No one will see it! And who cares if you’re a six-foot-five male wrestler who wants to pretend to be a ballerina for the night? Go for it, NO ONE CAN SEE YOU.
Anonymity is everything guys; I feel like it will solve all of our problems (unless you’re into like, doing mean stuff to people, then anonymity is not for you, you stop that). The freedom of just going for it, of feeling in tune with your body without all the self-conscious hoo-har that comes from just being alive in the world, is a discovery I wish I had made sooner. Melbourne has shown me the light in the darkest of places. Kind of like Batman without all the repressed grief and motivation for revenge.
I’m a superhero now is what I’m saying. Whoop!
Image credit: Image created by sobinsergey from The Noun Project