Trends: White People Trying To Dance...While Sober

by BILLY GRAY · August 5, 2010

    There's a new nightlife option in town for agoraphobic teetotalers. No Lights, No Lycra is a dance party in Brooklyn devoid of sex, drugs and alcohol, though it does allow rock & roll. Intrepid Times reporter Jed Lipinski braved the well-behaved scene.

    Appropriately enough, the latest NLNL bash took place in a church basement. But, hey, it was a church in Greenpoint, which gives it some cool kid cred. And it's not like houses of worship haven't attracted night owls (and booze, and drugs) before.

    Describing a flurry of recent "freestyle sober dances" popping up around the globe, Lipinski observes that:

    "These events follow the principle of Lady Gaga's 'ust Dance' minus the air of dissipation. They are ideal for New Yorkers who crave the introspection of meditation without all the sitting, and the physical exertion of yoga without the agonizing poses."

    That's all well and good. I'm not the meditative type and have noticed that people lugging yoga mats around NYC are invariable the most miserable-looking sourpusses in sight. And the loosely enforced no alcohol policy is a mere footnote on the party's Facebook page. But why eliminate even the option of a drink?

    According to founder Joanna Kim, it's because abstention in a conventional club doesn't protect you from the sloppy lushes nearby.(The typical NLNL hoedown attracts between 20 and 30 people.) Kim says:

    "We danced our brains out. 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."

    Anyway, the party lives up to its name and cuts the lights entirely. Lipinsky puts terrified readers at ease, saying "dance moves go virtually unseen, and visitors needn't bother looking cool."

    Given the coordination that even well-lubricated clubbers lack, it's a good thing that vision is compromised.

    [Photos via Christian Hansen/NYT]