Dance Break Logo

A mobile app that gets the whole world dancing

Hybrid mobile app for iOS and Android

No Lights No Lycra (NLNL) asked inoutput to create a mobile app that allows people to join a daily dance break simultaneously with other users of the app. The Dance Break app needed to notify users that a dance session was coming up and would play an energising track that thousands of people could dance to at the same time, regardless of their time zone or location.

The Dance Break app was designed with the intention to get people more active, whether that be at home, in the office or on the street.

The idea behind the app was that anyone can dance – no lights, no lycra, no teacher and no technique required. Just free movement and the willingness to completely let go.

NLNL had been successfully running their dances for several years and became an international organisation before commissioning the Dance Break mobile app. Founders Alice Glenn and Heidi Barrett wanted to take the movement one step further – the mobile app would allow people to dance anywhere, at any time.

In addition to the mobile app, we also created a one-page responsive website integrated for Dance Break so that administrators can manage website content, schedule dances by using a SoundCloud URL and setting a time, and schedule more than one dance per day.

With grant funding from VicHealth, NLNL was able to start development of the mobile app, for iOS and Android, in mid-2015.

Because inoutput specialises in creating hybrid apps, which allow mobile apps to be written in a common and shared language so it can function across multiple mobile platforms, we were able to reduce overall development costs for the Dance Break app by more than 50%. This helped us to stick to the client’s budget constraints while creating an engaging and inventive solution. 

App highlights

Users of the Dance Break app can:

  • Sign-up via Facebook and email
  • View a real-time map to see the number and location of other people who joined the dance break
  • View a cumulative map of all dances (website only)
  • Dance on demand function (allows user to dance again to today’s dance)
  • Pause dance break to stop receiving notifications
  • Skip today’s dance
  • Share that they danced.
Dance Break Screens

Challenges and solutions

Initially, NLNL wanted to use Spotify to stream music to users but this wasn’t going to be possible unless all users had a subscription to the service. We had to find a free music streaming source that had a good application programming interface (API) and extensive music library. We chose SoundCloud as the ideal platform.

We had to balance the client’s request of ‘taking over’ iOS and Android phones to interrupt users to join a dance break. This function is usually prevented by the phone’s operating systems so we compromised and instead implemented a series of push notifications and a countdown screen.

We also had to build a real-time map that showed the number and location of dancers after each dance. We had to ensure this loaded fast enough to engage with users and offer them something meaningful. We did this by integrating with CartoDB, a platform for creating real-time visualisations using geospatial data.

Working with inoutput resulted in a quick response time and the feeling that we were a valued customer.

Alice Glenn, co-founder

Technologies used

  • Hybrid mobile app for iOS and Android using web technologies rather than creating a separate native app for each operating system
  • The app used HTML 5, CSS3, Parse, Ionic FrameworkJavascript and Apache Cordova
  • SoundCloud was chosen as the ideal free music streaming service with an API
  • Cartodb, a data mapping service, mapped dance break users by numbers and location
  • Inoutput produced a custom plugin for Craft that interfaced between SoundCloud and Parse so NLNL could configure and schedule dances
  • Developed a one-page responsive website integrated with Craft.


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