"I wuv you" murmured a girl on the dance floor as she collapsed into a boy's arms. Further discussion was halted as she proceeded to show the depth of her affection by chewing his nose. Meanwhile elsewhere on the dance floor an argument was about to break out between two dancers. Several patrons were enjoying the music while lying on their stomachs. Fortunately at this point club staff quickly stepped in- chewer and chewee were gently parted and returned to their respective parents and the argument was defused by finding an extra balloon. This is "Baby Loves Disco", a parent and child dance event being held in Electric Circus, one of Edinburgh’s thriving night clubs.
To describe “Baby Loves Disco” merely as disco dancing would be to do it a disservice. There’s dancing aplenty on the main dance floor for those so inclined to boogie (or crawl) on down but within the other rooms of the club there’s a whole mini family festival. A particular highlight was the craft room where, led by Alison and Alex from Doodle Ducks, we decorated rather natty disco glasses using feathers and stickers. Leaders in all the activity rooms did a good job at involving children of different ages. For those who want to do their own thing there are rooms for dressing up, filled with costumes and elaborate wendy houses, a room with healthy snacks at child-height, and a dim room with cushions and stories for those who are partied out.
Parents sick of the dulcet tones of Barney the infuriatingly smug dinosaur will be pleased to hear that the tunes spun by the DJ are kid- friendly adult songs. Indeed the playlist, with plenty of upbeat ABBA and Beyoncé, wouldn’t look out of place at a grown-up cheese night. The night club too has retained some vestiges of its normal life in the funky lighting, though parents should have no fears that their darlings might crawl into something untoward; the club is immaculately clean with thoughtful toddler-friendly touches such as potties available in the toilets.
Parents need to be aware: this is no disco day care. There are large signs around explaining that parents need to stay with their children and that’s very much the ethos under which the whole thing is run; this is not entertainment for children to keep them out of their parents’ hair but rather entertainment which families can enjoy together. One particularly encouraging thing to see was the number of dads; several I spoke to said they felt a bit awkward at traditional more mummy-dominated parent and child events.
Occasionally it would have been nice to see some of the “Baby Loves Disco” people perhaps start a game with the children in one of the play rooms but I think they were very much trying to give families some space. This is gratifyingly creative bonding fun for parents and young children. At this disco nobody puts baby in a corner.