Baby Loves Disco is the kid-friendly dance sensation that has been sweeping the country. It started in Philly over five years ago, and is coming to Portland June 8-9, 2012. We sat down (virtually) with one of its co-founders, Andy Blackman Hurwitz, to learn a bit more about what Baby Loves Disco is all about.
ABH: Simply put – we’re a family dance party. We started 8 years ago in Philly as something fun to do with our own kids and the event spread organically across the world! Here in the states we travel the country in our disco van, with our MC, DJ, and crew and visit community centers, malls, and nightclubs. The number 1 thing we love to do at Baby Loves Disco is dance, but it’s also about socializing with friends old and new, doing fun activities – make your own sock puppets, draw your family tree – bringing in local partners and enjoying beverages – juice boxes for the kids, cash bar for non-driving parents – and healthy snacks.
PKC: How did Baby Loves Disco get started?
ABH: Total accident – my partner Heather was a waitress (still is!) and there was a small nightclub (Fluid) on top of the restaurant she was working at (the latest dish, Philadelphia). She’s also a professional dancer (modern dance) and when she had her first baby Max, she asked the owner of the club if she could use it during the day on a Sunday simply as a way to meet her friends with kids – everyone’s so busy once you have little ones, it’s so hard to get together with friends and socialize. She wanted an affordable fun place for parents to go and interact WITH their kids and just dance.
PKC: How did you get involved with Baby Loves Disco?
ABH: After a few events, Heather was featured in a local Philadelphia newspaper. I was living in Brooklyn with my wife and two young boys (then 1 and 3) at the time and when I came home to visit my mom, she had cut out the article and said “you guys should check this out!” We did, it was the BEST time we ever had as a family together – we just danced and laughed and had such a great time TOGETHER. I introduced myself to Heather, and told her I wanted to do the same thing in New York, and even though she said “awww, just go ahead and do it, you don’t need me!” I felt this strange connection with her and really wanted her to be a part of it. She agreed and we were off. We never had any thoughts of making it into a business! I just wanted to have a party for me and my friends! But early on the New York Times caught hold of it, published a story on the front of the Sunday Style section and things just started taking off form there.
PKC: What do you love best about Baby Loves Disco and what are you favorite Baby Loves Disco moments?
ABH: The thing I love the best is EASILY watching parents and their kids so happy together. Sounds really corny, but there are so many beautiful moments at every event, I think that’s what makes Baby Loves Disco so special, it brings families together, it’s totally interactive and not passive. It’s not like your sitting watching a movie or a concert, you’re experiencing it together. I honestly have “favorite moments” at every single event – and I’m a big sap and get all emotional when I see a mom smiling ear to ear while dancing with her son, or a daddy cuddling his daughter for a slow dance. But really, if I had to put a modern twist on it, my favorite moments have come recently – now that my boys are big (10 and 8) they’ve grown up with Baby Loves Disco and become a true part of it. My oldest son is one of our DJs – and he’s good! – and seeing him up there, happy as can be, loving BLD and loving working with me, those are the special moments. It’s a family affair – all three of my boys AND my wife play a big part in it now, traveling with me, helping out in every possible way. It’s a great thing to be able to share as a family.
PKC: What do your kids love best about Baby Loves Disco?
ABH: Sounds obvious – but they just LOVE to dance. They throw down on the dance floor and through the experience of Baby Loves Disco they have the confidence to “just dance” and not feel self-conscious about it. They also love the unlimited snacks.
PKC: Are you surprised by how quickly Baby Loves Disco has caught on and spread?
ABH: TOTALLY!!!! Still am, every day.
PKC: What do you see as the next steps for Baby Loves Disco?
ABH: Our dream is to do a sort of “Baby Loves Disco live” TV show – Soul Train meets Sesame Street We want to be able to create something for folks that can’t make the event, so that it can be recreated at home, getting kids – and parents! – off the couch moving and grooving together in their living rooms. We have a pretty amazing business plan for it too – but it seems we’re just so busy keeping up with our events that we never get around to trying to implement it. We’re considering doing a Kickstarter type of approach to raising the funds so we can just go out and do it ourselves without having to shop it to the big corporate media giants.
PKC: Tell us something no one knows about Baby Loves Disco.
ABH: Well, it’s no secret, but everyone thinks Heather and I are rich and live this glamorous life, and while we are both totally blessed with love and family and friends and health, we both struggle tremendously to keep this dream alive. She works like a dog to make ends meet as a waitress, I have to hustle three jobs to keep the bills paid. It’s just not easy, but we love it and believe in it and will go down dancing one way or another!
Baby Loves Disco will be at the Clackamas Town Center on June 8 and the Crystal Ballroom on June 9. You can find all the details about the events here.
Posted by Ali Wilkinson