Londoners re-live dancing days with kids
By Alice Ritchie ,AFP
April 19, 2014, 12:17 am TWN
LONDON -- The bass is pumping, the lights are low and the dance floor of the club is heaving. It's the weekend and the young man is enjoying himself — until someone steals his balloon.
Dressed in a Spiderman outfit, the four-year-old boy runs to his dad by the bar to complain, before receiving a glow-stick in consolation.
Such are the highs and lows of family raving, a new craze fueled by London's ex-clubbers who still want to go dancing but now have kids in tow.
"What a genius idea — beer, raving, children. What more could you want?" said Paul Crawley, 34, swaying slowly on the dance floor carrying his baby daughter Camille in a sling.
"The worst thing is I was invited out last night, but I said no, I've got to stay sober for this party."
This dingy bar in south London is normally the venue for all-night raves, but for two and a half hours on a Saturday afternoon, it is transformed into a playgroup with a difference.
In the chill out area, mums breastfeed on low leather sofas to a soundtrack of soft rock, while older children paint and draw at a well-equipped craft table under moving projected images.
The bar is well stocked and next door, professional DJs play chilled house music, funk and drum'n'bass at a surprisingly loud volume, although organizers insist it is safe for babies' ears.
The undisputed king of the dance floor is Caelan, a fleet-footed five-year-old wearing impeccable white trainers.
"Keep to the beat!" urges his dad, Michael Edie, while a little girl in a princess outfit looks on admiringly.
Caelan has been taking dance lessons since he was three and this is a good place for him to get some practice in, offering a bit more space than at home.
Edie, a DJ with London urban music radio station Rinse FM, is happy to stay seated, however. "You won't see me dancing. I'm no way as good as him," he laughs.