By Ms. Caroline N Keyser (Irwin)April 14, 2011
Disco may be dead, but for one afternoon at Fort Irwin it was alive and well and shaking its pint-sized booty.
Nearly 450 young dancers and their parents turned out April 5 for Baby Loves Disco, a dance party for kids 10 and under to socialize and bond with their parents and other children. The event was held at Freedom Fitness Center and featured disc jockeys spinning tunes from the 70s through today while leading the crowd in dance contests and dances such as "YMCA." Participants were encouraged to dress as superheroes, and many showed up decked out as popular comic book and movie characters. Bubble machines added to the festive atmosphere, and booths with fake tattoos, healthy snacks, face painting and sock puppet crafts were available.
"This is really fun," said Spc. Bridjette Maldonado, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, who came to Baby Loves Disco with her 11-month-old son, Jose. "I think it's good to be able to get out like this and be sociable and be around the other kids."
Baby Loves Disco was put on by the company of the same name, which sponsors kid-friendly dance parties around the world. While many of Baby Loves Disco's events charge admission, organizers said they wanted to make sure the one at Fort Irwin was free and accessible to all in the community.
"There's a huge sacrifice being made by every family in here, and this is the least we can do for them," said Jill Brogan, tour manager, during the party. "It's a 'thank you' to the children, but also a fun way for parents to interact with their kids."
Michael Owens, chief of the directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation's community recreation division, called the event a success.
"I'm very glad we've been able to provide this for the community," he said.