It was a textbook-perfect San Francisco spring Saturday, sunny and warm, so it seemed unlikely that toddlers and their parents would forgo outdoor afternoon delights to spend several hours inside in dim light for the first local appearance of Baby Loves Disco, a travelling urban dance party. But upon entering Ruby Skye off Union Square, it was clear that babies, en famille,, really love disco. Despite recent news of a massive family exodus from the city, on this day the lobby was choked with more than four dozen strollers, the diaper-changing table had a line, and so many walk-ins added to the 300-ticket pre-sale that someone made an executive decision to open up the balcony to accommodate all. (Or nearly all; a line of maybe a dozen people at the velvet rope had to wait patiently for early birds to quit the revelry.)
Inside, tiny babes cuddled in Snugglis or Babybjörns against their moms' and dads' swaying chests, tots boogied down, and a sprinkling of grammar-school kids practiced break-dancing moves to a disco beat, manipulated by DJ Sake-1 and Fran Boogie (who dialed it down somewhat, in loudness and intensity, for the small fries). The soundtrack featured plenty of '70s and '80s tunes, with the Bee Gees and the slightly dubious Michael Jackson well represented. Audience participation was encouraged: "Y.M.C.A." worked well for the kindergartners, regardless of their reading level, as did DJ-prompted kissing and freezing during a Prince song.
But mostly the kids enjoyed clustering around the two bubble machines, playing with the toys (mini-Hula-Hoops, wispy scarves, and percussion noisemakers), laying waste to the Whole FoodsÐcatered buffet (grapes, crackers, hummus, crudites, and organic juice boxes), and taking breaks in the chill-out room, an area with couches and Eric Carle board books in which pastel pacifiers weren't just ironic fashion accessories. Essential accessories for the moms and dads included digital cameras nothing cuter than a dancing baby! long-neck beers, and blissful expressions. Parents love disco, too.