What?: The last time we attempted a parent-and-child dance activity it didn’t end spectacularly well. This was more down to personal circumstance, that being my general dislike of clubbing – which had somehow completely slipped by mind – and Bab’s crappy mood on that particular day, and less a reflection on the event itself, which was actually great if you’re a family of ex-ravers and ravers-in-the-making with a penchant for glow sticks, strobe lighting and Ace of Base.
If Big Fish Little Fish was more on the adult-friendly end of the keeping-everyone-happy spectrum, then Monski Mouse’s Baby Disco Dance Hall is definitely over on the more child-congruent end with its under-fives policy, animal-themed tunes and human mouse complete with Minnie Mouse ear buns leading the fun. If this sounds like torture to you, don’t worry – it’s actually great.
Energetic DJ Monski really keeps the momentum going with a mini-story to introduce every song, each one cleverly selected to get little ones dancing without inciting (too many) groans from their grown-ups. Think Pharrell Williams’ Happy, which always serves to remind me what a miserable bitch I am every time it’s played because it does my head in; that song from Dirty Dancing that I also hate but everyone else seems to love; The Jackson 5; and Nena with her luftballons. All in all pretty harmless and easy to dance to, although I’m still waiting for a Tears for Fears-themed baby disco because that’s something me and Bab could really get on board with. Actions were encouraged but not compulsory, and there were some cushions to chill on at the back if you or your baby needed a rest – although at 50 minutes duration there wasn’t much time for getting bored or tired.
Where & When?: Monski Mouse will be at the South Bank’s Underbelly Festival on Sundays throughout the summer. Waterloo (mainline, Jubilee, Bakerloo, Northern) and Embankment (Northern, District, Circle) stations are both a few minutes’ walk away.
Best Bits: Mother-of-two Monski is lovely with kids and worked really hard to get everyone involved. The music was well chosen, the atmosphere was great and the duration was absolutely spot-on for under-fives.
Worst Bits: Nothing to do with Monski but the Underbelly Festival only accepts cash so me and Bab Dad had to put all our coppers together to buy one pint of Amstel to share between us, which made us feel like underage drinkers trying to get smashed on a fiver.
Facilities: Copious bars, buggy parking (at your own risk) and on-site toilets (we didn’t use these so I have no idea if there is baby changing but if not the Royal Festival Hall is right next door).
Cost: £9.50 per ticket or £8.50 each for a family of four including at least one child.
Would We Come Back?: We will come back next year when Bab is on her feet and hopefully not spending the duration trying to crawl onto the stage and climb Monski’s leg.
Bab has the time of her life, no she’s never felt like this before, at Monski Mouse’s Baby Disco Dance Hall, Underbelly Festival, South Bank