By Luke Voogt
North Geelong cafe owner David Leary wants his new all-abilities disco to become a regular part of his business.
“We don’t want to do one or two of these,” he told the Indy on Monday. “We want to do this once a month forever.”
David came up with the monthly dance after speaking to his customers.
“I’ve met quite a few friends through the cafe that have disabilities, and I’d ask them where they go to dance,” he said.
David was surprised to discover many only danced “once or twice a year” at special events.
So he decided to create “safe, comfortable and relaxed environment” for people of ages and abilities to “express themselves”.
“Who doesn’t love to dance?” he said.
“People with disabilities just want to be able to do what everyone else is doing.”
David ran his first all-abilities disco on 20 October, with people as young as five and as old as 65 showing up.
“A lot of it came out of my pocket the first time, but the joy of doing it probably overrides that,” he said.
He hoped his second go on Saturday would help make the disco a regular gig.
“I need to get the message out there, so we can at least break even – so it’s sustainable,” he said.
“If someone was sitting at home because they didn’t know about it, that would break my heart.”
The disco features the talents of Ryan Scmidkte, aka DJ Fuzzy Logic, who has performed at David’s cafe before.
Ryan, who has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair, has built a mobile DJ business with the help of his family.
“We’ve become really good mates,” David said. “He’s an excellent DJ and we like having him in.”
The all-abilities disco kicks off at Club Mule kick at 6pm on Saturday. Entry is $15 per person, which includes entertainment, supper and soft drinks.
“It is inclusive and makes everyone that walks through the door feel like they are the most important people on the planet,” David said.