Austin DJ mixes music and education in virtual dance party


AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin’s DJ Mel is moving his popular virtual Living Room Dance Party from inside to outside. It’s a new spin to get kids outside and moving.

“This is just a great extension of the work that he already does to get Austin moving and grooving and we are excited to be part of it,” said Allison Watkins from Austin Parks Foundation.

Watkins saw the party as an opportunity to get kids moving and educated about Austin Parks during social distancing.

“So much of the work that we would do would be getting people into the parks, playing in parks and cleaning parks, said Watkins. “While people can do that safely on their own we can’t really do that together.”

The Austin Parks Foundation and Austin Ed Fund, Austin ISD’S nonprofit public education foundation, are teaming up with DJ Mel for The Backyard Ball on Saturday, July 25 from 11 a.m. until 12 p.m.

While the virtual dance party is meant to get kids and families outside and moving, there’s a twist — “We’ll be teaching them about the things that they can do in their own neighborhoods, things that are off-limits and not available to them right now and things that they can do in parks that are safe,” said Watkins.

The hope is parents will RSVP to The Backyard Ball and dance with their kids outside while listening to tunes and educational messages about Austin parks and health from DJ Mel while live on Twitch.

“Parks are a place families and parents rely on for the health and well being of our children. We’re excited to bring a little taste of that even if it’s just to people’s backyards,” said Watkins.

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