The Dancing Dog
The name itself, “Dancing Dog Cafe” is enough to spur crazy images up in the mind of canines getting their groove on. Next it’s time to google and when discovering that it’s a dog cafe, I instantly imagine bringing my Poochon, Betty. We would sit in the courtyard with cups of tea, perhaps there would be some acoustic music playing in the background and a cute table setting. Little did I know that this brick building which lines 42A Albert Street, Footscray is grungy, there’s a pet hall of fame and while you can enjoy a quiet cuppa, there’s an edginess to this place (I probably wouldn’t pop a pink bow in Betty’s hair when coming here.)
The owner, Ben Coyle shares a similar common interest with me which is animals and he was once a drug dog handler for Customs. The name, Dancing Dog just popped into his head one day. “I just remember writing down 60 names and coming back to the first one. It wasn’t intentional but I think subconsciously I created the name due to my previous job,” he said.
The Dancing Dog has been operating for the past 13 years and it originally opened up as a healing therapy and cake place. “We had yoga, African drumming and the room we are in now became a live theatre. We also run music gigs and comedy. Last year was a special one because we won an award for best venue at The Fringe Festival.” Music posters of past and upcoming musicians vivify the walls and when Ben answers the question, “Who has been your favourite performer to step inside?” There is no hestitation. “It was Paul Kelly a couple of years ago and about 80 people attended. It was an overall amazing atmosphere. I’m really looking forward to Ally Hughes in a couple of weeks,” Ben explained.
To gain another perspective of The Dancing Dog, Brit and Sian who are regulars are standing in the intimate courtyard sharing a few laughs together. “In the day it’s really quiet. It’s cosy in this courtyard and is real rustic. It has this little theatre in the back and there’s some real cool shows happening there. I love the comedy night and tomorrow I’m performing a play which has a bit of a dark theme to it,” Brit said.
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