Disco lights flashed to the tune of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” from a DJ booth on the first floor of the Discovery Children’s Museum.
The DJ, on the first day of a two-day residency, bobbed her head, adjusted her headphones and balanced sound on the board, all while taking song requests from the audience.
“She really knows the music — all of the artists,” said Melissa Kaiser, CEO of the Discovery Children’s Museum. “If you request a song, she knows who to play. It’s amazing that she knows ’80s music like that.”
Amazing, yes. That’s because the DJ was 6-year-old Sara Camacho, also known as DJ Sadako, who was helping kids and parents get into the museum’s Totally ’80s Week, which included art, science, toys and games from that decade.
“We’re bringing it all back,” Kaiser said. “The DJ, Care Bears. … I think it’s fun intergenerationally for parents to share with their kids what they lived through. This special moment in time is now shared with their young ones.”
DJ Sadako shared that experience with her father, Eric Camacho, 37, better known on the local music scene as DJ Wizdumb, who DJs at Commonwealth and the Gold Spike in downtown Las Vegas. Watching her father at home practicing for his gigs piqued Sara’s interest.
“She used to come to the room and dance with me,” Camacho said. “It got to the point where she really wanted to try it. She started messing around with my stuff and I told her she could do it.”
The youngster, who will start first grade in August, is following her father’s footsteps, and he said he couldn’t be more proud. Sara got her start at age 5 when one of Camacho’s friends, DJ Fish, bought her a stack of 45s — 7-inch vinyl disks.
“My favorite part of DJing is you can just pick whatever record you want and just do whatever you want to do with it — except slam it on the floor,” she said with a laugh. “I get a little nervous but not really.”
Sara is an ’80s-only DJ and has spun tunes at Ferguson’s Market in the Alley events and this year for classmates at John S. Park Elementary School’s end of the year festival.
“It’s awesome,” Camacho said. “It feels like I’m handing the baton down to her. I followed my father’s footsteps with music and now she’s following mine. It’s great to see that she loves doing it. It really keeps her motivated.”
Her DJ name, Sadako, is Sara in Japanese, inspired by her dad’s grandmother, who is originally from Tokyo.
Sara said she also likes ballet, gymnastics and soccer, but she loves Michael Jackson.
“I can’t stop with him,” Sara said. “I listen to other music, but it’s usually him. My favorite songs would have to be ‘Thriller’ and ‘Ghosts.’ ”
Camacho’s love for ’80s music came from her parents, whose playlists are filled with songs from the ’80s and ’90s. She practices daily — but she’s still a kid at heart.
“She loves school,” Camacho said. “She’s smart. I don’t want her to miss out on being a kid, so I try to space out what she does. I want her to experience life as she should.”
Contact Mia Sims at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @miasims___ on Twitter.