A Fathers View On Dance

When my daughter started dancing I figured it was going to be a quick fad. At first you could tell she didn’t know anything. The instructors, it seemed, did everything exactly the way it was to be done. I would watch the instructors and then look at my daughter - her moves, steps, turns and even the beat didn’t match those of the instructor. But she kept trying.

At the end of the session my wife and I would ask our daughter, “How did you like it?” and she would say, “That was fun.” Then the conversation became mostly she and my wife engaging in deep conversation about the steps and the different names they had for everything. I was simply a fly on the wall as they would talk. I remember thinking to myself as I look back, this is cool, watching as they engaged in a conversation over every detail of what my daughter was learning. It was also educational for me, even though I had never had any interest in dance.

As the sessions went on, I saw that my daughter was getting better with the steps, turns, kicks, and all the stuff the school calls different names I can’t even spell. I was never able to be at her sessions the entire time due to work. I would get to the studio near the end of her session so I never really got to see the details, but easily saw a difference.  As we would leave I still asked, “How did you like it?” But her answer changed, she would say, “I think I messed up.” Internally I would smile, I didn’t want to laugh and say something like, “Well, you don’t know anything.” This would start a debate, so I would just let her talk. But here again she never really wanted to say much to me. She knew I didn’t have a clue anyway.

Then came this thing called a recital, another hard word to spell. I met my wife at the high school since she and my daughter were already there. Sitting in the audience looking at the program, I wondered how long it was going to take. When would it end? See, I didn’t want to fall asleep, like I do at the movies; I think our daughter was in three different dance routines. Then the lights started to dim.

Routine after routine, the show was moving fast. Then came my daughter’s routine. She was a sailor, and this hit hard with me. Just seeing her in the outfit, I never could imagine she would look so good, and then came the salute. The playful beauty touches a man’s heart with the way the hand is held when a little girl is looking all grown-up and shining as bright as the stars. It makes a man crumble with pride.

I never knew dance and my daughter could bring happiness to me the way it has. Other fathers might feel
left out a bit, but I have a different outlook on this feeling now. Maybe it’s better this way, just like a man not seeing his bride's dress before the wedding. I’m content with not staying to watch her practice, and my daughter too, I think, would rather her mother be there. I’ll get my day, and I won’t embarrass her then either. I’ll be just as proud of her and everything she’s done throughout her life.

So, from the bottom of my heart I want to tell my daughter to keep up the great work. I also want to thank Silhouette School of Dance, Miss Donna, Miss Teresa, and Miss Mary, for helping to shape my daughter into who she is today, and the fine lady she will be in life. I encourage anyone with a daughter to entertain the idea of Silhouette School of Dance as their dance studio. Thanks, Miss Donna.

Edward Nolan

Ed Nolan

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Volume 8, Issue 22, Posted 1:55 PM, 11.01.2012