Fathers And Daughters Dance In The Spotlight

When I heard the Westport Weston Family YMCA planned a “Father Daughter Dance,” I did a stutter step.

This is 2017! How could they single out fathers? What about girls whose dads were away on business? Girls with divorced fathers, living far away? How about girls whose dads had died — or those with 2 moms?

They’re all “families” — as the “Family YMCA” should know.

Dabbing at last Friday’s Westport YMCA Father-Daughter dance.

It’s a good thing I shared my aaaargh! moment with Patty Kane.

She’s the director of marketing and communications for the Westport Y. And she took my questions right back to her bosses.

So here’s what I learned about the “Father Daughter” dance, held last Friday in the Y gym (with the tag line “Make her first date one to remember!”).

“I am proud to say it does not stem from a desire to be traditional, nor was it meant to exclude other family types,” Patty reports.

Instead, it was “intended to honor and strengthen the relationship our community of fathers has with their daughters, and for the Y to provide a space for them to share time together.”

In fact, the Y’s flyer noted (at the very bottom): “If dad is not available, substitutes are welcome. Preferably grandfathers, uncles, older brothers, close family friend etc.”

Malia Daniels (2nd from left) attended the Y’s Father-Daughter dance with her uncle.

The idea, Patty notes, was to “emphasize the importance of good male role models in children’s lives. I am happy to report that over 60 families took part in the Father Daughter Dance.”

That’s great — and reassuring — news.

Now — as a way to make all girls feel comfortable, welcome and accepted — maybe they can come up with a more inclusive dance name.

Samantha Heiser enjoys a special moment with her dad.

18 responses to “Fathers And Daughters Dance In The Spotlight

  1. Maybe they could have a Mother-Son dance for boy-only families. Or Mother-daughter. Or even Father-Son (although there are probably many Father-Son events).

  2. Love this as always Dan! My girls went and loved it:)

    Patty/dan- i recently heard about a dance that was daughters and their heroes…could be dads, moms, caretakers, older siblings etc. i loved that and was thinking maybe that’s a good idea for a future event:)


  3. “Maybe they can come up with a more inclusive dance name???!!!” Are you kidding me??? Maybe we should take less offense and be thrilled that fathers have an opportunity like this to spend time with their daughters. You know, the fathers who are gone all day, who travel a lot for work, who get on a train early in the morning and arrive back late at night after their daughters are asleep, who miss soccer games and concerts because of work, and are super excited to have a few precious hours alone with their daughters? Do you really think anyone would care if a grandfather, uncle, brother, or male friends showed up? Stop creating drama where there is none and please stop making it seem that the Y is not inclusive, that people in Westport aren’t inclusive and that the Y isn’t doing something really nice. If you want to create another event that you think is more inclusive or better suits your needs or is called something different, go ahead. But, enough with feeling persecuted or slighted. The local election is over and so should this sentiment.

    • Well said, Jay.

    • Whoa, Jay — settle down. I was trying to look out for the girls who might feel excluded because they didn’t have a dad to share the dance with (and my comment was about the name of the event; it’s pretty clear I’m glad they included non-dads). This is about the girls — not the fathers who might feel excluded because their title is not acknowledged in the name of the dance.

  4. Laz - Dan Lasley

    I have been lucky enough to share many wonderful activities with my daughter, though we’ve never shared a dance. Dads should make the time to do that more often.

    Dan – thanks for highlighting this delightful event, but for perhaps the first time, I think you’re off course.

    • Laz - Dan Lasley

      It seems that I read this wrong. It felt like Dan was bemoaning any event that was “exclusionary”, where he was trying to support those who might not be able to attend due to life’s circumstances.

  5. Dan; you didn’t know that you were speaking for my daughters, but you were, and I thank you. You must have known it wouldn’t be a popular post in traditionalville, and you went for it anyway: Good on you! This solo-parent family appreciates you’re looking out. And before anyone has an aneurysm in response to the post, please stop and keep in mind the sentiment behind it was not to take anything away from your contribution as fathers: We’re trying to teach our kids to be inclusive, and I believe Dan was commenting on the contrast between the diversity taught in our schools, and the title or theme of the dance. I get it. Why just girls?
    why just fathers? I know plenty of Moms who travel for work, or work full time – myself included. Would it not have been as meaningful for the fathers if it were called a Family Dance?

  6. David J. Loffredo

    They used to have Father/Daughter and Mother/Son dances at Kings Highway Elementary – my guess is that they were killed by the political correctness police.

  7. Eric William Buchroeder SHS '70

    When I was a boy, you would have had to kidnap me to go to any dance but especially one with my mother. I’m wondering why it takes an organized event for parents and their children to have some 1/1 time together. Why not a ” parent/child brushing and flossing night” in the locker rooms at the Y? Mother/son, father/daughter, father/son and mother/daughter events are so Republican. Make them all trans events then anyone can go to any event at any time, no feelings hurt. As to performers, Chubby Checker’s name is so body-shaming to the ACH (Adipose Challenged Humans)

  8. This story reminded me of another long-ago Y event involving dads and daughters (which, incidentally, took a hit from the PC police): Indian Princess. Dads and daughters involved in crafts, outings, camping, and the kind of bonding that was never duplicated. I especially recall a Saturday metro north train ride to New York for an ice skating outing. Shortly after boarding, the many dads and daughters caught the attention of others in the car. Before long, I spotted that sad-eyed look that suggested we were all divorced fathers out for some quality “make-up” time with our kids. Wrong, partly. None of us were divorced or separated, and though the time we shared was unforgettable in its quality, we had nothing to make up for. I would like to see the Indian Princess program revived, even if it has to undergo a name change.
    Ray Wilhelm

  9. Dan- FYI
    caption on the first picture- should be “dabbing” not “dapping”