My Daddy/Daughter Story
My daughter Karlie and I first did the Daddy/Daughter dance in 2004 in Butterfly Kisses. We had a wonderful time together, but I did not fully comprehend how important a dance with Dad could be to a small girl until an incident with her little sister the following year. . .
My younger daughter Kami was two at the time and had just started dancing at Tiffany’s. She would watch Karlie and me as we practiced in the living room to You Raise Me Up. Soon she was saying “My turn, my turn,” and I found myself with an extra dance partner. Kami made her sister take turns as we practiced the dance again and again. It wasn’t long before Kami was doing the dance almost as well as Karlie. In June, the day of the Twinkle Stars Dance™ Showcase finally arrived. Both girls danced with their classes, and at the end of the recital, Karlie and I had another great time performing in the Daddy/Daughter dance.
Then a month later we were at a family birthday party. We had taken along a videotape of the recital, so the girls’ great/grandparents from Southern California could see them dance. When Kami heard the violins starting the prelude of You Raise Me Up, tears began to well up in her eyes. It suddenly dawned on her two/year old mind that SHE HADN’T GOTTEN TO DO THE DANCE ON STAGE WITH DADDY. She softly whimpered, “I do Daddy/Daughter dance?” and then broke down and cried inconsolably. She was devastated. I tried doing the dance with her then and there, but it wasn’t enough.
We promised her that she could do Daddy/Daughter at the following year’s recital, and she didn’t forget. Four months later my wife Robbie was out shopping with the girls when she noticed some white dresses on sale. As she pulled one off the rack Kami knew exactly what it was for. “That’s my Daddy/Daughter dress!” she squealed excitedly.
The following June, Kami got her chance to be on stage with me in the Daddy/Daughter dance. The song, I’m Already There, was about a man calling home while on a business trip and had special meaning for me since I was doing a lot of traveling for work. Of course since the girls are three years apart, it meant I had to learn two different parts. However the smiles on their faces made the extra work worthwhile, and getting to dance with both girls in one show was an absolute joy. There was even an advantage of having Kami on stage at the end as I did the final lift with her (After lifting Karlie in four other shows I decided I was going to lift the lighter one!).
The three of us danced again this past June in Then They Do, and again I was able to dance with the two of them in one of the Twinkle Star shows. The girls seem to have a great time doing the dance with me, and I hope my time with them makes them feel special. However I look upon the Daddy/Daughter dance not only as my gift to them, but also as their gift to me. As the wistful lyrics of Butterfly Kisses express so well, they’ll be grown up and gone way to soon. These dances are something I can always remember and treasure about this time in their lives.
If you are a Dad who hasn’t done the Daddy/Daughter dance before, I hope you will do it this year because it is a great experience. I was fortunate in that the first time we did this, Karlie’s playmate and her father were in the dance with us, so I didn’t feel alone and couldn’t chicken out. However now I know there isn’t any reason to be scared. All of us dads are there for the same reason / to share something special with our daughters / and we do our best to encourage each other. Tiffany knows that most of us aren’t dancers so she doesn’t make it too difficult / well, maybe except for some of those lifts. ;/) And don’t be afraid of looking foolish; as long as you don’t drop your daughter on her head, her mother and grandmothers will think anything you do is adorable. So come on out, and remember, the important thing is to have fun with your little girl.
See you at the first rehearsal.