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Dance Dads



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06/01/2011 - By Alyssa Wesnitzer

As a dancer, one of the most important aspects of dance life is the need for support. Dancers need help getting through competitions, recitals, and crazy performance seasons. Most times, a simple hug or a "walk out the nerves" session is in order. That's where dance dads come in. Their 100% support is all a dancer needs to keep motivated. There is no better encouragement to a dancer than the sound of her dad shouting, "Way to go Sweet Pea!" as she trots off the stage after a performance.

Dance dads seem to permeate every aspect the dance world. No matter what the job, whether it is prop help, costume "issues", chauffeuring, or even dancing on the stage, they are ready and willing to do it all. "I do anything and everything my wife and daughters ask me to do," says John Hatcher of 307 Dance Academy. So it is with every dance dad. They are always there to help out with the details that at times, the dancers and directors themselves may fail to see. When the big day comes, whether it is recital, performance, or competition, they are in the audience or back stage ready to cheer their dancer on. They are ready to say with pride, "That's my daughter," or, "That's my son."

Some dance dads were asked, "What do you enjoy most about being a dance dad?" The answer was generally the same, and love for their daughters was evident as they ponder the question.

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"I love helping my little girls," says Ryan Klinger with Rising Star Tumbling and Dance Studio.

"Watching my girls dance!" exclaims Chuck Adkins of Dance Evolutions.

"I love watching the princess dream come true," says Pat Allen whose daughter dances for 307 Dance Academy.

"The pride I have when Meghan gives it her all," replies Geoff Dean from Beautiful Feet Academy of the Dance Arts.

Dance dads certainly are supportive and loving as their dancers go through the ups and downs of dance life. They are always there to help, give advice and hugs. But above all else, they give their love.

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Even in the serious aspects of a dance dad's life there is always humor to lighten the mood. From dropping props and nervous breakdowns to watching daughters and wives frantically running back and forth, dads have almost as much fun as the dancers do. Joking is a favorite rehearsal or practice pass time for almost every dance dad. The jokes fly thick and fast as the dads try to learn a difficult combination of steps while discovering that somewhere in the process of walking onto the dance floor they mysteriously developed two left feet.

I am a dancer, and I am truly thankful for the loving support my dad has given me. I enjoy knowing that my dad will: dance with me, fix my costume, drive me to practice, pay the bills, hold my hand, and be there for me every step of the way. I am sure that I am not the only dancer who feels this way. This Father's Day, remember to thank your dad for everything he does. Happy Father's Day everyone!

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