Father / Daughter Dance: what happens when you bring your dad to social dance class

Dad and I practicing the Dirty Dancing lift.
Dad and I practicing the Dirty Dancing lift in 1987.

My dad was my first dance teacher. I don’t remember this, but he says the year the Thriller album came out we danced in the kitchen to it regularly (it must have been more of a hold-baby-Rachel-while-daddy-tries-to-moonwalk kind of thing.) As I got older and began to train in dance, he started teaching me a loose version of the hustle. As a single guy, he often took me as his date (still does) to weddings and we looked forward to the dance floor. Instead of gifts for birthdays, dad would take my sister and me to music concerts: our first was Paula Abdul, then Janet Jackson. We danced in the aisle. When I heard JOMDC hired award winning and master hand dancing instructor, Kevin Tisdale, to start a new intro class, I bought us two entries for his Hanukkah present.

Dad as dance instructor circa 2002.
Dad as dance instructor in 2002.

I can’t describe how fascinating it is to experience dance this way. It wasn’t easy at first. Learning a new technique takes time. We are both stretching our limits, leaning on each other, and laughing along the way. Classes like the Intro to Dance series are a delicate balance of focused attention and letting go.

Look how happy they are dancing at my sister's wedding, 2012.
My sister’s wedding- look how happy they are, 2012.

What did we learn in 6 week?

Basic, tap step, check step, freeze, attitude, travel, left turn travel, stationary left turn and a 6 and 10 count send back.

Our first dance class @JOMDC together, 2015.
Our first dance class @JOMDC together in 2015.

What can you expect if you bring your parent to dance class? 

1. They will be frustrated. You’ll feel like the parent! Be encouraging, but give them space.

2. You’ll see each other more because you need to practice outside of class. Learning something new takes more than an hour a week. If you’re preparing for your wedding this is a great chance to wedding plan in between dance classes.

3. You’ll learn how to dance with someone who taught you a lot. It’s quite special.

Last class with master instructor. Kevin Tisdale!
Most recent class with master instructor Kevin Tisdale!

The Intro to Dance Enrollment series at JOMDC happens every six weeks. We like to say every six weeks is a chance to start over. The next series begins the week of February 16, 2015. The social dance series is listed below.

Tell us YOUR story. Have you ever brought a parent, aunt, or grandparent to dance class? Got any advice for us? 

See you in the studio!