For one night every June, the stage at a local middle school would be taken over by hundreds of little girls in hair buns, tap shoes, and bedazzled leotards to perform amateur dances to off-Broadway musical songs.
Thanks to my lack of coordination, I always got placed in the back row of my dance class. Since I could rarely even remember the choreography, I mainly just stood in the back and swayed and sang along to the music, anxious to get off stage so I could go eat some Swedish Fish from the concessions stand and watch the other dances. Even though I only appeared for about three minutes of the four hour show, and I danced worse than Buzz Aldrin on "Dancing With The Stars," I could always count on my dad to be there cheering me on.
When I was little, I took his presence for granted. Why wouldn't a grown man want to sit through a four hour dance recital on a Saturday night?
Now that I'm older, I really appreciate all my dad sat through just to support me. These weren't "Dance Moms" quality performances, but he still smiled through it just to show his love for me. He watched hours of other people's daughters tapping their feet and staring blankly at the audience just to see three minutes of me doing the exact same thing.
To all the dads who sit through dance recitals, orchestra concerts, softball games, and cheerleading tournaments: thank you. Thank you for sitting through torture just for a few moments glimpse of your daughter doing her thing. Thank you for supporting us through it all. You treated us like princesses just to help us feel special. You sacrificed your time and money to help us follow our passions, and even though we didn't always appreciate it at the time, now, we know all you did just for us. So, to all the dance recital dads: thank you.