The Denver Daughters Dance was started in 2011 by a group of parents sitting around a card table talking about the importance of a positive male role model in their daughter's lives.   The firm belief that strong and confident daughters grow into strong and confident women led to the creation of the Denver Daughter Dance.   The first dance was held in the basement of the Montview Boulevard Presbyterian Church, with those same parents decorating, marketing, planning, and cleaning up.   Popular from it's onset, the Dance moved to the Park Hill Golf Club and the numbers continued to grow each year.   The 2016 dance was the last year at the golf club as the organizers were forced to cut off registration due to demand exceeding the club's capacity. The dance moved to the Hangar at The Stanley near Stapleton the next year and will remain there for many years!   

While the venue and organizers have changed, the mission of those original families remain.  The dance is an opportunity for us to set an example for our daughters to expect as they grow into young adults and beyond.   One key to a great daughter date is to really focus on her, and nothing else.  Limit checking e-mail, texts and phone calls.  She senses and knows if you are not giving her your full attention. Be where you are, especially during these precious moments.  Model the behavior you want her to expect from future suitors.  Demonstrate what to expect from prospective dates.  Talk to her in a respectful tone and manner.  Model the art of conversation.  Open the door for her.  Pull out her chair.  Look in her eyes when she is talking.  Of course this all seems elementary, but all of us need reminding from time to time. 

The night of the dance, you are her Prince!

The goal of the dance's creators had a goal of using the dance as a launching pad for a daughter date every month.  Below is an excerpt from the original dance with some great ideas:  

This event was hopefully a special moment for you and your daughter. Why not commit to be more intentional about spending time like tonight with your young lady? Consider a date each month – “12 in '20.” Nothing fancy required; just some one on one time, doing something she will enjoy and getting to know one another.

Pull out your calendar when you have a minute, and schedule a few dates with your daughter. (And no double dates, if you have more than one girl!) Use this guide to plan your date or create your own. The magic is in the time together and discovering one another – not following a formula. Regardless whether the date goes exactly as planned, enjoy the rewards of a greater intimacy and relational equity with your young princess. Oh, and to “kick it up a notch,” send them a handwritten invitation a week or so in advance so that they have something to look forward to and enjoy anticipating.

Here are some more tips and tricks:


Consider each date BEFORE going out. What will you do? What will you talk about?  Below are a few conversational questions to get things started…
No matter what you do, remember to focus on spending quality time – any activities are secondary. Yet with some preparation and intentionality, make each date memorable.

Here are a few ideas for where to go and what to do:

  • Bike rides in the neighborhood or on local trails

  • Visit one of our local parks for a picnic or to throw the ball or frisbee

  • Hike or camp out – backyard and beyond

  • Breakfast lunch or dinner at her favorite place (Lucille’s, Snooze, Cake Crumbs, or any of our partners)

  • Ice Cream

  • Trip to Adagio or Cake Crumbs for coffee/chocolate milk or a sweet treat

  • Browse together at the Tattered Cover

  • Invite her on a business trip

  • Bring her to work one day

  • Visit her school and eat lunch with her

  • Take her shopping (where she wants!)

  • Take her to a sporting event

  • Volunteer together in the community

  • Visit the Brown Palace for tea and a tour

  • Visit www.goodsirs.net for 100 date ideas.

 

Conversation Starters

  • Who’s your best friend? What do you like about them? What do they like about you?

  • Do you have any conflicts with friends or classmates? If so, what happened?

  • What are your favorite things to do in the world? Least favorite?

  • Finish this phrase: “I feel most loved by my Dad (or Mom or guardian) when…”

  • What would be your favorite adventure for us to take together? As a family?

  • What’s your favorite subject at school?

  • Who’s your favorite teacher? Why?

  • What do you wanna be when you grow up? How can I help you pursue that?

  • What are you thankful for the most?

  • What’s the coolest gift you’ve gotten?

  • What’s your best memory?

 

Finally, after each date, try to ask yourself these two questions:

  1. What did I learn about my daughter today/tonight?

  2. Based upon this insight, in what area(s) might I need to take action? Will I?

 

I hope these are helpful tools to enriching your relationships with your daughters.

 

Remember:

  1. They begin to “leave” earlier than we think.

  2. They’re our greatest and most important legacy.

  3. There are many, many factors working against being the dads our daughters need. 

  4. Date your daughters. 12 times in 12 months!

 

Thanks for your partnership, friendship and fatherhood!