Daughters Dance on Dads’ Toes

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The annual Lower School Daddy Daughter Dance knocked the girls off their feet. The Lower School cafeteria transformed into a pink, red and white ballroom for a special night that fathers and daughters will never forget. This event is planned months ahead of time having co-chair Susan Saddington said, “The first dance committee meeting was in November to discuss timeline, responsibilities and budget.”

“The first matter of business was to find someone to design our save the date, registration form and invitation [for the dance],” said Saddington. From then on, the co-chairs had several other meetings to plan and “to book a DJ, photographer, finalize decorations and order [party] favors,” Saddington said.

The party favors were a “love gift” to give to the girls leading up to the dance. Saddington shared that the “favors were assembled on Monday [Feb. 4] and [Jerri Rooker and Saddington] spent all day today [Feb. 6] prepping décor – blowing up hundreds of balloons making a balloon arch, assembling fans, lanterns, fluffing pom poms, making sure twinkle lights were all working and changing out batteries where needed.” There is a lot of planning that goes into making this dance a night to remember. In the days leading up to the dance the co-chairs “decorated the cafeteria and transforming it and the lower school in a magical wonderland for our girls and their dad,” said Saddington.

Senior Megan Bielan helped at the dance by “setting up decorations, working the photobooth and made sure everything ran smoothly.” The high school volunteers were more than willing to sacrifice their Friday night to see the “adorable girls dancing and getting all dressed up,” said Bielan.

The lower school girls have been looking forward to this dance all year. Saddington’s daughter, Micah (’29), “Had so much fun dancing with her dad and friends,” said Saddington. This was a distinct night to spend with your daughter/dad, but the girls were also excited to spend the night all dressed up with their friends. Bielan said, “The girl I babysit, Jagger, is in fourth grade and she talked about the dance for months. She was excited to get dressed up, in a new dress, dance with her friends and dads and eat a bunch of yummy snacks.”

Saddington said, “Five classes had 100% registration, with Mrs. Walden’s 2nd grade class with the first to reach the 100%. This dance has a high attendance rate, which shows how loved this special night really is. Many of the Lower School girls were dancing the night away with their dads.”

The co-chairs, Susan Saddington and Jerri Rooker worked very hard to get the dance planned, decorations up, party bags gifted and much more. For instance, “On dance night, each registered girl will go home with a mug, a daddy and daughter bracelet and some door prizes. They’ll also have a professional photo taken with their dad. One normal [photo] and one with the fun photobooth props,” said Saddington.

Avalee Rooker (’29) shared, “I am most excited about getting to dance with my daddy.” Their expectations were met and exceeded once the dance came around. Lily Hoban (’30) said, “My favorite thing about the dance was the selfie photobooth.”

“This is the last Daddy Daughter Dance for me, let’s make it the best one ever,” said Nadia Hutchings (’27). After the dance, Nadia said it was her best dance ever, so her wish for her final Daddy Daughter Dance as a fourth grader was fulfilled.

Junior Bryn Alecxih said, “The girl I babysit talks about how excited she is all the time.” The Lower School girls warm the hearts of older girls who remember the days when they were in their shoes dancing with their dads years ago.

“It truly takes a village to pull off an event for 300 guests, and the Lower School has such a giving and dynamic village of volunteer moms who worked together to ensure the 2019 Daddy Daughter Dance was a highlight of the year for our girls,” said Rooker.

Thankfully, the previous dance chair Jamie Ratliff left a detailed playbook to help with the planning. The night of the dance a team of 18 moms and high school volunteers staffed the dance, ensuring the girls had a fabulous night to remember. Wesleyan’s incredible onsite facilities team, led by Suyapa Bono, were a tremendous help behind the scenes in transforming the cafeteria into a sparkling wonderland lit by thousands of fairy lights.

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