Due to the popular demand of this heartwarming annual event, Esquimalt’s MFRC has extended the Father Daughter Dance to a two-day event. The extra day means more people have the opportunity to enjoy the event. The dances are scheduled to take place this Friday, March 3 and Saturday, March 4.
Held for the last 15 years by the Esquimalt MFRC, the event is aimed at celebrating the bond between a daughter and her father.
“The purpose has really always been to celebrate the connection between children and their father, and father figures,” said Jackie Carlé, Community Engagement Manger Esquimalt MFRC.
The dance gives families a special occasion to connect, especially on a primarily Navy base, where ships can be deployed for up to nine months at a time. This is why, says Carlé, the MFRC holds the dance at a time when most ships are at home.
Carlé also points out that the dance isn’t just for fathers and daughters, but can be for any kind of father figure, be it an uncle, a big brother or a neighbour.
On the night of the dance, daughters and fathers get all dressed up and enjoy an evening of dancing.
“Usually the daughters wear their fathers out by the end of the evening, and we’ve got a bunch of daughters on the dance floor and fathers looking on,” laughed Carlé.
Attendees can also enjoy a buffet meal, door prizes, a photo booth and a limbo contest.
“It’s a place where it’s okay to be with your parents. It’s not like a school dance where there’s a lot of pressure to dance with people you don’t know. You don’t have to be super cool. You can actually love your dad, and that’s okay,” said Carlé.
The dance has come to mean a lot to the Esquimalt military community, and according to Carlé, some father-daughter duos have been attending from a young age, with some of those girls now being 18.
“It’s a special evening where they really just get to focus on their relationship as a father and daughter or father figure and daughter,” added Carlé.
On the flip side, the evening also gives mothers and sons the opportunity to plan a special event together such as bowling or dinner. In the past Personnel Support Programs on base have arranged mother-son events on the same night as the Father Daughter Dance, making this night an overall family-bonding experience.