SAVANNAH, Mo. (BP)–Several couples entered a multipurpose building in St. Joseph, Mo., wearing corsages and formal wear. Moments later, the building was alive with laughter, singing, dancing and the Village People song, “YMCA.”
No, this wasn’t a wedding reception, homecoming party or winter formal. It was a father-and-daughter dance sponsored by First Baptist Church, Savannah. Fifteen couples attended the church’s first dance. The Feb. 9 event was part of the youth group’s True Love Waits sexual purity emphasis. Youth minister Dyann Duncan said she wanted the event to be more than just a dance.
“It’s a good opportunity for fathers and daughters to spend time together,” she said. “With school activities and jobs, a lot of our fathers don’t get to spend much time with their daughters. I wanted the fathers to wonder, ‘How well do I know my daughter?'”
Duncan was a little concerned that parents or others in the church might not approve of a church-sponsored dance. Her concerns were soon put to rest.
“Everyone was so supportive,” she said. “The parents were like, ‘Oh that is wonderful; you have to do this again.'”
Duncan said she hoped the event taught fathers that they need to be complimentary of their daughters, and to treat them as they would want young men to treat them.
“Girls need to be hearing compliments from their fathers, or they will go to someone who will compliment them,” Duncan noted. “Statistics show that girls who don’t have a good relationship with their dads are more likely to have premarital sex.”
Before the dance, all of the fathers were given a list of things to do for that night. The list included washing their vehicles and taking their daughters out to dinner at a nice restaurant.
“A lot of dads did above and beyond what we asked them to do,” Duncan said. “At the end of the night, a lot of the girls were like, ‘I didn’t know my dad could be so much fun.'”
Keri Weber, 16, was a little skeptical about going to a dance with her father. “It felt kind of weird at first,” she said. “I am not used to that kind of special treatment, like having the door opened for me.”
Keri ended up having a wonderful evening with her father. “I liked being able to go to the dance and have fun with my dad,” she said. “I usually am not able to spend a lot of time with him because I am so busy with school and work.”
Her father, Gary, who cleaned out his pickup truck especially for the evening, had a good time as well. “It’s something pretty special you can do with your daughter,” he said. “I thought it was a real good experience. It grew us together a little bit.”
The following Sunday during the church service, 18 youths vowed to stay sexually pure until they are married. “I think the kids are ready for something like this,” Duncan said. “They are wanting to get real with God. Youth ministry is about more than summer camp and having a lock-in once in a while.”
With all of the support Duncan received for the dance, she plans to hold a similar event next year. Those interested in organizing a father-daughter dance can find out more information by calling Duncan at (816) 324-3314.
(BP) low res photo posted in the BP Photo library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: FATHER-DAUGHTER DANCE.