Benjamin’s Annual Father/Daughter Dance Means More Than You Know

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Benjamin’s Annual Father/Daughter Dance Means More Than You Know

Mr. Gary Gelman poses with his seventh-grade daughter, Joix, at the dance.

Mr. Gary Gelman poses with his seventh-grade daughter, Joix, at the dance.

Emerson Ferry

Mr. Gary Gelman poses with his seventh-grade daughter, Joix, at the dance.

Emerson Ferry

Emerson Ferry

Mr. Gary Gelman poses with his seventh-grade daughter, Joix, at the dance.

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“Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.” — Rick Blaine, Casablanca.

If this quote sounds familiar, you must already know the theme of this year’s Father/Daughter Dance:

Casablanca Nights!

Although Casablanca is a classic romantic film (and a real place – the largest city in Morocco, in fact), it was the perfect theme for the latest Father/Daughter Dance hosted by the Men of Benjamin (MOB) on April 30, 2019, in the Upper School’s Healey Family Athletic Complex. If you didn’t know already, the MOB, founded in 2013, has hosted this event every year since 2014 and also sponsors other events at TBS, such as various charity events, beach cleanups, etc.  

Emerson Ferry
The MOB brought festive tents into the gym and had delicious Moroccan-themed cuisine at the event.

With its exotic, Mediterranean theme, this year’s dance was one of the best ones yet. Many young ladies were excited for the dance for many different reasons, one of which is the memories that are made each year.  

“In fifth grade, Emerson, Harper, and I – we all got up on a little stage and were told to sing “Roar” by Katy Perry,” said seventh-grader Xan Blount. “We all got our own microphone and it was a great memory.”

This year, as fathers and daughters entered the gym, they had their picture taken to commemorate this special event. The gym was decked out with decorations representing the Casablanca theme, and there was a DJ, mini-stage, buffet, and many more fun activities for the fathers and daughters to engage in together.

“My favorite memory is when the dancers come because I like watching them dance,” said sixth-grader Alex Pace, referring to the dance group the MOB usually hires to entertain the dads and daughters and get everybody moving.

This dance isn’t just for the fathers and daughters of Benjamin, though. It can also be a place where young ladies may bring an uncle, grandparent, or other significant men in their lives with whom they would like to spend time. There are only two requirements: the daughter has to attend Benjamin, and all who attend have to have fun!

The dance is a very important tradition at The Benjamin School because it allows for fathers and daughters to spend some quality time together. According to a 2017 Redbook article by Charlotte Hilton Andersen titled “Fathers Have An Even Greater Influence on Daughters Than You May Realize,” the author quotes Dr. Gary Brown, a licensed marriage and family therapist in Los Angeles. “It would be difficult to overstate the powerful influence that fathers have in the shaping of their daughters’ views about their own self-image, values, sexuality, relationships, and their right to determine the course of their own lives,” Brown says in the article.

The Redbook article also cites a recent study in the Journal of North American Psychology (“The father-daughter dance: the relationship between father-daughter relationship quality and daughters’ stress response.”) which states that “young girls who have a warm, close relationship with their dads are better able to handle everyday stressors, are less prone to depression and anxiety, and are better able to talk about their feelings.”

Emerson Ferry
A group of girls show off their moves on the dance floor.

This is why an event like the father/daughter dance is important, as it nurtures the bond between them.

[One of my favorite parts of the dance is] dancing with my incredible daughter, Joix, who taught me my moves,” said TBS father Mr. Gary Gelman. “Therefore, it’s her fault I was eliminated,” he joked when talking about the event’s dance competition.

“[One of my favorite things at the dance is] slow dancing with Ryan and catching up with the other dads,” said Benjamin father Mr. Mike Lambrix whose daughter, Ryan, is at kindergarten here at TBS.

These are just some of the reasons to have a dance that is focused on keeping the father-daughter bond strong. Fathers have such significant roles in the lives of their daughters, and MOB hopes to continue fostering those relationships with this annual tradition.

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