What Your Patients are Hearing

The moves may not be smooth, but dance dad, dance


Many men (yours truly included) are not the smoothest creatures on the dance floor. But what is embarrassing dorky in public works like magic at home, with the clunky moves drawing howls of laughter from family.

But there’s the rub ... behavior that is fun in private can become something to be avoided in public. The drumbeat of generations past about men who are strong and capable can surface, curbing those tapping feet and sending dads to the edge of the dance floor.

That’s why the latest Internet rage is welcome. Videos of dads putting on their best moves are providing an example of how love can overcome less-than-stellar footwork. Check out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGSSHSJPhv4 for an example.

According to Sarah L. Kaufman, dance critic at the Washington Post, “therein lies the coolness of the real-life dancing dad. He’s the opposite of embarrassing! He’s uplifting by way of a profound, unspoken understanding of the situation and of his child.”

Motivated by love and unafraid to show the world their moves, the dorky dancing dad can become heroic dancing dad, especially to a son or daughter who is on shaky ground and in need of support. The behavior of these dads also runs counter to the toxic masculinity that seems to pervade much of American culture.

“Within his body, stereotypes are vanquished. The distant dad is overshadowed by the physically present dad. The clueless dad yields to the one who knows exactly what his kid needs,” Ms. Kaufman wrote.

So go, dancing dad, go!

To read Ms. Kaufman’s article, click here.

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