Last February, a sold-out crowd of 500 fathers and daughters attended the first Dads & Daughters Diamond Dance at Louisville Slugger Field. Volunteers and guests came from 18 churches in Kentucky and Indiana.
The night is designed for girls in elementary and middle school to “shine as diamonds” and to bring fathers and daughters closer together.
This year, the Diamond Dance will be held Saturday, Feb. 8, and a second dance session has been added to accommodate crowds.
The evening is choreographed from beginning to end with professional photos, conversation questions for daughters and dads, upscale desserts, group dances and gifts. It’s a memory builder for the weak-kneed, awkward and those with two left feet.
The dance is sponsored by Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Southeast Christian Church’s Family Ministry.
“Everything we do points to seeing the high and holy calling of being God’s girl,” said event organizer Kim Wigginton. “The Father’s heart for us is beautiful. This night can be a treasured memory. It’s a great Christmas gift from a father to a daughter.”
A $65 ticket includes admission for a father and up to two daughters. Additional daughters are $10. All tickets include dancing, dessert, a professional photograph and a gift bag.
Favorite dances like the Church Clap, the Chicken Dance and the Electric Slide will be led by dance instructor Kacey Frazier.
Pastor Dithson Noel was the DJ last year and is returning this year, though he and his family moved to Atlanta to serve with the International Mission Board.
“It’s an encouraging night for fathers to lead their daughters and demonstrate that they care,” Noel said. “In our culture, this generation doesn’t see women honored and lifted up in a Godly manner. This is a small part of cultivating relationships within the family. I love seeing that and participating in it.”
Girls who may not have a dad at home are included in plans for the evening. Last year the dance floor was full of grandfathers, brothers, uncles and family friends. Scholarship tickets have been provided for girls in foster care.
“We want daughters from any family situation to be at the dance,” Wigginton said. “Dads may be deployed, out of town, deceased, incarcerated or not involved in their lives. We will make it a memorable evening for them as well.”
Kevin Jones, dean of the College of Education at Kentucky State University, took his two daughters to the Diamond Dance last year.
“They loved spending time with me, being part of hundreds of other daughters and dads together that night,” Jones said. “It seemed to them everybody was there.”
Jones said churches involved in the dance acknowledged the lack of fathers shepherding their daughters.
“Knowing and making aware of it makes a group of dads move the agenda forward,” he said. “We have a Biblical responsibility to support fathers and daughters.”
Last year, Southeast provided scholarships for foster parents with daughters. One dad brought six daughters, three of whom were foster children.
Another church paid for a recent widower and his daughter to attend. At first the dad objected to attending.
“I’m not a dancer,” he said.
But he finally agreed to go. Afterward he said it was a great evening because it opened the door to talk with his daughter about grief and loss.
Two weeks after last year’s dance, Wigginton and her husband were at the mall when two police officers approached them.
“We just wanted to let you know that the Police Foundation offered 10 scholarships to the dance, and we snatched them,” one officer said. “It was exactly what we wanted to do with our daughters. It was one of the best nights of our lives.”