Here’s the problem with a “father-daughter” dance

On Friday morning, my daughter woke up, enthusiastically announcing: “The dance is tonight!” What she was referring to, of course, was the “Daughter” dance held by Brewer Parks and Recreation. The dance that doesn’t “require” a male date.

We were on the waiting list and got the call Thursday that we had been cleared. “Not to discourage you at all,” said Office Manager, Gerry Spencer, “But I’m looking at the guest list here, and I think you would be the only woman.”

Again, Gerry thoughtfully reiterated that she wasn’t trying to influence my decision, but wanted to make sure my daughter and I would be comfortable. She even told me I could think it over and let her know the following day. Lexi and I talked about it and not only was she excited but unfazed by the potential of us being the only Mother-daughter duo. I wasn’t surprised, given “the two of us” is her “norm.” The morning of the dance, I drove to the Brewer Auditorium and purchased tickets.

Unfortunately, as the evening drew closer, the weather (ironically named Winter Storm Lexi) forced us to make the tough decision of staying home (we are not Brewer residents and would have had to make the trek along many back roads). Still, we dressed up, decorated our living room with a green strand of lights and created our own dance party. Just the two of us.

Many of Lexi’s schoolmates and friends attended Saturday’s “Father Daughter Dance” at the Cross Center, however, Bangor Parks and Recreation made it clear they required a “male” to accompany the children.With “traditional” family dynamics evolving, it’s time, we too, evolve in the way use labels when it comes to children … certainly for an event like this, but more importantly in everyday life. Schools should be more wary of holidays, projects and various other activities that celebrate or gear toward just Mom, just Dad or even Mom and Dad together. Gaining such an awareness is not for the sake of parents, but for the feelings of our youth.


Kudos to the City of Brewer for being on the right track. From my inquiries, I’ve learned there are also smaller elementary schools in the area who put on a family dance or simply a Valentine’s dance at their respective gymnasiums this time of year. Which is the way it should be. After all, Valentine’s Day isn’t just for little girls. The celebration of love is meant for everyone.



Erinne Magee

About Erinne Magee

Erinne is a Maine-based writer and freelance editor specializing in first person essays, poetry and picture books. Her work has appeared in publications like: The Washington Post, Redbook, Yahoo News, The Huffington Post, Good Housekeeping and The Toronto Sun. For more, visit: