Fun Father-Daughter Reception Dance Ideas

By Erica Loop
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Planning a truly fun-filled father-daughter dance isn't a piece of cake for any parent. Whether you're the one in charge, a planning committee member or just giving your input, reception dance ideas that are both creative and do-able can make the difference between an awesome activity that gets rave reviews and a blah and boring bash.

Decade Dances

Instead of creating a contemporary father-daughter dance, consider choosing a theme from another era. Pick a decade with fun and flare, that has a themed aspect. For example, go with a 1950s sock hop theme. The dads can dress in Fonzi-type leather or a preppy letter-man's jacket and the daughters can wear poodle skirts and saddle shoes. The daddy-daughter couples can dance to decade-specific tunes such as "Rock Around the Clock" by Bill Haley and His Comets, "Rockin Robin" by Bobby Day or "At the Hop" by Danny and the Juniors. Another option is to jump ahead to the '60s, staging a hippie-esque flower-power dance. The father-daughter couples can dress in bell-bottoms and tie-dyes and move to music by the Beatles or the Beach Boys.

Country Cuties

Dress up your daughter in a sweet gingham dress, add a cowboy hat and rustle up a similarly country outfit for dad for a parent-child square dance. This old-fashioned style of dance is a fun-filled way to get kids, and the dads as well, on their feet and dancing. If your school or organization has the budget, hire a square dance caller or find an expert volunteer to teach the daddy-daughter couples the real steps to time-tested classics such as the Virginia Reel, Red River Valley or Birdie in the Cage.

Dancing in the Park

While "dancing in the dark," as the Bruce Springsteen hit goes, isn't advisable, dancing in the park is. Stage a daddy-daughter dance in your local community park during the sunlight hours of a Saturday or Sunday. Let the kids frolic on the playground equipment or plan outdoorsy activities such as a potato sack race or daddy-daughter team obstacle course. Set up speakers, play upbeat tunes and invite the participants to dance in a flat, grassy area. Finish the event with a picnic meal or inside a park pavilion or ask the guests to bring their own blankets for an outside feast.

Movie Magic

Give the daughters a chance to strut their stuff on the red carpet, staging a movie themed daddy-daughter dance. Ask the parent-child couples to come dressed as their favorite movie pairs such as Han Solo and Princess Leia from Star Wars or Belle and the Beast from Disney's beauty and the Beast. Line the entry with a red carpet runner, and set up a mock paparazzi photographer. Have the daddy-daughter pairs stop and pose for the photographer, providing the pics later on for a fun take-home gift. Play soundtracks from famous movies, such as Footloose or Saturday Night Fever to spur on an evening of energetic dancing.

About the Author

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.