PHILADELPHIA — They may have looked a little out of place surrounded by young ballerinas at a Philadelphia dance class, but these dads danced like no one was watching in an adorable video warming hearts online.
In the video posted by E'chappe Dance Arts, about 10 fathers plie, twirl and lift their daughters in unison, following along with a teacher's instructions.
The girls smile and giggle along with their dads as they show off their moves.
The class has become a yearly tradition at E'chappe, according to owner Erin Lee. It's now the third year instructors have invited their dancers' fathers to join for a special class and turnout has never been better, according to Lee.
At first, it was like "pulling teeth" to get dads to participate, Lee said. But once they saw the other fathers in the room, it was easy to for them to relax and have fun.
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Lee said many of the "dance dads" are already very active in their daughters' lives but don't always know a lot about ballet firsthand. The class gives them a tangible way to learn their daughters' routines while spending quality time together.
"The girls are delighted," Lee said.
Lee was initially inspired to start the initiative because she wanted the girls to have a connection with their dads, something she lacked at their age.
Her father worked overseas as a chef in the military, which limited the time she spent with him, Lee said. Today, however, they share a very close bond. In fact, Lee's father was at the class featured in the video and he plans to participate again.
So many people have reached out about attending after the video's posting that she's decided to hold the classes every month.
Lee hopes other fathers see the video and are inspired to be a part of their daughters' lives.
"It's cool to be a good dad!" Lee said.