The daughters didn’t appear to weigh 100 pounds each — soaking wet — and yet their dads looked intimidated.
Could it have been because the daughters were dressed like police? Their dads donned the orange jumpsuits of prison inmates at the father-daughter dance that was part of a Triple S Dance Competition this month in Inver Grove Heights.
Geoff Henderson, Bruce Jensen and Jake Skare had daughter-induced performance anxiety. It turns out that Sophie Henderson, 14; Emily Jensen, 15, and Morgan Skare, 14, are tougher critics than their teacher Katy Henry of DanceWorks Performing Arts in Lakeville.
“It really was a neat experience. Well worth it,” said Jensen, co-owner of 1st Sewing Center, which has outlets in Bloomington, Burnsville and Faribault, Minn.
There was mild grumbling from the orange-jumpsuited dads until they got a gander of their Metro Dance Center counterparts. They were part of a routine called “The Greatest Showdads,” and they were in drag. Thanks to Wade Short, of Triple S Dance Competition, for supplying me with a video clip of the “Showdads,” who so stunned me that I forgot to turn on my camera.
Q: Jake, do you remember the first time you danced with Morgan?
A: Yeah. We used to dance all the time when she was little. Not in front of anybody. [Big smile.] So this was a little different, but it went better than I thought it would.
Q: Jake, is this the most unusual event in which your daughter has asked you to participate?
A: Absolutely. [Laughs.]
Q: Geoff, what’s it like when you don’t perform well in practice?
A: I can’t sleep at night. [Laughs.] Nervous. I feel bad, too, like I’m letting down my daughter if it doesn’t go well. But we do well every year, and it comes out OK.
Q: Bruce, I think you sang on stage when the instructions were that you not do that?
A: My daughter’s put in many rules for me. And I’m not supposed to do certain things, like sing. Or screw up and “try to suck less.” I didn’t accomplish any of those today, and I’ll hear about it later.
Q: Jake, you do know that you have lost control of the situation already, right? Are you at peace with that?
A: Yes. I am. [Laughing.]
Q: Jake, some of those dance numbers are kind of racy.
A: Yeah, yeah, you know. You’ve got to win.
Q: Bruce, what did you think of the dance moves, and why were you dancing in the back row?
A: You’ve got to shake it a little bit to win [smile]. ... It [the back row] wasn’t my choice. It was by merit. Unfortunately, I deserved to be in the back.
Q: Jake, what is the harshest critique you’ve received from your daughter?
A: “Make sure you’re doing it right.” That’s it. I think they [Bruce and Geoff] are getting it worse.
Q: Do you get to keep these lovely outfits, Geoff? When do you wear them again?
Q: How will Bruce incorporate that jumpsuit into his life?
A: Mowing the lawn tomorrow.
Q: The good thing is that you are ready for that father-daughter dance at her wedding, right, Jake?
A: That’s right. We’ll just remember this.
Q: Jake, maybe Morgan will let you wear the orange jumpsuit?
A: I’ll hold onto it.
Q: How’d the dads perform, Emily?
A: They did better than in practice.
Q: What grade are going to give your dad, Morgan?
A: A “C.”
Q: So you think your dad was the worst of the three?
A: Yeah. [Two “Wows” could be heard in the background. I assume one was from Jake.]
C.J. can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and seen on Fox 9’s “Buzz.” E-mailers, please state a subject; “Hello” does not count.