Dance Dad's Unite!

Do you know a Dad that drops their child off at the local dance studio? Do you wonder why you never see them inside the studio?  I have heard many excuses from “I don’t feel comfortable in there because of all the skimpy outfits they wear” to “My child doesn’t want me to watch” to “I’m just filling in for their regular ride by THE OFFICIAL Dance Mom”.  

I used to be like that until one day I was asked by a volunteer Dad to help build props and sets for a dance production.  Usually the guy that has all the power tools & building equipment is the leader.  Without that person’s knowledge of building, it would be hard to do anything. It does sound intimidating but just getting started is the key to volunteering.  He said let’s meet with the Artistic Director that has the vision for the show and what things needed to be built. 

One thing was made clear; if it was heavy & rough, it was a GUY thing. If it was frilly & pretty, it was a GAL thing. We hauled building material to select locations such as ranches, parent’s homes, or the back of the studio.  When constructing sets, you need to know the width & heights of the stage entrances and how it will be transported to the theater before you start. Most of the sets and props I worked on were made earlier by other parents in earlier years. They just needed to be repaired and spruced up.

While getting to know the volunteer Dads & Moms, I overheard that a parent was aging out because their daughter was graduating and her duties needed to be handed down to another parent. That was the first time I had heard of the word “Marley”.  It was the dance studio’s flooring and it was used for shows too.  At that time we had to pull up the studios’ marley floor every time we had a show. The old studio would be without marley for a week and kids would have bare wood planks to dance on. That was a laborious time since after the show we would have to re-install it back in the studio for the following Monday’s classes.

I became the Hawkins’ Marley Man at that time and was glad to see the Hawkins’ School of Performing Arts move to it’s current location. Everything was NEW except for a few rooms that we used the old studios’ flooring in. One thing that was great about the move was that we acquired the old marley that we could store and use whenever we had performances. This volunteer job was very satisfying as I could see the many dancers that used it and it was a safe surface to glide on.

The Hawkins School of Performing Arts 2015/16 Season is about to start and they are always looking for volunteers. If you know a Dance Dad or Mom, that would like to volunteer, please have them contact the Hawkins Booster Club.  Usually there is a parent in the lobby that can guide you; you just need to get through the Front Door!

Former Hawkins Marley Man, but still volunteering                                                                                                                                                                                                      - Les Mark