When Cinderella went to the ball, she met her Prince Charming, but when local girls to the upcoming Me & My Guy Dance, they get to spend time with someone even more important: their father.
Slated for Feb. 22 in Claremore, the Me & My Guy Dance is held by Rogers County Youth Services as a means for fathers and daughters to spend an evening together in a setting to allow the deepening of the parental bond.
“We started the (Me & My Guy) dance 13 years ago when an RCYS board member brought the idea up after she’d been to a similar event in Norman,” said Herb McSpadden, executive director, Rogers County Youth Services. “Essentially, it’s an evening for fathers and daughters to enjoy time together and to create a special, lasting memory for them both.”
The first few years of the event were held in the Claremore Community Center, with 50 attendees, but due to its growing popularity, it had to be moved to Rogers State University in the third year as attendance swelled to 500.
“Although the event is (informally) known as the ‘daddy/daughter’ dance, it’s called ‘Me and My Guy’ because sometimes, for one reason or another, it may not be possible for fathers to attend,” McSpadden said. “In those cases, we will see girls attending with their uncle, grandfather, stepfather, or other significant male in their life.”
McSpadden said the dance is open to young girls from 3 years old through their senior year in high school, and it’s not uncommon for young women to return to the dance several years in a row.
“We always go all-out to make the night special, and this year is no exception,” McSpadden said. “This year’s theme is ‘Boots and Bling,’ so the dads should feel comfortable to dress in their best western wear – boots, cowboy hats, etc. – and the girls are welcome to come in their favorite jewelry. We love the (boots and bling) theme, because whether someone shows up in boots and jeans, a suit or in a tux, they’re going to have a great time and fit right in.”
Throughout the evening, a professional DJ will keep the music playing and the dance floor lively, and the décor will be like that of a prom for a personal, memorable experience for fathers and daughters alike.
“While the evening will be fun and certainly special, it’s also a precious opportunity for the girls to learn from their fathers or father figures how they should expect to be treated,” he said. “As the father demonstrates to the daughter that she is to be treated with respect – and should expect to be – the message (to the girl) is unmistakable in that she has self-worth and think highly of herself.”
A healthy father/daughter relationship, encouraged by Rogers County Youth Services and fostered at the dance, is key to the emotional development and well-being of young women, McSpadden said. Statistically, girls who grow up without a positive male role model in their life are more likely to suffer from poor self-image and suffer from other emotional issues, are at higher risk of developing drug or alcohol problems, and may be more inclined to seek male approval in unhealthy relationships.
“It’s crucial that parents create a close bond with their child that they play with them, communicate with them and give them positive reinforcement, and this dance is an opportunity for that,” he said.
But fathers aren’t the only parents who can look forward to putting on their dancing shoes as, at the same time as the Me & My Guy Dance, moms will have the chance for a night with their sons at the Mother/Son Dance.
“This will be our fifth year for the Mother/Son Dance, which we started because we wanted to give moms a chance for a night out with their sons,” McSpadden said. “Typically, this (event) is geared toward younger boys, ages 4-13 and for this, we’re going with a superhero theme, so there will be superheroes making an appearance to meet the boys, in addition to the dance.”
Games, a ‘Nerf War’ – for which boys may bring their own Nerf guns or use ones RCYS provides, and multiple dance competitions will be held throughout the night.
“Participants (to the mother/son dance) are encouraged to dress up as their favorite superhero, so it’s a fun night for all the kids and the moms,” he said.
Sponsorship for the events helps to raise funds to benefit Rogers County Youth Services, which offers quality prevention and counseling resources at no cost to the youth and families of Rogers County.
“All of our services are free, and it doesn’t matter if you’re Medicaid eligible, have insurance or not, if there’s a need, everyone pays the same: zero,” McSpadden said. “I think that’s the main thing that separates us from similar organizations – our clients are going to get as high-quality care and counseling here as they could anywhere else in the state, and they never have to worry about money. We never want money to become a barrier to getting help.”
The Me & My Guy Dance (Boots & Bling) will be 6-9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, at the Dr. Carolyn Taylor Center at Rogers State University. The Mother/Son Dance also will be held 6-9 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 22, at the Claremore Conference Center.
For more information about the Me & My Guy Dance or the Mother/Son Dance, contact Carolyn at 918-341-7580, ext. 116.
To learn more about services available through Rogers County Youth Services, call 918-341-7580, visit them in person at 1820 N. Sioux in Claremore, or visit them online at
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