Fathers and daughters dance and bond at Educare Winnebago


Educare Winnebago, located on the Winnebago Indian Reservation in northeast Nebraska, hosted its first annual Daddy-Daughter Dance on February 15. Family Support Specialist Kenia Herrera shares how this event brought together the school’s families, staff and the community.

During our family support team meeting we touched base on our yearly goals. Our team asked how we could increase male engagement at our school, so we came up with the fun idea to host a Daddy-Daughter Dance.

The idea of this event was quickly accepted by the parents. The community, staff and parents expressed their excitement for the special night throughout the weeks leading up to the event. Mothers volunteered their time to decorate the dining and dance areas. The community came together to provide essentials for the evening such as lights and a music system. Without the support of our community, families and staff, this event would not have been a success.

As the fathers, uncles and grandfathers arrived with their dates, it was easy to see the effort they put towards making the best of this experience for their little ones. An elder community member started off the event with a blessing and praised the men present for the effort taken to make the night special for their daughters. The family style dining encouraged men not only to bond with their date, but also with other males in attendance.

“I thought it was really cool how all the guys dressed up,” said Kevin Ebert, one of the fathers who attended. “I’ve done a lot of things on this reservation and this is one of the coolest things I’ve done by far.”

Following the dinner, the crowd moved over to the dance floor where most girls were excited to see the party lights and dance to their favorite songs. Throughout the hour there was a variety of music, including traditional Pow Wow music. The girls twirled around with their traditional shawls provided by teachers at Educare Winnebago.

An uncle who attended with his niece said, “It meant a lot to me to make her feel fulfilled and not left out,” since her father was not able to attend.

Our Daddy-Daughter Dance turned into an event that brought the community and Educare together, which is always a goal we strive to achieve. With all the positive feedback and excitement the Daddy-Daughter Dance brought our school, parents have requested to have it as an annual event. We hope to continue this event at our Educare school for years to come and to provide a similar experience for our boy students and the special women in their lives.

Watch a video of the dance.