Dads, daughters share sweet moments during ballet class in East Falls

Alicia Vitarelli Image
Tuesday, February 18, 2020
Dads, daughters share sweet moments during ballet class
There's just something about a little girl's relationship with her dad and the special bond they create.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- There's something special about a little girl's relationship with her dad and the bond they create.

Add ballet to the mix and it's not hard to see why a viral video from a class that happens every Saturday in Philadelphia's East Falls section is being viewed and shared by people all over the world.

The tender moments inside the Gustine Recreation Center have now been viewed by millions. Dads and their daughters doing ballet: sweet, and seemingly simple.

But this bonding is opening a lot of hearts and minds.

"We didn't have our dads for these types of moments," says Erin Lee, the founder of E'Chappe Dance Arts. "I feel like I wanted to highlight to the world what we get to see on Saturdays...that there are great dads out there."

The post was shared by celebrities like Ava Duvernay and Kristen Bell, who said they wish their fathers would have been there for something like this.

Lee started E'Chappe Dance Arts seven years ago. Not long after, she started noticing the dads.

"They're dropping off, they're picking up," she says. "They are really involved, making sure they have their dance shoes."

So, she invited the men to join in.

"It's really important for me because not a lot of dads are spending time with their kids where I grew up," says Brandon DeBose of Northeast Philadelphia. "It's really important that I take time out every day to spend with her."

"The whole male exterior diminishes the second they get in here," said ballet teacher Tymeisha Anderson.

"There's nothing wrong with being vulnerable. Be vulnerable, be open. We have feelings too," says Julian Myers from Ambler. "Real dads do ballet."

And as they say, there's just something about dance.

"It changes the narrative once you're here you start learning from them instead of them learning from us," says James Jackson from West Philadelphia.

"The girls love when daddy's here, " says Anderson. "It's everything to them."

"I feel like this is the most precious gift a parent can have especially when raising a little girl, they need their fathers," DuBose says.