Canby Rotary’s Inaugural Daddy Daughter Dance Set to Return

The Daddy Daughter Dance, an evening of music and magic for the young and young at heart that is more than two years in the making, is being planned for Saturday, March 12, at the Ackerman Center in Canby.

Hosted and organized by the Rotary Club of Canby, the inaugural event was originally planned for March 2020 — the same fateful week in which the first wave of large gatherings were canceled in the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Now, almost exactly two years later, the dance has been placed back on the calendar as a symbol of hope and a signal that the long-awaited return to normalcy is on the horizon.

It’s hard to overstate how much the world has changed from the March in which the Daddy Daughter Dance was originally planned to take place and the one in which it is likely to finally be held, but one thing that has not changed is the need for such an event, as Rotary President Ray Keen explained.

“The Daddy Daughter Dance is coming back online at a time that I think is really critical for relationships that are core in our community,” he said.

“After everything that’s happened the past two years, I think one thing that is really needed are opportunities for fathers and daughters — and other meaningful relations — to come together and connect.”

In the wake of the pandemic, many adults and kids are finding themselves drowning in screentime, Keen says, whether that is a product of remote work or school or simply an increased desire for escapism.

“Either we use that to disconnect or we use it to reset,” he said. “Or we feel like, ‘Hey, I need to stay informed about the next thing that’s happening.’ So with all of that taking place, I think our relationships can really be impacted by that.

Canby Rotarians Ray Keen, Tyler Francke and Matt Nelson dance with their daughters in a February 2020 promo for the original Daddy Daughter Dance, which had to be postponed due to the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Photo by Kathleen Jordan.

“So it’s important that we find time to do things together that are relational beyond just sort of being in the same room together, but actually having a meaningful experience together.”

The simple act of stepping outside one’s comfort zone can be very meaningful and significant to an impressionable child or loved one, Keen explains.

“Many dads out there, like myself, are terrible dancers,” he said with a chuckle. “But I think that’s one of the best things that we can do with a young daughter is step into a space where I’m not an expert.

“I don’t have all this figured out. But I do know that I want to make a night that is special for her. Creating meaningful experiences and memories like that is something that I think we’ve all learned the past couple years is so important.”

While Keen and the other organizers see the event as meaningful and important — they also think and expect that it will be a ton of fun. The evening’s agenda includes a photo booth, arts and crafts, snacks and refreshments, a chocolate fountain, a professional magic show and other surprises.

“Our desire is to see dads and daughters come together for what we think will be a really magical evening,” Keen said. “There will be special treats and magical surprises, so it should be a fantastic time.”

The Canby Rotary Daddy Daughter Dance will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. March 12 at the Ackerman Center, 350 SE 13th Avenue in Canby. Tickets are $30 per couple and $10 for an additional child. All are welcome. Tickets are available at

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