A Dad Confesses: 'I Dance Like a Fool for My Kid -- and Like It'

For some dads, the truest signs of affection often are the most embarrassing. Witness the antics of Vitalijus Orlovas, a 33-year-old father whose dance performance with his daughters to Justin Bieber’s “Baby” is a hit on YouTube. Dads like Orlovas and me engage in such forms of humiliation every day, and we do it all for love.

Personally, I’ve always hated dancing. It’s not that I don’t enjoy moving to music; it’s just that when I do, I look like a spaz. But the birth of my daughter changed everything. Babies love to wiggle and dance. Because I stay at home with her for most of every day, in order to make her happy, I’ve had to pretend I like that stuff, too.

In my house, the dance party officially begins within 20 minutes of the first diaper change. The baby gets up, we snuggle a bit, get rid of the poopy pants and head to my home office to boogie down. The baby’s dance moves always are the same -- she alternates between bouncing up and down on her knees and shaking side-to-side like a Hula-hooper on speed. My moves, however, vary depending on my exhaustion levels. On good mornings, I’ll do jumping jacks or I’ll skank; on rough mornings, she’s lucky if I can hold it together enough to stand there and point like “Cotton Eyed Joe.” And we have another show-stopping routine as part of the nightly pre-bed ritual.

Do I look silly? Absolutely. Could you blackmail me with videos of these routines? For sure. But my baby loves every minute of it, and because of that, I’ll keep dancing until she asks me to stop. And I won’t mind one bit if that day doesn’t come for a while.

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