When mechanic and football enthusiast Jason Mears put down his tools for the day, his interests turned to soccer and cycling.
As part of a growing subculture of dance dads, Port Kennedy Electricians do what they can to support their daughter’s passion for dance.
Industry mogul Marina Del Basso said the father dance has increased in recent years as society accepts non-traditional gender roles.
According to Ms. Del Baso, executive director of APAN Academy, the fathers of previous generations rarely participated in dancing, even bothering to bring their children to class.
“Over the past 10 years, she’s gotten better. I’ve watched her do everything from giving medicine to operating a sewing machine to sewing sequins on clothes,” she said.
Mr. Mills is an experienced dance dad who has supported Jordan on the track for seven years.
She spends 15 hours a week helping him follow his passion, taking him to classes, watching his workouts, giving him feedback on his habits, and buying ingredients and ribbons for his clothes.
About three years ago, he took dance lessons at his ex’s dance school, MSJ Productions, and took it to the next level, where he could join her at concerts.
For the past three years, MSJ Director Michelle Dark has been hosting the Dad Dance concert in response to the growing demand for dads to get involved for their children’s interests.
The 30 dads who attended the annual concert, he said, proudly requested Dance Dads t-shirts for the dedication.
“We almost cried during every rehearsal because it was so beautiful,” she said.
Mr Mills said he came to appreciate his daughter’s abilities after spending six Saturdays at the dance studio.
“I was so excited that night – Jordan is credited with helping me get on with my music,” she said.
Mr. Mills said he enjoyed joining Jordan’s dance because physical activity helped him fight cystic fibrosis.
“When I see them happy, that’s all I need,” he said.
Patrick Yam, a graphic designer from Beldon, has been supporting his 17-year-old daughter Kenisha in dance competitions since she was three.
Five years ago, Jaemon’s 12-year-old son started studying hip-hop.
Mr Wren, a widower, spends a few hours a week driving his kids to Perth and the track to study, practice and compete.
She also designs costumes, paints matching shoes and helps with stage props, and admits she spends most of her disposable income supporting her passion.
Although dancing helped the Yam brothers bond with their late dancer and choreographer mother Belinda, they say it helped them bond with their father.
Kenisha, who studies at APAN Academy, said she was surprised when her father once invited her to take a makeup course to help her prepare for a competition.
When she finished her self-discovery, she realized how far she had pushed herself out of her comfort zone to achieve her needs.
“He’s the dancing dad’s superhero,” she said.
Mr Wren said it was sometimes fun to watch his kids ride the roller coasters.
He felt proud and amused, but also disappointed when he watched the two boys play.
Mr. Ren said he will continue to do his best to support his daughter to become a professional dancer.
“When she said she wanted to be a professional dancer, I said, ‘If you want to, just do it,'” she said.
Pip Naumowski, from Duncraig, has been with Dance Circus for 13 years, supporting three girls who are passionate about dance. She goes out four to six nights a week, taking Nataya, Caprice, and Armani to classes, workouts, competitions, physiotherapists, and tailors.
They danced all night, organized dressings and looked at shoe drawings.
“Come on, you won’t find me at the bar on Friday night,” he said.
In the past, she sometimes helped with hair, makeup, and even clothes, but her husband often quit. “I’m only halfway through the dance program – my husband is doing great, too,” she says.
Paver says dancing is beneficial because it helps her girls build confidence and health.
Atwell oil and gas worker Daniel Spargo says he spends up to 10 hours a week looking after his three dancing daughters, Haley, 14, Elesha, 16, and Brooke, 19.
“I’m a first-time father, first-time father, so the time I spend with my children is priceless,” he said.
“Personally, I love seeing what he’s doing and enjoying the opportunities I got as a kid.”
She often drove the kids to class, but she also buttoned up and sewed dance dresses for them.
Coolbellup singer Brock Blake is sacrificing her perfect dancing father by letting her 15-year-old daughter Emily Blake take ballet lessons in Switzerland.
He went to Switzerland with Emily – arriving in Sydney at the last minute for an emergency passport – and Emily studied at the School of Theater Ballet in Basel.
His wife took him to races in Sydney, Monaco, Amsterdam and New York. He invests up to $30,000 a year to help become a professional dancer.
“It’s been a long way to get to this point,” he said.
He says, being a father sometimes means letting your kids follow your dreams.