This week’s “guest blog” is from one of our group members, Frank B. Not only is he an active, involved, and caring father, but Frank is so committed to the lifeblood of our dads support group, that he treks into NYC from Long Island every week! You are the man, Frank!
I have been given the honor to guest blog our NYC Dads Group Meetup at Applause New York City, located at the St. Jean’s Community Center on the Upper East Side. Our Meetup group met at their space for a Rock ‘n’ Roll Babies class today. Rock ‘n’ Roll Babies is essentially a band-led class that uses Rock ‘n’ Roll music from different bands and eras with a specific band being highlighted for each class in an instructional manner. Music is used to explore letters of the alphabet, different toys, musical instruments, as well as an array of bubbles to enhance your child’s creativity and musical awareness.
As all the dads began to arrive, the band was already playing and you could sense this was going to be an all-out high-energy affair. The band consisted of a 4-piece ensemble comprised of 2 vocalists (Robin and Sas), Brad on piano, and Travis on guitar. Needless to say, they had enough energy for all of us.
We were greeted by Robin and Sas who quickly provided all of us with name tags for our children. This lent a real sense of belonging that made my daughter Elizabeth and I feel right at home. We gathered in a semi-circular fashion and anticipated the fun to come.
The class started off with a quick introduction and we were off and running into musical adaptations for the letter of the day, which coincidentally was the letter “E” (for Elizabeth my daughter). The band members were quite inventive with their various associations for the letter “E” ranging from the band choice of the day, The Eagles, to using a fun-filled disc that contained various objects which begin with the letter “E”. In addition to the letter associations, the band members used various instruments, a bubble machine, as well as a puppet show that provided a nice variation to the day’s events. All the while we were jamming to the sounds of The Eagles with songs that included Hotel California, Life in the Fast Lane, and Heartache Tonight. Lyrics to the various songs were posted on the wall in case some of us didn’t know all of the words.
Thirteen dads with children in tow participated in the class today. From the looks on their faces, I would have to say a good time was had by all. Although the class was only 45 minutes long, the band members managed to pack in a whole lot of fun, singing, and dancing that made it seem like it was a much longer class. At the conclusion, Audry Kaplan, the founder of Applause New York City, stopped by to say that word had gotten around that some very cool and laid-back dads were participating in Rock ‘n’ Roll Babies and how different it was from when all mommies are in attendance. We took that as a giant compliment as we are very proud and happy to be stay-at-home dads.
After our class, we were invited to linger in their beautiful shaded courtyard to feed our children, relax a bit, and chat with each other. This was very convenient as we had a guest join us today who writes for various Brazilian publications. Being from Brazil, she was very interested in speaking to us about our fatherly duties as we are very involved with our kids- quite the contrast to dads in Brazil from what she described.
Overall, I think today’s meetup was a success. I’m sure a few dads will even be interested in setting up a class time to continue the fun. Last but not least, we welcomed two new dads today, including one from Jersey City. We hope they enjoyed the class as well as our company to come back and hang with us again.
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