By Stefanie Carrier
ORLANDO -- Victoria, a four-year veteran with the Orlando Magic Dancers, started as a Jr. Magic Dancer and developed an intense love for the organization and the dance team. As a young girl watching the Orlando Magic Dancers, Victoria knew she was meant to dance for the Magic.
What she didn’t know, however, that she would be sharing her spotlight with someone very near and dear to her – her father!
Victoria’s dad Ricky is a rookie 3D – Dancing Dancer Dad. These men are fathers of current or former Magic Dancers who decide to share the spotlight and try to put themselves in their daughter’s shoes. And although he is now a proud member, Ricky was not too keen on joining the team at first.
“It took my daughter two years to convince me to dance,” said Ricky of his reluctance. “She had to use her mom's influence to get a positive response from me.”
But Ricky did decide to join the team and Victoria has taken her dad under her wing to make sure he’s always doing his best, much like he did with her as a child. She also loves the time they get to spend together on game nights.
“My dad and I already have a special bond, and being able to spend more time with him at an actual game is a fun experience for the both of us,” said Victoria.
Victoria and Ricky both love all the times they’ve spent together, but they both share a favorite memory. During a special Christmas performance, the Orlando Magic Dancers were able to share the stage with the Dancing Dancer Dads. They rehearsed together often and Victoria helped her dad learn the moves.
“During Christmas rehearsals, I was stationed right next to him for our intro of the dance,” said Victoria.
Ricky had been having a tough time getting the routine down and was very nervous that he might make a mistake, but because of their close proximity, Victoria was able to mouth out the steps that came next so Ricky wouldn’t worry about messing up.
“She had to show me how to get a particular routine I just couldn't seem to get,” said Ricky of the performance. “She gave me subliminal guidance without others knowing.” This is just one of Victoria’s favorite moments with her father as a Dancing Dancer Dad. She enjoys thinking back to Ricky’s first night with the team; Victoria didn’t have to dance that night and instead attended the game as a fan.
“I was probably the loudest fan in the stands,” said Victoria of the night she watched her father perform. “After his first performance was over, I met up with him and the first thing he said was ‘I messed up.’ That let me know he actually cared about this performance and making me proud, then I gave him a big hug around his belly and told him he did great! Who would have thought the roles would have been reversed?”
As this is Ricky’s first year as a Dancing Dancer Dad, he and Victoria will have plenty more time to share dancing together out on the court, and Victoria can’t wait to spend more time sharing her passion with her father.
“I’m so proud of my dancing daddy and I'm proud to be his dancing daughter!”