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Planning a Totally RAD Gnarly 80's Themed Father Daughter Dance for Girl Scouts

Kelley Legler


Every year the 2nd grade girl scout troop at Bailey and Jack's school is responsible to plan and throw an epic Father / Daughter dance.  Bailey is a second grader in Brownies and I am a leader, so this year it was our turn! Many of us moms were eighties children growing up and we yearned for a Totally Rad time.

80's theme it was! 

I have always wanted to show my kids what it was like "back in the day" -- from watching school closings scroll across the screen, the VERY loud and bold fashion statements (hello layers!!), the toys / technology, the junk food and the MUSIC. We didn't hold back to bring out the best of this era and have a GNARLY time!

Get Ready To Rock!  Our welcome table greeted guests with a DIY poster inspired by our Girl Talk, poster-letter-loving childhood with loud NEON letters. The guest list was even decorated with NEON puffy paint -- basically all the moms swooned over the art projects!  Fathers and their daughters checked in and proceeded to grab their very own fanny pack filled with many neon goodies of sunglasses, fishnet gloves and gelled bracelets -- all found on Amazon. What made this goodie bag even better is that many of the dads added the fanny pack to their wardrobe and kept their girl's belongings right inside, all with their own name written (with fabric markers) making it all easier for the dad's to ensure that nothing gets lost!

The flow of everything was extremely important as we were expecting close to two hundred people, 97 dad & daughter duos RSVP'd via our Neon 80's Cassette Tape Invite (found on etsy).  We wanted to make sure that everyone received their goodies and took a picture in our I LOVE the 80's photo backdrop before they entered the dance.  These pictures are a loved keepsake that every dance does as it captures a moment between dads and their daughters that we don't often take time to get. I personally keep these pictures at my desk and remind myself how fast time goes when these kids are growing - some day they will go in a scrapbook!

We TOTALLY haven't even made it into the dance yet!

The photo backdrop area was my favorite area because of the handmade decorations designed. Using our mom skills and love for all things art, a giant sized Rubik's Cube and boombox was created using boxes, black electrical tape, neon printing paper and random household objects. The girls were in AWE of these objects as they posed with their dads and this showed them how art can be created from simple resources. In fact, the majority of our decorations were handmade using basic objects like paper plates, balloons, boxes, glow sticks, CDs, and paper! All the decorations that every mom worked so hard to create and display made the dance and theme come together -- even my Brownie Girl Scout Troop recognized the chain-links they assembled streamed across the center of the dance floor; this made them part of the entire party planning experience! 

There was so many RAD things to do at this Rockin' 80's party!!


DIY lace headbands, paper fortune tellers, printable picture photo booth, dance floor, junk food galore and contests kept all the girls and dads busy throughout the three hour event.  The efforts put together by all of the moms that volunteered made this dance work out flawlessly. It also helped that another school family was the entertainment -- DJ, Lighting, Photo Booth -- and the music they played always had the dance floor full. I cannot recommend Complete Weddings + Events Milwaukee as DJ Services enough for your future events! 

The dads & daughters came to make a FASHION statement. 

I have never been to an event where nearly every person put in an effort to dress up. Every single person at this dance embraced the theme and either ordered an outfit online, got creative by making their own or dug VERY DEEP into their closets to bust out those 80's attire (hair and guitars) to live on a prayer.

Here's a look at some of the amazing looks that did not disappoint. Everyone clearly had a fun time and even a little girl pulled me aside to say this was her "best day ever".  The feedback received about this event made all the hard work worth it and I cannot be happier being part of this FABULOUS community.



Kelley Legler is a mom of two and owner of Baby Jack & Company, a Milwaukee family business manufacturing toys & blankets for kids. babyjackco.com


Read more of our blogs! 
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The Benefits of a Sensory Blanket
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