When Ed Balancio sits down and starts banging on his drums, most everyone in the house takes cover. But for his daughter Carmen, his rat-a-tat-tat is like a Pied Piper’s call.
“She’s the only one who loves drums like me,” Balancio says. “We take turns drumming. She’ll pick up on the rhythm and copy what I’m doing.”
Music has always been a big part of their connection – and dancing. They’ve even perfected their own version of “The Floss Dance,” which involves swinging your hands and arms in opposite directions. “Your hands are the floss and your body is the tooth,” explains Carmen, who, as Metro Parent’s 2018 CoverKids Grand Prize Winner, showed off her moves with her dad on this month’s cover.
Dad says he’s embraced that raising Carmen is different than raising his older son.
“If she wants to have a slumber party with her dolls, I’ll play along,” he says. “I help her gather all of her ‘guests.'”
He admits he’s more protective of her, but he’s also mindful of helping her develop strength and independence.
“I really want her to be able to stand on her own two feet, stand side-by-side with any man, and know she’s just as good, she’s just as strong and capable.”
- What he loves most about his daughter: “She is very thoughtful. She wrote me a note in my work notebook that said, ‘I know you’re busy, but I want you to remember that I’m thinking of you.'”
- What he wants for her: “Be confident in who she is. Don’t get taken by other’s people’s words or opinions.”
Photo by Lauren Jeziorski
Click on the images below to meet more local dads and their daughters: