Secret Lives of OhioHealth: Doing Double Duty as a “Dance Dad”
Matt Miller has two full-time jobs.
On weekdays, he oversees a variety of projects as director of operations at OhioHealth Grant Medical Center. On evenings and weekends, he becomes “dance dad” to his two teenage daughters, Ally and Sophie.
Miller’s daughters have taken dance lessons at a studio near the family’s home in Upper Arlington since they could barely walk. They study multiple styles of dance, from ballet to tap, and modern dance to hip-hop. The girls also participate regularly in competitions, traveling across Ohio, and as far away as Los Angeles and New Orleans, to showcase their dancing prowess.
For Miller and his wife, Melissa, this requires schlepping their daughters to and from the dance studio multiple times a week. The family also travels together to dance contests, hauling suitcases packed with elaborate costumes and shoes.
“Sometimes we have to take two cars just to get all their stuff to the competition,” Miller said. “I’m really just trying to be supportive. I like to see them perform and do well in the competitions, and I enjoy being involved from the standpoint of helping out.”
Driving isn’t Miller's only “dance dad” responsibility. He also loads and unloads the dance studio truck, moves props like oversized chairs and faux mirrors on- and offstage during performances, and photographs the dancers.
Although not a dancer himself – “I completely have two left feet” – Miller has come to appreciate the athleticism and dedication of the young dancers he encounters.
“A lot of them are really flexible, and they’re very determined,” he said. “It’s kind of like the Olympics … If they have one little wobble or one turn they don’t land quite right, it’s points deducted.”
Ally and Sophie have won numerous dance awards. Last spring, Ally was third runner-up in the Miss Teen Dance of Ohio competition, and she finished in the top five in Grand National finals in New Orleans at 13 years old.
“It’s always so exciting to see them win because they get called up on stage and the emcee will talk to them and interview them,” Miller said. “It makes me really proud.”
But Miller said winning isn’t the most important outcome. He feels pride just watching how much fun his daughters have dancing, and he loves seeing them make friends with other dancers from all over the country.
“As a parent, you try to teach them that winning’s not the most important thing,” he said. “It’s the relationships, the experiences, the lessons in humility and pride. Those things are what’s important.”
This story was originally published in an internal OhioHealth associate publication.
OhioHealth is a nationally recognized, not-for-profit, charitable, healthcare outreach of the United Methodist Church.
Based in Columbus, Ohio, OhioHealth has been recognized as one of the top five large health systems in America by Truven Health Analytics, an honor it has received six times. It is also recognized by Fortune as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” and has been for 13 years in a row, 2007–2019.
Serving its communities since 1891, OhioHealth is a family of 30,000 associates, physicians and volunteers, and a system of 12 hospitals and more than 200 ambulatory sites, hospice, home health, medical equipment and other health services spanning a 47-county area.
OhioHealth hospitals include OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital, OhioHealth Grant Medical Center, OhioHealth Doctors Hospital, OhioHealth Grady Memorial Hospital, OhioHealth Dublin Methodist Hospital, OhioHealth Hardin Memorial Hospital, OhioHealth Marion General Hospital, OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital, OhioHealth Mansfield Hospital, OhioHealth Shelby Hospital, OhioHealth Grove City Methodist Hospital and OhioHealth Berger Hospital. For more information, please visit OhioHealth.com.