They say that one moment can change your life and no one knows this better than Charles Potter. In 2006, he was hit by a drunk driver in Winchester, Virginia.
The man responsible got four and a half years in prison. Potter was sentenced to life in a wheelchair.
But despite not being able to walk, Potter doesn’t let that stop him from dancing. And his favorite partner? His 6-year-old daughter, Charlize.
Recently, Potter’s wife, Rhonda Conrad, captured the father-daughter duo on stage taking part in a dance recital. She uploaded the incredibly heartwarming and poignant performance on TikTok, where it quickly went mega-viral.
Grab the tissues, you might need them.
Viral TikTok of Special Daddy-Daughter Dance
Captioning the clip, “They learned their dance 4 days before performing…few tweaks to accommodate her daddy. Don’t drink & drive!!” Conrad also added a text overlay that reads:
“When your daddy was hit by a drunk driver but doesn’t let it stop him from ALL the things.”
Set to the song, “Half the Man,” Potter and Charlize join the rest of her dance class onstage. And that’s when the magic begins…because THIS is what it looks like when a dad shows up for his daughter.
Take a moment to see for yourself.
@rhonduhhxx They learned their dance 4 days before performing… few tweaks to accommodate her daddy. Don’t drink & drive!!#daddysgirl #daddydaunghtergoals #daddydaugtherdance ♬ Half the Man – Jennifer Smestad
The video has garnered over 13 million views, 2.2M likes, and over 37,000 comments.
And honestly, it’s easy to see why.
Not only is it a beautiful moment between a father and his daughter but it’s also a powerful display of unconditional love in action.
But what makes this moment even more special is the backstory behind it.
The Accident that Changed a Father’s Life
“When the accident happened when I woke up, I couldn’t move anything from my head down. I couldn’t really move my head, I had to be turned in the bed, stuff like that,” Potter told Good Morning America. “I had to relearn how to do everything from crawling, eating, like I had to relearn everything.”
While this would have taken down the best of us, Potter persevered. He credits his faith for helping him maintain a positive attitude through a long and grueling recovery.
“Just knowing that everything happens for a reason kind of helps me keep the smile on my face, keep the positive attitude. I’m still here. It could be worse. It could have been worse.”
It’s a can-do positive attitude that he’s carried with him into fatherhood. So when Charlize asked him if he wanted to dance with her, he didn’t hesitate.
“My youngest is doing … a dance hip-hop chair class. And they had these daddy-daughter dances and she asked if I was up to, you know, doing them with [her],” he explained. “I was like, ‘If you want to. Yeah, absolutely. We’ll make it work.’”
They’ve been dancing together ever since.
A Daughter Doesn’t See Limits, She Just Sees Her Dad
@rhonduhhxx Another #daddydaughterdance #daddysgirl #quadriplegic #inspiration #fyp ♬ I Hope You Dance – Lee Ann Womack
The viral TikTok isn’t the first time the duo has danced together. They’ve performed on stage before and are planning another dance in May.
Potter and Charlize spend two to three weeks leading up to each recital practicing and modifying their moves in the living room, using videos of the choreography to guide them.
Charlize knows that because her dad is in a wheelchair he is limited from doing certain things. Having only ever known him as a quadriplegic, it doesn’t faze her.
“She’s always questioning, she wants to know things,” Potter said of his daughter. “But she just knows her dad is in a wheelchair from being hit by a drunk driver. Pretty much. That’s it.”
He continued, “And she knows I’m limited to doing certain things and whatnot. And she just kind of goes with the flow.”
It sounds like she’s definitely her father’s daughter.
Inspiration to Live By
Living life in a wheelchair was never part of Potter’s plan. But he hasn’t let it stop him from living his life to the fullest. Or from being a devoted and loving father who stops at nothing to show up for his daughter.
A true hero indeed.
Not only does this father’s story speak to the power of love between a dad and his daughter, but it also speaks to the power of a positive attitude. Something Potter hopes people apply to their own lives when times are hard.
“No matter what situation you’re in today just put one foot in front of the other and get through it — because whatever situation you’re in today, it’s not going to last.”
He also encourages people that when times get tough, you just gotta keep on rolling.
“They say God gives his toughest battles to his strongest soldiers. So, no matter what, he’s not gonna put you through nothing that you can’t get through…Just never give up. Keep your head up. Keep rolling, keep stepping. Things will get better for sure.”
And no matter what, just keep on dancing.