Whether he's counseling our community's kids or chasing his own on the beach, Laid-Back Classic Dad on the Street Dane Wendell looks great and feels comfortable with who is, wherever he is.
I grew up in Williamsburg, VA, playing soccer as a kid. I went on to play for Randolph-Macon College, before getting married, moving to Baltimore and beginning practicing as a counselor. Since recently moving back to my hometown, I have opened Williamsburg Youth Counseling, a practice focused solely on helping children and teens.
Growing up, I was one of those kids that needed to be supported. While I had a very strong support system, there were times where I needed that support from an unbiased individual. I know what it is like to be stuck, to be down, and to worry about the next steps in life.
I believe that working with children and adolescents is vastly different than working with adults. My goal is to be able to help the youth in our community find their own path and reach their goals.
Which three words best describe your style? Laid-back, classic and preppy. Or "where's the beach?"
Who's your favorite style icon? Who's the guy on the cover of that magazine? Yep, that guy. I actually don't pay attention to a lot of that. I like what I like.
What's your best style advice? Feel good, look good. You can still be comfortable and look pulled together.
What trend did you love at the time, but now cringe when you see old photos? Boot cut jeans with the double polo and popped collars. What was I thinking?
Facial hair or clean-shaven? Considering I cannot grow facial hair, I am going to go with clean-shaven, though I secretly wish I could have some stubble.
What’s your favorite way to spend time with your family? Anything that involves being active - skiing, hiking, soccer, golf, and tennis.
What’s been your best family vacation? Normally, I would say Duck, NC or anything involving a beach, but much to my surprise, I really enjoyed our trip to Disney World with our girls. Additionally, we took a family vacation to Copenhagen and to my wife’s family lake house in Finland, which was truly amazing. The ability to show our girls different cultures at such a young age is something that we hope we can continue to make happen; so that we can explore the world together.
What’s your favorite family activity? I will answer this one as if it was before we were all quarantined. We love going for bike rides, having a family movie or game night, and going out to eat to try different restaurants and new food.
What’s your go-to family dinner? I love to cook, so we try to switch up dinners, however, if I am feeling uninspired I will either make tacos or salmon with roasted sweet potatoes and green beans.
What’s your favorite family restaurant? When we lived in Baltimore, we loved to go to Costas Inn to get steamed crabs or go to one of the many new Food Halls, where we could try a bunch of things and everyone could get their own thing. Now that we are back in Williamsburg, we have been going to Second Street a lot, and Amber Ox.
What would be your Dad superpower? There aren't enough hours in the day, so why not duplicate myself to make it all happen.
Best parenting advice: You are doing a great job. Life is hard and parenting can be even harder but know that you are doing the best you can do with the knowledge that you have.
Parenting true confession: My kids are perfect... in my dreams. As a Child and Adolescent Therapist, I wish I could tell you that I had all of the answers, however, 99% of the time; I am just as lost about parenting.
I have read book after book on the subject and they all make it seem so easy, however, it is honestly a hodgepodge. Take a little information from this book, a little from that book, try to piece it all together, and then finally scrape it all… and start over.
What’s your favorite show to binge-watch? We don’t watch a ton of shows. Does anything sport-related count? I can sit and watch the English Premier League for hours. In terms of actual shows, Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, or The Walking Dead.
If you could pick anyone to star as you in a movie based on your life, who would it be? I have honestly never thought that my life would be movie-worthy, but maybe Justin Timberlake, as I just think he is extremely talented.
What’s your favorite sport and why? I grew up playing soccer and I am completely obsessed with it. I love the constant action.
What’s your favorite family dance party song? My two girls love "Shake it Off" by T. Swift and they are constantly asking for it on “Hey Google.” If I am at a wedding, I will normally be the first one on the dance floor and the last one-off, however, if you really want me to start dancing, play anything by Michael Jackson, specifically Man in the Mirror.
If you could hang out with anyone from history, living or deceased, who would it be? I never really had a chance to thank a college professor of mine, Dr. McKay at Randolph-Macon College, who has since passed away, for pushing me to get my minor in psychology. If it were not for him, I would have not selected my career path to help youth in our communities
What’s at the top of your travel bucket list? In the States, I want to travel the west coast – head to some wineries, play golf and end in the San Juan Islands off the coast of Seattle. Outside of the States, specifically Europe, I would like to fly into Barcelona and spend some time traveling up the coast of Spain, into Southern France, and fly out from Italy.
What’s your favorite way to unwind at the end of a long day? A good glass of bourbon, a fire, and a good book.
We love how Dane's relaxed style puts others immediately at ease. He's following his calling to meet kids where they are, and help them discover who they want to be. Be sure to connect with Dane, now offering telehealth sessions, at Williamsburg Youth Counseling.
And for more fun and stylish dads, be sure to check out FamilyApp's Dad on the Street Channel!