My Little Valentine Daddy Daughter Dance sees huge crowd

Hannah Swayze • Feb 3, 2018 at 11:48 PM

Many women remember stepping up onto their fathers' feet and dancing, being too clumsy, too young, or too short to dance on their own.

They're sweet and wonderful memories.

And now the next generation is building them, too.

Every Valentine's Day, the Memorial Center hosts the My Little Valentine Daddy Daughter Dance at the Community Center in Johnson City.

What started out as just a way for the community center to bring something new to Johnson City quickly turned into one of the center's biggest events of the year, with more than 800 tickets sold.

For the fifth year, the gymnasium in the community center was decorated with streamers and balloons as fathers and their daughters dressed to the nines danced the night away. The underwater theme transported fathers and daughters under the sea, where even Ariel herself from Disney's "The Little Mermaid" made an appearance.

When wanting a break from the dancing, the attendees enjoyed a buffet and rested in the light. Along several long tables, they worked together to assemble Ariel-inspired necklaces with little blue and purple beads.

After dancing, Josh Webster and his daughter Allison took a break to make necklaces with Josh's brother Jacob and his daughter Riley.

Josh, who shaved just for the dance, said it was Allison's idea to come every year.

"It means the world to me, you know?" Said Webster, earnestly. "To see her smile ... it just means the whole world."

Allison and Josh aren't the only ones who returned to the dance. Many in the community have made it an annual tradition.

Teagan James, 8, and her father Greg say this is their third year at the dance and they have a great time every year.

"Just for us to be able to spend time together, it's great," Greg said.

This year also featured a segment of the dance for fathers and daughters with special sensory needs. Strobe lights were adjusted, the lights stayed on and the music volume was lowered. Rachel Bowers, the program coordinator, said about 20 people attended and that it was a good time.

"It just kind of like a special day for dads to spend some one-on-one time with their daughters," said Bowers.

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