Memorial Park Community Center will transform into a ballroom Feb. 3 for the event, which has grown in popularity since it was introduced to the community five years ago. Program coordinator Rachel Bowers said that organizers are expecting anywhere from 650 to 700 attendants to this year’s dance, making it one of the biggest events of the year for the community center.
“When we started it out there was hardly anyone else around that did one of these dances,” Bowers said. “Now it’s become kind of a tradition for fathers and daughters and it gives the daughters some time to spend with their male figure.”
This year, organizers decided to set aside an extra hour with less intense music and lighting so daughters with sensory issues can enjoy the popular event this year. There won’t be any strobe lights and the gym will have the lights on with quieter music for the hour, and ticket spots will be limited to 100 so it won’t be crowded. Sensory sensitive hour begins at 5 p.m., with the regular lights and music level going from 6 to 8 p.m. Bowers said attendants of the sensory hour are welcome to stay into the regular dance hours if they wish.
Since its implementation, the Daddy Daughter Dance has gone from a fun night out to a tradition for many families. Brooks Hollifield and his now 10-year-old daughter Grace have been going since the dance began when Grace was 5. He said it’s something she looks forward to every year now, a day she gets to pick out a dress, get her hair done, go out to dinner and spend the whole day with her dad.
“It’s definitely a special night, she tells me after it’s over she had a good time and enjoyed it and she thanks me, it kind of brings tears to my eyes,” Hollifield said.
Hollifield said that with two kids, life can get busy for him and his family, so it’s nice to slow down for a day and spend it with his daughter while his wife and son spend the day together.
“The dads that haven’t been if they want to start something that can be a tradition for them, it’s a way to spend that day just with their daughters,” he added.
The dance welcomes all ages. Tickets for the dance are $10 through Jan. 26. Then they jump to $20 per ticket until Feb. 2. Tickets include entry to the dance and food catered by Bojangles. Bowers said this year will have a selfie booth free of charge, and professional photo packages can be purchased online for $15.
All tickets must be pre-purchased by either visiting the community center during business hours or www.myjcparks.org.
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