Fathers, daughters dance the night away

Sun News correspondentFebruary 20, 2013 

WARNER ROBINS -- The young ladies enjoyed food, dancing and dressing up for a night on the town, but mostly they enjoyed being with their dads.

Saturday was the Warner Robins Recreation Department’s first Father-Daughter Dance for girls 5 to 12 years old and their fathers, grandfathers or guardians.

“We wanted to provide an evening where the girls could dress up and spend some special time with their dads getting some undivided attention,” said Ruby Hamb-Holmes, programs director for the recreation department. “We don’t think one day out of 365 is too much to ask for something as great as that.”

Hamb-Holmes said more than 40 couples made it to the dance after making their reservations. Following right on the heels of Valentine’s Day, hearts and flowers was the obvious theme, and the pairs partied for 2½ hours dancing to oldies and modern hits.

They danced a girls-only conga line, Soul Train line and even did it Gangnam Style as DJ Prodigy spun tunes.

But mostly it was dancing with dad.

Summer Williams, 8, said she dances to the radio all the time at home but never had gone to anything like the father-daughter dance before. Her enthusiasm wasn’t so much expressed in words as it was in the way she jumped up and down and grinned ear-to-ear when asked about the evening.

Summer’s dad, Daniel Williams, said he wasn’t usually much of a dancer, but the night was about his daughter anyway, and he was glad his father-in-law had told them about the event.

Madison Joyner, 8, thought her dad, Tracey Joyner, was doing a pretty good job out on the dance floor.

“Uh-huh, he’s a good dancer,” she said. “We dance at home, and he’s probably a lot better at home than here.”

She said it was her first time out for such an occasion, too, and getting dressed up for it was one of the best parts -- but it had its drawbacks.

“I like dressing up,” she said, with her father adding she had gotten dressed and had her hair fixed at 11 a.m. for the 6 p.m. event.

“The only problem was I couldn’t lay down or anything all day,” she said.

Nevaeh Grant’s father, Rick Grant, said he had been looking for a father-daughter dance over Valentine’s and was glad he noticed the recreation department’s sign for Saturday’s occasion while traveling down Watson Boulevard.

While Nevaeh showed off her heart-shaped bracelets and necklace, he spoke of the evening’s value.

“It’s a chance to party with my daughter, my baby,” he said laughing. “It’s a beautiful thing. She’s my little girl, my heart. She’s enjoying it immensely and has been out on the dance floor the whole time. It’s giving us a chance to bond and helps her know I’m here for her. I’m here for her every day.”

Hamb-Holmes said the department will hold the dance next year, and she hopes to add a mother-son dance.

Contact Michael W. Pannell at mwpannell@gmail.com.

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