Daddy Daughter Dance brings families closer

All were aboard the “Princess Express” as it headed to The Moon for the ninth annual Daddy Daughter Dance on Saturday.

Patricia Griffin, president of the Tallahassee Northside Rotary Club, which sponsors the annual event, said the dance gets bigger every year.

“The Daddy Daughter Dance is the primary fundraiser for the rotary club,” Griffin said. “We average about 900 people per dance every year.”

According to Griffin, the attendance and support from the community of the Daddy Daughter Dance allows for the rotary club to continue its charitable events throughout the community.

“This dance funds the rotary club’s hunger projects, rotary youth camp and allows for them to provide medical assistance to the needy,” Griffin said. “The biggest impact this event has on the community is the bond it creates between fathers and daughters.”

The “Princess Express” was the mode of transportation for many girls and their fathers as they made their way to the Daddy Daughter Dance. And the “Hokey Pokey” was the song of the night as daddies danced with their daughters.

Shaun Roberts, a professor at Florida State University,said this is his third year coming with his daughter, Emma. Roberts said it’s about more than a dance.

“It’s just so much fun to be around her and hang out that we keep coming back,” Roberts said. “I’m a single father, and I take pride in her, and I look forward to doing this with her every year.”

Emma said they even won a first-place award the first year they came and she enjoys spending time with her dad.

WCTV’s Julie Montanaro hosted the event for the second year. She said it’s a wonderful thing to see the dads and daughters get dressed for this event.

“Sometimes I feel out of place being one of the only mothers in the building, but I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything,” Montanaro said. “Girls learn from their dads how to love and how to be in healthy relationships. Events like this only strengthen those relationships.”

Mayor John Marks, who arrived with his granddaughter, also came to support local dads making precious memories with their daughters.

“This is her first time being here,” Marks said. “I come to support the other dads and my son, but most importantly my granddaughter, who really loves her Pa-Pa.”

As the rotary club prepares for the 10th anniversary of the dance, Griffin said they are excited to collaborate with other business and organizations.

“We want to make the 10th anniversary of the dance the biggest one yet,” Griffin said.

The 2015 Daddy Daughter Dance is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 7, at The Moon.