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Dads dancing with daughters

An estimated 100 fathers and daughters attended the Daddy-Daughter Dance held Saturday, April 8 at Park Rapids Area High School. Over 45 fathers registered for this first-time event presented by the FATHER Project and Violence Prevention Program.

With daughters of all ages from tots to teens dressed in beautiful dresses and dads in their best shirts and ties, the event began with a grand march in the school auditorium. Family members attended this opening to the night before the daddies and daughters hit the dance floor for an evening of music, crafts and other activities.

Joe Johnson, FATHER Project Coordinator in Park Rapids, was pleased with how many fathers from the community attended with their daughters.

"It was one of our biggest events, and also our best. The turnout was amazing, it was a sight to behold to see the sea of fathers and daughters, it was like an endless line," Johnson said. "I observed so many smiles, hugs, and most importantly, love. You could see the pride the fathers had in their daughters, and they really aimed to treat them like princesses."

Johnson added, "It usually takes a lot to get people out on the dance floor, but once the music got playing the dads and daughters were really out shaking a groove, the energy was through the roof."

With the DJ thumping the music dads and daughters danced to popular tunes like "YMCA" and "Cotton Eyed Joe" and the "Chicken Dance," along with an entertaining and back-straining round of Limbo.

"It really shows that fathers want to be involved, that they are not afraid to step out of their comfort zones, they got dressed up nicely and treated their daughters to a night of pampering," he said. "This is important because daughters need to know how to be treated by potential suitors in the future, and these fathers were great role models for their beautiful daughters."

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