More than 500 dads, daughters bond over night of dancing, fun


Tommy Linville of Seymour knows his daughter won’t stay young forever.

That’s why he appreciates every moment of the annual Father Daughter Dance at Girls Inc. of Jackson County.

“There’s not a lot of things for fathers and daughters to do together like this,” Linville said. “It’s fun to spend time with them while they’re still little.”

For Keira Linville, there’s nothing better than putting on a pretty dress, fixing up her hair and twirling around the dance floor with her dad.

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The two have been attending the dance together for several years.

“It’s something we look forward to,” Tommy Linville said.

For many fathers and their daughters, the dance is a tradition that includes dressing up, going out to dinner beforehand and taking lots of pictures, which are then shared by families on social media.

Conducted Saturday night at Girls Inc. of Jackson County in Seymour, the dance attracted more than 500 people, including girls as young as 2 to teenagers, accompanied by dads, stepdads, grandpas, uncles and other important male figures in their lives.

Most girls wore sparkly dresses, shoes and jewelry, their hair done up in curls, and a touch of makeup, while their handsome dates wore tuxedos and ties in matching colors. Many of the girls even received corsages.

It’s a big deal not just for the girls but for the dads, too, said Kelly Royer, Girls Inc. program director.

“Everyone has such a good time, they don’t want to leave at the end,” she said. “It’s a really special way for dads to spend time with their girls.”

Shane Spray of Seymour said the dance is an event both he and his daughter, Shana Spray, 8, didn’t want to miss.

“It’s a special time for both of us,” he said. “I like doing what she wants to do, and it’s something we’ll always remember.”

The highlight of the evening for many was the dance contest where couples showed off their best dance moves to judges in the hopes of winning a prize.

Even if some dads weren’t comfortable dancing, there were plenty of other things to keep them busy and having fun. Besides dancing, there were games and activities in the gymnasium, bingo, refreshments and door prizes.

Twirling around the dance floor like contestants on “Dancing with the Stars,” Allan Caceres of Seymour said he enjoyed dancing with his daughter, Alyssa Caceres, 9, and making her laugh and smile.

The two often dance at home for fun, Allan said.

“I’ve been bringing her (to the Father Daughter Dance) since she was 4,” he said. “We always have a good time.”

This marked the second year for Jon Guffey of Seymour to escort his daughter, Savi, 8, to the dance.

Wearing a showstopping dress her mom picked out, Savi said she liked spending the evening dancing and playing games with her dad and getting to see friends.

“He’s a pretty good dancer,” Savi said.

“I’m just lucky to keep up with her,” Jon added.

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