Johnson City father-daughter dance a hit with local families

Tony Casey • Feb 11, 2014 at 11:15 AM

The Briggs family from Boones Creek had been looking forward to Johnson City’s first My Little Valentine Daddy-daughter Dance at the Memorial Park Community Center Saturday night.

Jimmy Briggs said he went to long lengths to make it a special experience for his seven-year-old daughter Jada, including asking her on a date weeks before, offering her a note that said, “will you go with me? Check ‘yes’ or ‘no’”.

Jada accepted, Jimmy Briggs said, but no more information was given in the weeks leading up to the dance, with hopes of not ruining the surprise or the experience.

“There aren’t many opportunities for father-daughter events like this,” Briggs said. “I’d definitely come back.”

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Because there was no age limit on the father or the daughter’s age, Briggs said he was hoping to also bring his older daughter, but was disappointed when she had to work on the night of the dance.

So, it was just the two of them, and Jada and her father said they both had a great time at the event, which had nearly 500 guests, according to Rachel Bowers, one of the organizers of the events and recreation center worker, who said they were only expecting about half that number.

“Johnson City doesn’t have anything like this for dad’s and daughters,” Bowers said.

She said they aren’t excluding mothers and daughters, some of whom came out with the fathers and daughters, and have it in the works to put on a mother-son dance in the near future, too.

Seven-year-old Kamil and father Darrel Williams were at the dress-up social event, and having the time of their lives. Kamil said she heard about the dance in school, knew a few girls going with their fathers, and talked her dad into going, although that didn’t take much convincing.

“We do a lot of extracurricular stuff together, I wouldn’t miss this for anything,” Williams said.

The Williams combo got a bit competitive with the dancing, though, with Kamil saying she was the better dancer, although her father is “an all right dancer.”

The Culp combination of 62-year-old Jim, and daughter, Rebecca, 25, were well practiced in daddy-daughter dances, having grown up and experienced such events through the Girls Scouts organization.

While Jim admitted knowing how to do the “mashed potato” and “the swim,” he said Rebecca was a real ballerina, and a skilled dancer.

The dance featured music from yesteryear and now, including “My Girl,” “Butterfly Kisses,” and a massive version of the “Electric Slide,” that included the majority of the couples on the dance floor.

Photo vouchers were available for purchase, and the event photographer put fathers and daughters in front of a decorative backdrop. Bowers said the photos will be available for pickup later on in the week. Finger foods and other refreshments were served.

The dance was well advertised at local businesses and municipalities, which is how the Franklins heard about it. Charlie’s wife had heard about the function at Wallabies in Johnson City, and recommended he and his daughter attend. Franklin said he won tickets, so that sweetened the deal even more.

He hopes it will be the first of many daddy-daughter dances with his daughter, Holly. At the idea of a mother-son dance, Franklin said his wife might be in attendance in a few years, as the couple just found out that day that they’re expecting a little boy.

Charlie said his wife was enjoying the news and relaxing as he and Holly danced the night away. After the dance, they were going to go out to eat together, he said.

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