MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. -- Marines and sailors walked their daughters arm-in-arm to Building 1707 for a night of bonding and dancing during the Father-Daughter Dance, March 28, 2014.
The dance was held for a second time following its success among Combat Center families last year, according to Jessica Arthur, Family Readiness Officer, Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Command. Participation from service members and their daughters increased by 50%.
“It was so successful last year,” Arthur said. “It’s all about making memories for the service members and their daughters.”
According to Arthur, FROs convened to plan and organize the event. Through sponsorship by Lincoln Military Housing and hours of volunteer time from civilians and service members alike, the dance was ready for show time.
Approximately 576 attendees danced the night away, according to Arthur. Fathers could be seen wearing suits, Navy dress blues and Marine Corps dress blues as their daughters, of various ages, donned their finest dresses for the night.
“[The dance] was fun,” said Cpl. Jeffrey Walsh, mortarman, Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, whom attended with his 1-year-old daughter, Genevieve. “It was our first dance and we had been looking forward to it.”
The music played ranged from upbeat pop hits to slow, serene tunes provided by Lance Cpl. Andrew Cornell, whom was the disc jockey for the event. Sweet refreshments such as cookies, candy and drinks were also readily available for the dancers.
“[Events] like this definitely help given the deployments, and help bring the families together,” Walsh said.
In addition to the music, attendees also had portraits taken, capturing the memories of a truly special night.
We couldn’t have done it without the support of our FROs and volunteers, Arthur said.
The event coordinators have high hopes to reconvene and plan for the dance to make a return next year.
“It definitely is a good bonding event for the fathers and daughters,” Arthur said. “We want to see it happen again, and I think the fathers and daughters do too.”