Story and photos by Spc. Samantha B. Koss
Three-hundred-forty-three servicemembers and their princesses slipped on their dancing shoes for the fifth annual Father-Daughter Dance Saturday at the Colorado Springs Crowne Plaza Hotel.
The dance was open from 6-9 p.m. for all military services. Fathers and their daughters gathered in the banquet hall to spend an evening full of eating and dancing.
“My daughters were so excited for the dance,” said Staff Sgt. Chris Mountjoy, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Warrior Transition Battalion, who has danced with his daughters Coralynn, 6, and Cerabeth, 5, at the past four Father-Daughter Dances. “They love to have their hair and nails done … this is like a fairy-tale ball to them,” Mountjoy added.
Daughters dressed up in ball dresses, corsages, tiaras and gloves while their fathers wore their military dress uniforms or suits and ties.
“Realizing what these Families go through … and what these guys come home from, it’s great to see them have this opportunity to bond with their daughters,” said E.D. Rucker, military outreach coordinator at the Southeast YMCA, sponsor of the event. “To me, that bond says everything,” Rucker added.
“Many Soldiers recently returned from deployment just in time to enjoy the dance,” Rucker said of the spike in ticket sales the last week.
Dads took pictures of their daughters dancing with their friends while others showed off their moves as the disc jockey played the “Chicken Dance,” the “Macarena” and the “Cuban Shuffle.”
The music slowed down for family favorites like “Butterfly Kisses” toward the end of the evening.
The dance ended as some daughters were carried out in their daddies’ arms, tired from the excitement of the evening.
“They (Coralynn and Cerabeth) are ready for bed after all that dancing,” Mountjoy said as he left the dance.