COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- The music ranged from Danny and the T-Birds "Greased Lightning" for the older crowd to Miley Cyrus' "Party in the U.S.A." for the younger crowd. But the theme of the night came from the Black Eyed Peas "I Gotta Feeling" when all in attendance whooped it up to the line "tonight's gonna be a good night."

More than 400 people strutted their stuff on the dance floor during the third annual Father-Daughter Dance April 23 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Colorado Springs.

The disc jockey kept the local servicemen and their daughters moving to a little bit of everything from swing dancing - brief instruction was provided - to line dancing to the "Cha Cha Slide." The event also featured a light dinner, an opportunity for a professional photograph to remember the evening and each Family will receive a "Memory DVD."

The Southeast YMCA-sponsored event open to area servicemen and their daughters gave "dads and their daughters that special time to connect," said E.D. Rucker, military outreach coordinator at the Southeast YMCA.

Noting today's servicemembers spend a lot of time away from home training and on deployments, Rucker said the dance provides both fathers and daughters "a special time that they will remember for the rest of their lives."

Sgt. 1st Class Nelson Grizales, 3rd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne), attended the 2008 dance with his older daughter, Isabella, 7, but this was the first dance with his 17-month-old twins Arianna and Daniella.

"It's amazing, it's awesome because ... this is something (Isabella) really enjoys," he said. "It's a good time for us to spend time together."

He admitted there was a bit of craziness when it came to the twins, but it was well worth it.

"It's just fun," Grizales said. "It's wonderful; you can tell they like to dress up."

Spc. Chris Caldwell, 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, attended the dance his daughter, Sam, 5, who, he said had been excited for weeks.
"She loves it, so I love it," he said.

Chap. (Maj.) Michael Jaques, 1st Mobilization Brigade, said his daughter Madison, 3, was also anxious for the day of the dance to arrive.

He said Madison always shows the photo from last year's dance to everyone who visits the home and tells them, "Daddy and I went dancing."

Kayleigh Barnhart, 11, couldn't hold back the smiles, enjoying having her dad, Sgt. Jeremy Barnhart, Medical Department Activity, to herself for the evening.

"I like it a lot ... interacting with my dad without my three brothers around," she said.
Her father agreed: "This is special just for me and her to have a special girl time."

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16