CARY — Three of Matt Rices four children are boys, so he cherishes any chance to spend some one-on-one time with his daughter, Mollie even if it means he has to endure the latest dance crazes.
At Carys annual daddy-daughter dance on Friday, Rice wasnt alone. An army of grinning dads tried to keep up with their daughters twirling ponytails.
This is our time, Rice said, trying to catch his breath.
Thats exactly what town officials had in mind when they created the event more than a decade ago: a special night to celebrate the bond between fathers and daughters.
The annual events growing popularity forced organizers to add a second dance night at the Cary Senior Center. So another group of fathers and their girls danced the night away on Saturday.
Its just such a fun evening, said Julie Luecht, assistant center supervisor. You get to see all kinds of sweet moments. Its just a special evening for dads and their daughters.
Ken Guard and his 9-year-old daughter, McKenna, used the opportunity to show off their swing-dancing skills. Usually the duo dances at family events and weddings, so Guard was happy for the opportunity on Friday.
Its just a great experience, he said. Its important to get time together as father and daughter.
With two girls fighting for his attention, Scott Harrells arms were busy all night.
I really dont get a break, he said with a smile as daughters Jaley, 6, and Sarah, 9, pulled at his hands.
Phil Armand said his dance skills have improved after two years of attending the event with his 7-year-old daughter, Samantha.
She enjoys spending time with me, and I like learning, Armand said. Shes a great teacher. Its just a great way to feel more connected with your little girl.
The dance isnt just for dads and daughters uncles, grandfathers and other family members also get a chance to join in.
Denny Campbell said getting a chance to spend quality time with his granddaughter, 4-year-old Gabrielle Hardin, was important.
Its fun, and shes having a great time, he said, holding her up for a slow dance.
Girls shrieked when their favorite tunes came on think mega-hit Gangnam Style. While some of the dads greeted the song with a confused look, others joined right in on the dance.
Derek Aday didnt mind showing off his dance moves.
We have a blast, he said. Were pretty close already, but this just gives us a way to have fun together.
Daughter Caitlyn, 8, agreed.
Its fun to get out with my dad and enjoy all the songs, she said.