The upbeat tones of dance music from yesteryear and today rolled out of the speakers of The Landing on Marine Corps Air Station New River as Marine and Sailor fathers spun, sashayed and danced the day away with their daughters on June 8. The annual MCAS New River Daddy Daughter Dance, sponsored by Marine Corps Community Services Lejeune-New River, was an opportunity for service member dads and their daughters to make lasting memories.
While Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune typically holds a similar event in February, to make note of Valentine’s Day, New River tries to schedule their event around Father’s Day.
“Our dance is great because it kind of offsets the one on Lejeune,” said Diana Hansen, club manager for The Landing on New River. “It’s good to have one set up for people who might have been deployed earlier in the year or otherwise away during that time.”
Hansen acknowledged that, while on the surface the event seems geared towards the daughters, the adults end up having just as much fun.
“It can be hard to tell who’s having more fun,” Hansen said.
The event was open to all authorized personnel including veterans, contractors and emergency service personnel. Roberto Rayan served 12 years in the USMC and was in attendance with his daughter, Emerson.
“It’s good for the kids,” Rayan said.
Between bouts back and forth to the dance floor, service members and their daughters would step outside to take photos along The Landing’s waterfront view along the New River as well as its picturesque structures like gazebos. Food such as chicken tenders, fresh fruit and other hors d’oeuvres were available for those in attendance who worked up an appetite on the dance floor.
The Landing was decorated in a tropical aesthetic in homage to the summer months and to set a festive tone for participants. A photographer was also on site to take professional photos.