Father/Daughter Dances draw record crowds in Marysville | SLIDESHOW

MARYSVILLE — Even though most of this year’s attendees had already taken part in the event at least once before, the city of Marysville Parks and Recreation Department’s seventh annual Father/Daughter Dances drew a record total crowd of 836 for its four dances, two on Feb. 4 and two on Feb. 11.

Clear Image Photography of Marysville once again provided portraits of the dads and daughters dressed in their finest on the eve of Valentine’s Day, while Seattle DJ Canon Snyder took pride in having provided the music and taught the dance moves for all seven years of the Father/Daughter Dances.

“We love to find ways to support local communities, and this community gets so into this event,” said Snyder, who arrived with his wife. “We can take care of people while enjoying ourselves at the same time. It took a few years for us to convince the dads they could learn the dances we were teaching without them looking dorky, but they’ve gotten into it.”

“John Travolta does a pretty good job at what he does, so I think I’ll let him keep it,” laughed Jeff Ostreim, after he and daughters Makayla, 6, and Abby, 4, learned Snyder’s “John Travolta” line dance to the tune of “Staying Alive” during their third year at the Father/Daughter Dance. “It’s nice to have a special date with my two little princesses, though,” Ostreim added, after his daughters were named princesses of their dance through a raffle drawing.

Maryke Burgess and Andrea Kingsford of the Marysville Parks and Recreation Department explained that they were able to beat last year’s estimated attendance total of approximately 800 by adding more dance slots, since the only reason they didn’t have more dads and daughters at this year’s event was because it had sold out, just like every previous year.

“More than 50 percent of our signups, and maybe even as many as 70 percent, were online this year,” Kingsford said. “The snowstorm didn’t slow us down at all. We had to open our doors early to accommodate all the folks who were already lining up for photos, and we saw our first arrival by limo this year. We even had our youngest-ever dancer, at 6 months old.”

At 6 months, Colbie Livingston’s “dancing” mostly consisted of being carried by dad Steve, who had attended last year’s Father/Daughter Dance with his other daughter Emmy, who returned at 2 years old this year with her grandfather in tow as well.

“It’s so much fun,” Steve Livingston said. “The chicken dance is Emmy’s favorite.”

“The chicken dance is fun, but it’s sort of hard,” said Gabrielle Olson, a 10-year-old who’s been attending the Father/Daughter Dances with dad Scott since she was 5 years old. “You have to run around in the dark and find your dad. My favorite part is just spending time with my dad.”

“You kind of know what you’re getting into with the dances,” Scott Olson laughed. “It makes for a long night, but when I see the glow on her face, I know how special this is. She looks forward to it all year.”

Kingsford reported that at least one dad described the event as “better than Christmas,” for which Burgess thanked the event’s sponsors and the community as a whole for supporting it.

“Our sponsors have really verbalized the economic impact of this event on their businesses,” Burgess said. “Bob’s Burgers and Brew has told us that they’ve had to schedule extra staff on these dance nights, and even the businesses that don’t sponsor it still see a positive impact from it, such as floral shops. As a city, we love building relationships between people, and it doesn’t get any more special than the bonds between dads and their daughters.”


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