Known for their community involvement and skills on the dance floor, Clifton Bennett and Jeff Tindall both consider the Daddy Daughter Dance to be a can’t-miss outing with their special girls. Along with dancing the night away at the event for the past several years, both fathers were former participants in the Cartersville Dances With the Stars, an annual fundraiser for the Good Neighbor Homeless Shelter and the Cartersville/Bartow County school systems’ homeless education programs.
Continued to be presented by Cartersville Parks & Recreation Department and Chi Master chapter of Beta Sigma Phi, the Daddy Daughter Dance will take place Saturday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Cartersville Civic Center, 435 W. Main St.
“There is nothing greater than a father’s love for their daughter,” Bennett said. “It is so important to be present and involved in their lives, and this is a great opportunity to do something that is special and that you can always look back on with fond memories.”
Bennett, the owner of CrossFit Adrenaline, resides in Cartersville with his wife of 14 years, Paige, and their two children: Cara, 11, and Colton, 8.
“This year will be the sixth year we have attended the dance, and it has been tradition for several of us dads to take our daughters to Tokyo for dinner beforehand,” Bennett said. “Cara loves to dance, and it is something special for us to look forward to each year.
“Getting dressed up with my daughter and making a big deal out of it for her is fun and she loves that. She dances all the time, and it’s important for us dads to show our daughters how they should expect to be treated and how important they are to us.”
For Cara, dancing with her father is one of the annual event’s fun components.
“I love the carriage ride and the animals they bring [that] we get to pet, like the goats,” she said. “Dancing is always fun and I get to dress up.”
Geared toward girls in kindergarten through seventh grade, the Daddy Daughter Dance will feature refreshments, a wrist corsage and prizes. Carriage rides and photographs will be available for an extra charge.
“This year marks the 13th annual Daddy Daughter Dance,” said Tom Gilliam, director of Cartersville Parks & Recreation Department. “The dance has met and exceeded our expectations every year. We want to continue this tradition for the public for the excitement of both the daddies and daughters.
“… We love seeing the daughters come dressed up and spending a special night with their fathers/escort. This is a huge event for our department to see so many smiling faces in one night. As a department, we are looking forward to a great turn out and night of fun again this year.”
Like Bennett, Tindall also enjoys turning the event into an experience for his daughter — 11-year-old Elyse — to cherish.
“In some respects, the event starts out like a middle school dance,” said Tindall, founder of OnePoint Rewards and director of The Episcopal Church of the Ascension’s Red Door Food Pantry. “You’ll have all the men up against the wall or sitting down. You’ll have all the girls dancing. But it really is important to break that ice and spend that time with your daughters and let them know how important they are and show them how they should be treated on a date.
“So Elyse and I have a special routine. We’ll go down to The City Cellar. She’ll be all dressed up. I’ll be all dressed up, and we’ll have a special dinner there.”
Whether the tunes are slow or fast, the Tindalls enjoy spending time with each other on the dance floor.
“It was really fun and the slow dance was really cool,” Elyse said, adding she loves dancing with her father. “I learned how to do so many old school dance steps, and I just really enjoyed it. That was definitely my favorite part.
“A moment that stood out to me was when everybody got together on the dance floor with their daughters and started dancing together. It was really a special moment.”
To attend this year’s dance, there will be a $25 registration fee for a father and daughter, with another $20 charge for each additional daughter.
Since the dance will be limited to 175 couples, adults need to pre-register — online at the Cartersville Parks & Recreation Department’s page on www.cityofcartersville.org or in person at the Dellinger Park office, 100 Pine Grove Road in Cartersville.
For more information, call 770-387-5626.