Dancing with daddy: Hammond Hill Father-Daughter Dance has '50s

Fathers came dressed in their finest leather jackets with Chuck Taylors and cuffed pants legs. Their daughters, and their dates for the night, came in their finest poodle skirts or polka dots.Hammond Hill's annual Father-Daughter Dance took place on Friday night, and it was once again a success.

It was the seventh year for the dance, and this year the theme was a sock hop as a nod toward the 1950s. It was quite fitting, considering that Hammond Hill Elementary is also celebrating its 50th anniversary.

"Every year it just gets better and better," principal Janet Vaughan said. "Leslie Echols, the chair of our event, has just done a fabulous job coordinating it.

Much of the night was spent with Miley Cyrus and Adele blaring, along with tons of voices singing along. Page Kight and her husband, Rod, emceed the event. "Midnight Train to Georgia" offered the perfect chance for fathers to sing along as daughters snuggled close for a slow dance.

"Party in the USA" was also the song of choice to send everyone home.

"When we planned it, we were thinking about this being our anniversary year and stuck to the sock hop theme," Echols said. "It takes a lot of people to put it on. ... It's not just daddies, we have granddaddies here. Actually, my dad is bringing my daughter, because she said my husband couldn't dance the '50s moves. We also have uncles who have come, because there are some dads who are overseas. It's a good event for any of these girls with a male in their lives just to enjoy some time together."

It was a sentiment that Vaughan also echoed.

"A lot of times, it's the moms who come and help at school," she said. "Now this gives the dads an opportunity to come to school. The girls are so proud of their dads, and you can tell from the grins on their faces that they are having the time of their lives. They are on a date with their dad, and they're having a great time.

"Though many of the students ended up spending the night with their friends, dads on the sidelines, it was still a moment and opportunity that allowed father and daughter to bond

."My daughter is in fifth grade this year, so this is the fifth or sixth time we've done this, and we always look forward to it every year," said Mike Pruitt, who was referring to his 11-year old daughter, Everie. "I think she's gotten a little old for me, though, because she's off dancing by herself."

Others, such as Thomas Scott, were tuckered out by their dance partners.

"She's tiring me out," said a sweat-drenched Scott, while dancing with his 5-year-old great-niece, Windsor Blaire Williams.

Some also were excited for things other than the dance."We came in a limo, be sure to put that in there in big letters," said MaKena Griffis, whose mom, Uyen, teaches at Hammond Hill.

Rufus Hillary, the school's custodian, also shared a dance with one of the students. He felt that the night was especially powerful for what it symbolized.

"I enjoy seeing all the dads come out, it's really amazing to see them come out with the kids and have such a good time," he said. "I've been here all day, and I wasn't going to go home without staying here to see this."