By: Vickie Calby∼Montrose CommUNITY Board Member∼

The hall is decorated with balloons and streamers all in Valentine’s Day colors. The tables are dressed in pink, white, and red tablecloths, with center pieces and sparkles. The DJ can be seen setting up her equipment. She is excited to see how many fathers she can coax out onto the dance floor this year. While the photographer readies his cameras making it possible for father’s and daughters to capture this special day forever.

What is it?

It’s the father-daughter valentine’s dance, Ties and Tiaras. The dance is hosted by the Montrose Restoration Committee to benefit the Montrose Theatre. Now in its fourth year, the dance has become a annual event. In the beginning, no one could have predicted how popular this get-together would become!

Divided into two sets, the first set is for girls in kindergarten through third grade. The second set for girls in fourth through sixth grades. Every year the numbers of fathers attending with daughters on their arm has grown. This year the total attending was close to 300.

The young ladies all have their own style. Some come in beautiful dresses, long and flowing to the floor. Others like their jeans and boots. Those who dance to their own drummer wear their beautiful dresses accented by their favorite sneakers.

Style is not just for the girls! Many dads come in suits, while others wear dress shirts and ties, and dads wearing jeans and sneakers can also be found moving easily on the dance floor.

No matter how they are dressed, one thing is certain, everyone is enjoying this time together.

Observers watch as dads stop to take the time to buy a carnation. When they hand that flower to their daughter the look on her face is timeless…a slight blush, a little smile, and  adoration as she looks into her father’s eyes.

On the dance floor a timeless scene is taking place. Fathers are teaching their little girls how to dance for the first time. Their steps are slow and sometimes awkward, but the patience is unmistakable.

While this scene is playing out other little ones are out on the dance floor dancing in circles or swaying to the tune playing in their own heads! Others gather in a group, all dancing together and laughing out loud! Such fun!

Dads can be heard talking together about the wonderful time they are having, while others praise this as, “a great event.”

Activities like this highlight what it is like to live in small-town America.

The event is a result of community collaboration.

From the conception of the dance four years ago, the Lions Club has been on hand to help set-up and take down tables and chairs, as well and lending a hand with anything else that may be needed. This year volunteers from Montrose CommUNItY joined the Lion’s and MRC members to help with these tasks. The old saying holds very true, “many hands make light work.”

After helping decorate the hall for the first time, a comment was made by one of the volunteers. The comment makes one stop and think.

“When I saw the hall decorated for the dance it warmed my heart. I felt like I had taken a step back in time when things moved at a slower pace, when neighbors helped neighbors, and when the most important thing was family. Not just the nuclear family, but the family of community.”

Thank you, Montrose Restoration Committee, for bringing back a bit of that time and giving fathers and daughters a day to dance to their own tune!