NORFOLK, Va. - The amount of time a little girl gets with her Dad is precious and it can be a rarity when he's in the military. Friday night, fathers and daughters got to share a special dance at the Armed Services YMCA Hampton Roads Father-Daughter Ball held in Downtown Norfolk.
"We are the first men that our daughters should be in love with. So it gives them a chance to dress up, look nice and be treated like a woman before they get to that age," said Julian Oliver, Aviation Ordinance First Class.
The ball is open to all branches of the military and allows families to spend time together dressed to the nines. In years past, a majority of daughters are between three and six years old.
"My Dad's not here during the week, so it's nice to see him once in a while," said Britain Weech. Sophia Polichnia said she's excited about dancing with her Dad.
The love between each Father-Daughter pair was louder than the music on the dance floor. Each one loving the time together.
"He just got home from an 8-month deployment so I don't get to see him very often," said Micah Polichnia.
Rear Admiral Michael Groothousen with the Armed Services YMCA said this event is one of his favorites they put on.
"You miss so many life events serving your country, so this time, this night is something we can do for them and for that little girl to remember about her Dad," said Groothousen.
And very few things are more exciting than a ball, especially for young girls.
"Oh my gosh, I was just hopping around on the bed. We went upstairs and I shrieked," said Allie Loftis when she found out she was going to a ball.
Autumn Ibanez remembered her first one in Rota, Spain when she was much younger. Now that she's older, she realizes how impactful a ball like this one can be.
"It's very important because they need a father figure in their life and it really helped me being able to have one night, dress up, be a princess and be with my Dad," said Ibanez.
The very first ball a couple of years ago had about 200 attendees. Friday night's had more than 500 and the Armed Services YMCA said they hope next year's event brings out 800.