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Daddies, daughters dance night away
I look forward to it just as much as she does
Doug Patterson and his daughter, Paige, 9, join others on the dance floor Thursday evening during Gainesville Parks and Leisure’s annual Daddy Daughter Dance.

It’s not every day that a man has the chance to dance with a beautiful young lady, but girls and their fathers danced the night away Thursday.

Dressed-up couples filled a dance floor at the Gainesville Civic Center for the annual Daddy Daughter Dance, sponsored by Gainesville Parks and Leisure.

Mardi Gras was the theme, so the couples got feathered masquerade masks and beads to make the dance a special affair.

The Civic Center was decorated with purple, green and yellow balloons— the traditional Mardi Gras colors — and oversized masks.

Hallie Landis, 10, had a dress to coordinate with the theme.

"Her grandma made that," father Dan Landis said of Hallie’s purple, yellow and green sash.

He said the Daddy Daughter Dance is one his favorite events of the year.

"I look forward to it just as much as she does," Dan Landis said. "She’s my only daughter."

Reagan Compton, 8, at the dance for the second year with her dad, Lance, was excited about the Mardi Gras theme.

"I get to wear a mask!" she said of her favorite part of the evening.

Lance Compton said the evening was a special opportunity for him.

"I get to spend some good time with my daughter," he said.

Other pairs, like Mike and Michaela Mosley, had coordinating outfits for the special occasion.

Michaela Mosley, 9, was wearing a white dress that matched her father’s white shirt and white tie.

"She picked out the tie," Mike Mosley said.

The Mosleys have attended the dance for five years.

"I like the music and it’s just fun to be with my dad," Michaela Mosley said.

Mike Mosley said the dance is a great opportunity to bring fathers and daughters together.

"They do a wonderful job; it’s all about the girls," he said. "There’s not a lot for girls and dads."

Each year, dances are held on three separate nights for different ages. Tuesday was the dance for girls ages 11-18; Thursday was ages 8-10; and tonight is ages 4-7.