May and June always get so busy around here with everything that goes on at school that I always get behind on my blog posts. Let me start by telling you about the 4thAnnual Father and Daughter Dance!
I remember when I wrote about the very first Father and Daughter Dance I took time out to tell you that Jenna and Mo were running for Co-Presidents of the PTA. They went on to win and do an amazing job for the next 2 years. Last year they each took PTA board positions but not as presidents. Let me announce that they are going to recreate their roles as Co-Presidents of the PTA for the 2015-2016 school year.
I am so proud of both of them.
Now back to the dance. This year’s theme was a Father and Daughter LUAU – no coconut tops permitted! They had to put that on the flyer because Santiago is a K-8 school and you can’t take the dress code for granted! The Dads were all thrilled as Hawaiian attire is simply shorts and a flowered shirt and sandals – the kind of attire they are most comfortable wearing!
Just like every year, a lot of work went into this dance done by a great committee headed up by Mo with Jenna as her right hand. The Father and Daughter Dances exist because it had always been Mo’s dream for her daughters to attend a Father and Daughter Dance as she had done with her own dad! So she has made it happen. I love being part of this committee each year. I get to do fun things like go to Ola Hawaiian BBQ to sample the delicious food they were going to cater. I also spent one Sunday afternoon with some of the moms and their kids making beautiful table decorations – flowers made from coffee filters and sprayed with different food colors. These were placed in tin cans wrapped in burlap and tied with a ribbon. They were beautiful and reminded me of hibiscuses.
It amazes me that each dance is better than the one before and with even more students in attendance. I think the final count this year was 275 attendees. The weather was perfect again! When setup time finally got there, we covered the outdoor lunch tables with brown butcher paper tied down with tulle. Mo had made a special trip to the beach to get us some sand and we spread it down the middle of the tables. It looked like you were at a luau on the beach. We also added sand to the little tin can vases to hold them down before filling them with the paper flowers. We’ve had trouble with the decorations trying to blow away in past years. This year we were ready for Mr. Wind who always seems to come around dusk. We even found a great place to set up for photos that gave us some protection from him. Green crepe paper hung around the area to look like hula skirts. There were tiki torches around the grounds. Mo even got us a yellow VW convertible with surfboard sticking out of the back seat for ambiance! In fact, we had surfboards strewn around the area. All these little details made it extra special.
This year the check in table had Hula Dancers! One of the playground supervisors is part of a Hula Dancing Team and they offered to come to the dance and help. As each Father and Daughter entered the dance, they could get Hawaiian lei to wear! The Hula Girls placed the leis on the Dads and girls just as they would in Hawaii. Everyone loved it. Later during the evening, they did an amazing demonstration for everyone! All the little girls were trying to learn it! I should also add that the male dancer used to be a student at our school.
Jenna found a cute idea for the photos on Pinterest! Someone had used a white washed looking fence with surfboards balanced against it as a backdrop! We liked the idea and managed to find some awesome corrugated paper with a white washed fence pattern on it. We borrowed a couple of surfboards from one of the Dads and we had our backdrop! Just like prior years I didn’t get to see much of the dance – I took my last picture at 8:22 but I did have one of the best views of the night. I got to see every couple – many of them I have photographed the previous 3 years and it is amazing to look back and see how much some of these students have grown.
I also got to hear the “ews” and “ahs” from all the students in the photo line when the Kona Ice Truck pulled in – this was their dessert and they couldn’t wait to go get it!
Just like I have taken the photos for the last 4 years, Amara’s Grandma Judi has handmade Amara and her Daddy’s outfits for each dance. They looked so cute in their matching outfits and the blue in that dress just made Amara’s eyes pop!
In keeping with the luau theme, Mo asked all of the volunteers to wear flowered or Hawaiian styled attire. Jenna and Mo still haven’t learned their lesson about shoes — both of them had very sore feet by the end of the dance! But they looked good and they did an amazing job.
Mo works hard to make sure the dance is kept within budget. To help with defraying the cost of the dance we always have a lot of raffles! This year’s prizes were amazing. One family had even donated Disney tickets! All of the raffle prizes were intended to give the winning daughter and dad a second date. I’d had fun the month before going with Jenna and Amara to get donations – which of course meant we had to stop and have yogurt! With all of these wonderful raffle prizes, Mo’s budget was safe.
One of the students brought two of her ukuleles. She even let the students use them as props to pose with for the pictures if they wanted to. Her Grandfather, who is the one who escorted her to the dance for the 4th year, has taught her to play. Later that evening as I was tearing thing down she serenaded me with it! She was impressive and it was the perfect way to end my evening!
These are the other Father and Daughter Dances Amara has gone to.