The Odessa Record -

Third annual Daddy-Daughter Dance


Last updated 3/30/2019 at 6:23pm

Linda Goodman

A popcorn inspired, yellow and white organic balloon garland, consisting of 375 balloons, decorates the archway between the two areas of the banquet hall.

This is the second year I’ve happily donated the balloons and my time to build an arch for Go! Odessa Recreation’s Third Annual Daddy-Daughter Dance. Since this year’s theme was the circus, Kaylene James, founder of Go! Odessa Recreation, had the idea of a yellow and white popcorn- inspired arch coming out of large popcorn bags. I thought since popcorn shapes can be pretty random that an organic garland, rather than a traditional arch might be more fitting. [Note: Organic garlands and arches have round balloons of various sizes put together at random. Traditional arches are very structured with balloons that are uniform in shape and size.]

Since I’d never made an organic anything before, I decided I had better get an early start in case things didn’t go quite as planned. I started at about 7 p.m. Friday inflating and tying the balloons at Any Occasion Banquet Hall. At about 8:15 p.m., I enlisted the help of Karen Carlson who took over the air compressor and the filling of the balloons. We filled and tied balloons, laughing and joking, popping a few a long the way, until 11 p.m.

I went back Saturday morning around 11:30 to finish the garland and worked another three hours filling holes here and there, adjusting and swapping the yellow and white balloons, and making the garland slightly longer. I even managed to hang it from the little hook in the center of the really tall archway in the banquet hall. At around 3:30 p.m., and 375 balloons later, it was finished.

A crowd of 46 people were present when I arrived at the dance, but I saw only beautiful little princesses with huge smiles on their faces – girls who were so excited, proud and happy to be out and having a special time with their dads and all dressed up for the occasion.

I had also agreed to operate the cotton candy machine during the dance, and cotton candy was in high demand all evening. Much of my view of the dance was from behind the counter looking over a sea of varying little girl faces. From time to time some looked a little dejected, when I had to tell them they would have to wait a little bit for their cotton candy. Anyone who thinks they can accumulate enough servings of cotton candy on a stick to fill a box and expect to be able to keep said box full seriously underestimates the power of sugar on a stick. I think I ended up wearing almost as much candy floss as I handed out.

Throughout the evening, when I was able to, I walked around with my camera. I was lucky enough to witness some sweet, special moments, a few of which I was able to catch on film.

I saw a dad making silly faces at his daughter and also snapped a photo two girls making goofy faces, one while wearing a fake mustache. I took a picture of a girl dancing with her surrogate grandpa and watched sisters take turns dancing with their dad. I also watched one little girl curl up on her dad’s lap looking very sleepy. He cradled her as though she were the most precious, delicate thing on Earth. I also watched the majority of the girls (even very young ones), do the Cha Cha Slide. I am still in awe that some of them know how to do this dance at such a young age. Fun fact: Did you know that the now popular dance and song, the Cha Cha Slide, was originally released almost 19 years ago, in September 2000?

There was an impromptu dance-off to the song Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars that had the dance floor full of both dads and daughters, and it remained that way for much of the remaining evening. Unable to choose only one winning couple, the judges instead chose three. Matt and Katherine Roberson won first place and a $25 gift certificate to Chiefs Bar & Grill. Brady and Olivia Gies and Pete and Paige Martin tied for second place and received $10 gift certificates to Chiefs Bar & Grill.

Then, just as quickly as the dance started, it was over. One minute the building was full. Then, seemingly like magic, it was empty, with just a few of us left over to do the dirty work of tear down and clean-up.

Some were taking down decorations and washing up dishes. I drug out a ladder and stacked it on top of two tables I’d placed side-by-side, then climbed up and cut the balloons loose from the hook in the center of the really tall archway. Then I cut each upper corner loose, disconnecting them from the wall and the base. Then came the fun part, as Kimberly Ryan, little Zoe Lindow and I started popping all 375 balloons. What took roughly 6 hours and 375 balloons to build, took only 15 minutes to destroy. I can’t wait to do it again.

Linda Goodman

The dance off winners Matt & Katherine Roberson, Brady & Olivia Gies and Pete and Paige Martin all won gift certificates to Chiefs Bar and Grill.

I asked Kaylene James about the future of Go! Odessa Recreation. Would there be a change of hands due to the fact she is now living in Spokane? She told me she hopes to be able to continue scheduling and handling the business end of the events for Go! Odessa Recreation from her new location.

Go! Odessa Recreation is a non-profit organization which helps bring activities for youth from around the Odessa area throughout the year, often for free or at a reduced rate. If you would like to make a donation to help support Go! Odessa Recreation, visit their Facebook page at


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