Daddy Daughter Dance swings in its 7th year

Friday, February 8, 2013


Staff Writer

HOLLIS – New England is known for its traditions – town meetings, pumpkin festivals, yankee swaps. But like any other region, when there’s a gap to be filled, traditions are often imported; in this case, from New Jersey.

The seventh annual Hollis Daddy Daughter Sweetheart Dance takes place from 7-9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15, at the Lawrence Barn, 163 Depot Road.

Tickets are $9 per person and are only available in advance at Harvest Market in Hollis. The dance is limited to 200 people and no tickets will be sold at the door. Dress is semi-formal, with fathers wearing suits or sport coats and girls wearing party dresses.

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“I went to a daddy daughter dance in my old town in New Jersey,” Hollis Brookline High School junior Allison Andreola said.

When Allison’s family moved from the Garden State to the Granite State, her mother, Cynthia, started a similar event in their new hometown so Allison could continue to attend.

The dance is for girls ages 6-12 and their fathers, grandfathers or other special men.

“My dad took me as my date for the first two years,” Allison said.

The Hollis Daddy Daughter Sweetheart Dance made its debut in 2007. In 2010, Allison’s sister, Laura – now a college student – and Laura’s friend Emily Stone took over coordination of the event.

The reins officially passed to Allison and fellow junior Sara Swabowicz in 2012, who began helping with the dance once they were too old to attend.

Allison’s father, Christopher, continues to offer his advice when it comes to the music selection, however.

“My dad usually makes a list of songs that he thinks that the fathers will like, and not be totally annoyed by the younger girls’ music,” Allison said.

The result, Sara said, is a good mix of popular music, slow songs and hits from when the fathers were younger.

Along with dancing, the evening will include activities and refreshments.

“We have a bunch of different crafts,” Sara said, listing door hangers, magnets and jewelry.

“We have a make-your-own sundae bar, and all the girls really seem to like that,” Allison said.

Other sweet treats include cupcakes and cookies.

As with last year, proceeds from the dance will be donated to the Humane Society for Greater Nashua, the organization from which both girls adopted their dogs. In the past, proceeds have gone to the Boys & Girls Club, with which Laura was involved. The first year, the proceeds helped finish the restoration work on the Lawrence Barn.

In addition to benefiting local nonprofits, attending the Hollis Daddy Daughter Sweetheart Dance creates memories that last a lifetime.

“There’s a lot of memories from when we went,” Sara said. “I remember doing a conga line that pretty much took up the whole barn.”

She also enjoyed taking pictures before the dance and taking pictures at the dance itself, she said.

“I remember always going shopping with my mom and getting a dress, and getting all dressed up and pretty,” Allison said.

Another of her favorite memories is playing with the bubble machine, which she said they rent every year. And Allison and Sara aren’t the only ones who recall these dances fondly.

“People are always eager to go the next year,” Allison said.

“The past few years, we’ve sold out,” Sara added.

Teresa Santoski can be reached at 594-6466 or Also, follow Santoski on Twitter (@Telegraph_TS).

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