Young ladies dance the night away at PAL's Father-Daughter Dance

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Watch Christie Illeto's report from Action News at 11 p.m. on May 3, 2017. (WPVI)

Dozens of young ladies came from nine PAL centers Wednesday night to dance the night away with their fathers, or father figures.

It was the Police Athletic League's 5th annual Father-Daughter Dance, and it gave the young women a chance to feel really special.

Nearly 100 young ladies showed off their best moves.

For Eric Williams and his granddaughter, Maliya, the dance was their first date.

"I got dressed, I was down stairs waiting on her. Her mother came down, turned on her special music and she made her grand entrance," said Williams.

"We got a cup of water, took some selfies," said Maliya.

"I feel like a father's work is never done. When her father was unable to make it, I felt it was important that she have a male figure in her life," said Williams.

Many young girls in Philadelphia have lost their fathers to incarceration, death-by illness or violence. That's something event organizers say is a reality for many young ladies on this dance floor.

"We deal with children and you see them, they sometimes go astray without a man in their lives. So, I figure we grab them, put our arms around them, show them a little love, and try to lead them in the right direction," said Philadelphia Police Officer Marcus Allen.

In its fifth year, the popular dance has grown, which includes photo booths, tiaras, and memories that will last a life time.

"I want her to remember this moment, that this is the way she should be treated. Whether she's with me or someone else," said Williams.

Event organizers say the number of attendees grows every year, so much so that this year they had to turn people away and have even outgrown the space.

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familyfamilyphiladelphia newsdanceSouth Philadelphia
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