Deployed father surprises daughter at dance recital

Eric and Hannah Barker (Photo courtesy of Pink Slipper Dance Academy)

MOREHEAD CITY, Carteret County - A dance recital in Morehead City over the weekend was the site of an emotional reunion between father and daughter.

Hannah Barker, a member of a dance troop at the Pink Slipper Dance Academy was on stage for her recital, when her father, Eric, who had been abroad on a deployment.

"She just ran into his arms like a movie," Pink Slipper owner Melanie Singh said.

Eric had missed Hannah's previous recitals due to his military obligations - this was the first time he got to see her perform with Pink Slipper.

"It was so special to her because of his many deployments and with work and serving our country, he's never seen her dance before on stage," Singh said.

The last one of Hannah's performances Eric had tried to make it home for, he had told her in advance, Singh said. Hannah was disappointed when Eric learned a change of plans meant he wouldn't make it.

This time, the family spent the whole day keeping Eric away from his daughter until the moment of the big surprise, having planned the reunion for weeks.

"We hid him from her all day," Singh said. "She had no idea he was there until the very end. And when she saw him you could just feel the love and energy in the room; it was amazing."