What: The Downtown Swing 2 dance will feature music by Terry Lee and the Rockaboogie Band, cash bar, chocolate fountain, photo booth and more.
When: 8 p.m. Friday; a dance lesson begins at 7 p.m.
Where: Lower-level ballroom of the University of Saint Francis Performing Arts Center, 431 W. Berry St.
Cost: $20, adults; $15, ages 65 and older; $5, ages 5-15; and free, ages 4 and younger. Cash-only at the door and in advance with credit card at www.downtownswingdance.com.
In some communities, you can find ballroom, swing and other dances to attend almost every night of the week. But not here, apparently.
“My friends and I were amazed at the lack of dance events in Fort Wayne,” said Trista Rose Miller, 32, who began taking lessons at a local Arthur Murray dance studio more than two years ago.
When she and her friends had to drive two hours to Indianapolis to do some swing dancing, she decided to put her foot down, so to speak.
In May, Miller organized a Downtown Swing dance in the Embassy Theatre lobby. This Friday, she will welcome people for the Downtown Swing 2 dance at 8 p.m. in the lower-level ballroom at the University of Saint Francis' Performing Arts Center, 431 W. Berry St.
Live music will be provided by Terry Lee and the Rockaboogie Band, which performed at the first Downtown Swing event. Arthur Murray also will offer a dance lesson from 7 to 8 p.m.
Club Soda will provide a cash bar, and people also can enjoy treats from Fort Wayne Chocolate Fountain and a photo booth.
Cost is $20 for adults, $15 for ages 65 and older, $5 for ages 5-15, and free for ages 4 and younger.
Miller, who enjoys a variety of dance styles, said the swing dance will be a family-friendly event. It also will have special meaning for her and her family.
Her mother died from lung cancer in December, and she hopes to donate proceeds from the event to Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana.
Miller, who runs her own wedding floral business, Rose's Bouquets, said the band will play a triple-count style of swing music popular in the 1950s, along with some other dance tunes.
There will be seating for more than 200 people, Miller said, in part because the band also has a number of fans who follow it for the music but don't dance.
She's looking forward to using the USF Performing Arts Center because the ballroom will offer more room for dancing than they had at the Embassy lobby.
She also hopes swing dancing will catch on locally.
In communities such as Indianapolis, swing dances draw a lot of high school and college students, she said.
“I'd love for that to happen,” she said.