Annual Jazz Band Swing Dance moves to Purdue Memorial Union

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Dancing feet will fill Purdue Memorial Union’s South Ballroom on Friday (Feb. 4) when Purdue Bands stages its annual Jazz Swing Dance that’s open to the campus and the community.

From 7:30 to 10 p.m., the American Music Repertory Ensemble, the Lab Jazz Band and Concert Jazz Band will provide music for dancing. Purdue’s Night Train Swing Dance Club will also offer free lessons and demonstrations from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Dancers from the club will stay and dance along with the crowd to provide inspiration to those wishing to duplicate their moves.

Admission is free to all the evening’s activities.

Music is a mix of contemporary swing like “Jump, Jive and Wail,” old big band favorites like “In the Mood” and some ballads for slow dancing. Much of the evening’s music was made popular in the 1940s when ballrooms were crowded with dancers. The list of tunes includes “Satin Doll,” “One O’clock Jump, ” “Harlem Nocture,” “Jive at Five” and “Blue Moon,” among others.

Purdue Bands introduced the Jazz Swing Dance in 2001 as an informal dance evening primarily for Purdue students and they’ve responded in force. So has the community.

“We’ve had great crowds no matter what the weather. When you’re feeling cooped up, when icy weather limits your mobility, dancing is a great stress reliever,” said Bands public relations director Kathy Matter.

The event is open to those who enjoy music from the big band era and want to listen, as well as to those who want to dance. Because of the nature of the event, however, seating is limited and cannot be guaranteed.

Purdue Bands and Orchestra, which sponsors the event, offers a more formal jazz/dance event, “Evening of Romance,” set for 8-10:30 p.m. on Feb. 12, in the University Plaza Grand Ballroom in West Lafayette. The cabaret-style event includes a dessert buffet and music for dancing by the Purdue Jazz Band. For ticket information, call 765-494-3933.

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