The 19-member, Swing Street Big Band plans to play a little extra Latin as it ushers in spring with a ballroom dance at the Fairfield Glade Community and Conference Center at 7 p.m. Friday, April 5.
“We want to help our dancers become more knowledgeable and comfortable with the rumba,” explained band director William Schneider.
“During intermission, Bob and Carol Harwood, competitive ballroom dancers from Cookeville, will demonstrate the rumba and introduce dancers at our event to some basic steps,” Schneider said.
“It will be rumba suitable for social dancing, not the exotic styles seen on 'Dancing With the Stars,'” he said.
The Harwoods have been taking lessons for 14 years from their daughter at a dance studio in Nashville.
The three-hour event will include two 75-minute sets with 30 minutes in between for the demonstration and lesson.
“We’ll play three rumbas right after the break to give dancers an opportunity to work on what they will have learned,” Schneider said.
Besides the rumba rhythms, the band will play other ballroom tempos from the 1940s to the '80s, including fox trot, waltz, swing, and cha cha. The band will also play a tango and a polka, Schneider said.
The Fairfield Glade Community and Conference Center is at 128 Stonehenge Road, six miles north of I-40 (Exist 322, Peavine Road).
Tickets purchased in advance are $27.50 per couple ($13.75 per person), including tax. Beverages will be available for purchase. Guests may bring snacks.
Reservations can be made and tickets paid prior to the event at the Center. Phone reservations may be charged to a credit card by calling the center at 931-484-3722. The Community and Conference Center accommodates approximately 130 persons for the dance.
Schneider, who resides in Sparta, began The Swing Street Big Band in 2012 to continue a long tradition of big band dances in Fairfield Glade. Two of the band members, trombone player Clay Crabtree and vocalist Wanda Hepburn, have been part of big band performances in Cumberland County since 1997.
Several members of The Swing Street Big Band have performed with well-known musical groups in other parts of the state and nation, including Nashville, Knoxville, and Oak Ridge musical organizations. Some members teach music at Tennessee Technology University in Cookeville. Others are current or former high school band directors from Middle Tennessee, or advanced music students at Tennessee Tech.