Romance and dance—complete with dance lessons and music by the Santa Fe College Big Band—take center stage at the Valentine’s Day Swing Dance Friday, Feb. 14, in the lobby of the Fine Arts Hall at the Northwest Campus, 3000 NW 83 Street, Gainesville. Doors open at 6 p.m. and admission is $10 per person or $20 per couple. Tickets are available at the door. Finger foods and non-alcoholic beverages are included in the admission price.

From 6:15-7:15 p.m., an experienced couple will offer lessons in swing dance, a partner form that developed with the swing style of jazz music that was popular from the 1920s to the 1950s. At 7:30 p.m., the Big Band plays the first of two one-hour sets that feature music from or inspired by the swing era, including “Leap Frog,” “April in Paris,” “In the Mood,” “Jumpin’ at the Woodside,” “It Don’t Mean A Thing if it Ain’t Got That Swing,” “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” “Moondance,” and “My Funny Valentine.”

The event is sponsored by and is a fundraiser for Musicians United, the music club of Santa Fe College. Club members will be selling roses and dances with band members as well as chances to direct a tune, sponsor a song or dedicate a song to your date. Proceeds will be used in support of the Big Band’s annual tour of area high schools in the spring.

“There’s plenty of room in the Fine Arts Hall lobby to dance and mingle,” said Steve Bingham, professor of music and director of the SF College Big Band. “Our swing dance is the cheapest and most fun Valentine’s Day date in North Central Florida! A bonus is that proceeds from the event help to support our music programs.”

Under Bingham’s direction, the Santa Fe College Big Band has been honored with an invitation to perform at the International Jazz Festival in Montreux, Switzerland, and has performed at Carnegie Hall, Epcot, Florida’s Lakeside Jazz Festival and CityWalk Universal Studios.

For more information about the Valentine’s Day Swing Dance, call Professor Steve Bingham at 352-281-4035.

For more information about the Santa Fe College Fine Arts programs or the Fine Arts Hall, call Fine Arts Department Chairperson Alora Haynes at 352-395-5296.