Two new businesses opening in the same building downtown across from Foster Park that will double as as a ballroom dance studio and an event venue.
Married couple Amber and Mark Swick are the co-owners of Dancing Raine Studios and The Refinery, which they hope to have open by May.
Amber has owned and operated a studio also named Dancing Raine in Crawfordsville for several years, and she and Mark have been waiting for the opportunity to bring a second location to Kokomo.
Now, they’re doing some light work to their new spot at 400 W. Superior St., which used to house the bar and venue Superior V. They’re aiming for an industrial look for the large space, said Amber, who’s instructed dance for the Kokomo Dance Club and may soon start instructing at IUK. The studio will be home for group and private classes.
After instructing for 15 years, seven at Dancing Raine, Amber said she’s got a vision for what the Kokomo location should look like – one where the dancers form a bond as more than just classmates.
“In ballroom, you end up becoming more like a family,” she said. “So you dance for an extended period of time to learn your skill, and in that process you’re meeting new people, you’re developing friendships.”
Beyond the normal business hours, Amber said the spot will be available to rent for events, with the venue going under the name The Refinery.
With a bar and kitchen area, Amber and Mark said they’ll plan to open a drink station in the bar area Thursday through Sunday during the summer, adding they won’t be serving alcohol. They plan to give start-up chefs the opportunity to put the kitchen to use.
“If we have it, we’re not going to be using it, so why just let it sit when someone else could really use it? And that might even give them the opportunity to serve or to sell their goods here when the drink station is open,” said Amber.
On top of all that, the new spot will host recurring date nights during the evening hours of each First Friday event downtown, giving couples a chance to have a nice date in the large venue.
“We both feel strongly about encouraging marriage and the importance of developing a strong bond and keeping a date night as part of … your married life,” said Amber.
Dancing Raine can be reached at 765-225-7112.