Feelin' 2022

Shake it off at this touring Taylor Swift dance party spinning into Austin this week

Shake it off at this Taylor Swift dance party in Austin this week

'Track Five' Chicago event for Austin preview
Austin is ready to experience Kate Kennedy's Taylor Swift-inspired "Track Five" dance party. Katey Psencik Outka

If you’ve still got some 2021 stresses to shake off — or if 2022 isn’t all it’s cracked up to be so far — you should head to Emo’s Austin this Friday night, January 21 for the Taylor Swift dance party that will cure all your winter woes.

If you’re anything like me, you found yourself scrolling through TikTok constantly during the height of the pandemic. In the winter of 2020, when everything felt bleak here in the United States, my TikTok feed was flooded with videos from Australia, where cases were low and hundreds of young women gathered in crowded bars, singing along to — who else? — Taylor Swift. It felt like an unattainable dream, but a Chicago podcaster has finally made the dream a reality — and she’s bringing it to Texas this week.

Last summer, Kate Kennedy of the long-form lifestyle podcast Be There in Five launched “Track Five,” her response to those viral Australia TikTok dance parties.

After vaccines became widely available, she wanted to host the Taylor Swift dance party that the pop star’s U.S. fans deserved after long months of lockdown. “Track Five,” aptly named for Swift’s tendency to make the fifth track of every album her most vulnerable and personal (and usually, the most beloved among fans), features a live show with Kennedy, who discusses topics like early 2000s teen nostalgia, pop culture, influencers and yes, Taylor Swift.

The live show is followed by a three- to four-hour dance party with a carefully curated playlist of Swift’s music. 

Speaking from personal experience, I know you don’t want to miss this adventure.

Kennedy hosted the first event in Chicago in July 2021, and one of my best friends and I used it as an excuse to take our first vacation after being vaccinated. The night was everything Kennedy promised it would be and, if I’m being honest, one of the best nights of my life. It turns out, screaming “Cruel Summer” in a bar full of crowded women is the therapy I needed after more than a year of pandemic-related stress.

After the Chicago premiere, Kennedy toured “Track Five” to seven different cities across the country, including New York City, Boston, and Atlanta. Kennedy’s website lists her two Texas events — in Austin this Friday and in Dallas on February 4 — as the “final Track Five shows of 2022.” 

Tickets for the Emo’s event are $75 plus fees and include access to Kennedy’s live show as well as the dance party. Doors open at 6 pm and the show starts at 7:05 pm. The event requires either proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 or a negative COVID test within 72 hours of the event.

Kennedy’s team tells me the event is nearly sold out, so snag your tickets here while you can. And if you see me and my friends there and getting emotional to the 10-minute version of “All Too Well,” just consider it our “swift” custom for dancing our troubles away.