Longtime Brevard County Resident Barbara Furtney Prepares for 8th Annual ‘Dancing for the Space Coast’ on June 4

By  //  May 13, 2022

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event will be held at the Clemente Center

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – With less than a month to go, the 2022 ‘Dancing for the Space Coast’ dancers are preparing for their final dance routines with their dance instructors for the charity event on June 4 at Florida Tech’s Clemente Center.

With a sold out crowd ready to pack inside the Clemente Center, one of the dancers in this year’s event is longtime Brevard County resident Barbara Furtney.

Barbara Furtney has been a Brevard County resident for 39 years. Born in Illinois, Barbara moved to Florida after receiving her engineering degree in software from the University of Illinois.   Her family used to tell a story that when she was nine, she found out there was a state where it is “sunny all of the time” and she was setting her goal to move there.

Barbara worked on a variety of large systems projects for Harris Corporation for 12 years.  While working, she took evening classes to get her M.B.A. from the Florida Institute of Technology.

When Harris and GE formed a joint venture on automated train control, Barbara transitioned to work at GE on automated train control for 5 years.

In 1983, Barbara married Rick Furtney, a Semiconductor Executive, and together they were blessed with 3 amazing boys, Matthew Furtney (Sarah), Dr. Joshua Furtney, and Isaac Furtney (Samantha).

Barbara retired from engineering to be able to spend more time with her boys and to build their lovely home in Indian Harbour Beach.  She became a very active community volunteer in her retirement.  She enjoyed creating the lesson plans for the Character Education program at Holy Trinity Episcopal School Lower School and volunteering in the classroom for 17 years, long after her children had moved on. She taught English as a Second Language at her church, First Baptist of Melbourne, and on mission in Panama.  She enjoyed serving at her church for vacation bible school, community service projects, and on various committees.

Barbara also volunteered, served, and was on the Board of Directors for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in Brevard County.  She truly has a passion for helping others.

Life came to an abrupt change at the end of 2020 when Barbara’s beloved husband of 37 years went home to be with the Lord after a yearlong battle with cancer.

After several months, Barbara found dancing to be incredibly enjoyable and uplifting. It’s the perfect blend of music and excitement.  She loves staying active and enjoys travel, weightlifting, walking, hiking, boating, ham radio, and spending time with friends and family.

CLICK HERE to donate to Dancing for the Space Coast’s charity in Barbara’s name.

To sponsor the event and/or attend the event, reserve your table today

Barbara’s Instructor: Barry Johnson

Barry is originally from Long Island, New York. He started dancing at 7 years of age after watching the Fred Astaire movie “Top Hat”. He danced tap, jazz, and ballet for the next 11 years.

During that time, he and his family moved to the Kansas City area. Barry began ballroom in June of 1992 at Arthur Murray Dance Studio in Lenexa, Kansas. With them he completed training through his Silver level.

He moved to TC Dance Studio in 1998 where he completed his Gold level dancing. He also became the studio’s Dance Director and Assistant Supervisor.

Barry came to Melbourne to get away from the cold and icy winters of the Midwest in February of 2006. He then began his Pro-Am competing career. His students have earned Championships in American Smooth, and American Rhythm styles of dance, as well as a multitude of top solo awards ranging from the Bronze to Gold levels.

He is living his dream by teaching, dancing, competing, and being part owner of the ever-growing Melbourne Ballroom.

In all, Barry has been dancing in one form or another for 40 years and has no intention of slowing down anytime soon.

The program for this year’s event starts at 6:30 p.m. Social hour begins at 5:30 p.m.