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TDHP: ‘Saving Texas Dance Halls One Two-Step at a Time’

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Frequently discounted in their importance as state heritage icons, the pièce de résistance for those who love Texas dance halls is their ability to set the stage for get-togethers of not only friends and family, but of entire communities. The sharing of music, history, culture, and fun has been the tie that binds in many rural Texas towns, and throughout the late 1800s and the early 1900s, when these halls flourished, the Lone Star State was home to more than 1,000 of these meeting places. Yet, although Texas has far more than any other state in the U.S., less than 400 of these beloved dance halls remain, which has fueled a passion for preserving them and their legacy, promoting them as the heart of Texas community.

‘Saving Texas Dance Halls One Two-Step at a Time’: TDHP

Photo: Facebook/Texas Dance Hall Preservation, Inc.

Recognizing that these historic dance halls mean more than simply a social gathering place to Texans, a group has formed which is driven to keep this legacy alive called Texas Dance Hall Preservation, Inc. (TDHP), and their purpose is described as “saving Texas dance halls one two-step at a time.” Made up of a passionate group of music historians and preservationists, their board consists mainly of like-minded residents from Houston and Austin who work to build public awareness and educational outreach programs for the purpose of shedding light on the plight of the Texas dance hall.

‘Saving Texas Dance Halls One Two-Step at a Time’: TDHP

Photo: Facebook/Texas Dance Hall Preservation, Inc.

A group of historians, architects, preservation experts, event promoters, lawyers, and business people, their hearts are in the right place and their efforts have been extensive. Presently in their 10th year of operating, their key strategies are paying off, and their mission to preserve these historic halls, together with the musical stylings they entail, is in fact happening. The next time you consider a night on the town, why not take the chance to tour one of these cornerstones of Texas dancing traditions and history? Patronize the place; give yourself time to shuffle across the hardwood floor where some of the greatest two-steppers to ever grace the Texas dancing scene had once strutted their stuff; experience a way of romance, history, and life which is hard to come by nowadays. For more information on local halls, preservation activities, or upcoming Texas dance hall activities, visit the Texas Dance Hall Preservation, Inc. website. Then, get out and experience a part of our past while making wonderful new memories in the present.