Texas is famous for a lot of things — so many that dancing can get lost in the crowd of Lone Star favorites. But the Texas Two-step, the Western Swing, the Texas Tommy, Kicker Dancing, and several other not-quite-as-famous dances have their roots right here in Texas. And right along with all those famous dances, we’re certain that Texas offers up the best boots for dancing, the best music to dance to, and some of the best dance halls for dancing in, too. Here are some of our favorites:
The Broken Spoke
We have to start here because it’s in our hometown and we’re Austin proud, y’all. The Broken Spoke is more than 50 years old and has had guests like Clint Eastwood to Queen Elizabeth II. It’s one of the original honky-tonks, and it is an absolutely vital visit for anyone who comes to Austin for the music scene.
The oldest dance hall in Texas (arguably), and definitely the only dance hall to survive its hometown turning into a genuine ghost town and then re-emerging from the ashes like a proud Texan phoenix, Gruene Hall is a ‘must-play’ venue. Even bands that aren’t headed to nearby San Antonio go out of their way to play Gruene Hall, which packs in the crowds even though they refuse to install air conditioning.
Smack dab in the middle of downtown Houston is Texas’ self-proclaimed largest LGBTQ country-western club. It’s a classic venue, once home to Willie Nelson, today updated to embrace every kind of boot-scooting boogier.
Billy Bob’s Texas
So we’ve seen one of the original honky-tonks, now witness one of the largest in the world. Complete with classic extras like bull riding, big-name headliners, and an in-house full-scale restaurant, BBT is the consummate urban cowboy destination. At a whopping 127,000 square feet, everything really is bigger in Billy Bob’s Texas.
John T. Floore’s Country Store
Wait — ain’t this a list of dance halls? What’s a store doing here? What if we told you that John T. Floore’s has been the venue for Elvis Presley, Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Bob Dylan, and many more big name stars? Even today, there are still big-time and soon-to-be-big-time musicians that pack the outdoor patio on any given summer weekend. If you’re in Helotes, stop by, grab a tamale, and enjoy a dance!