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Texas Matters: Texas Dance Halls Are Endangered

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David Martin Davies

When the European settlers came to Texas and established their own vibrant farming communities, one of the first buildings they would construct was the dance hall. It served as a community gathering point and a center for meetings and socializing.

Over the years, the dance halls changed with Texas and helped establish a culture of Bob Wills, long necks and two steps.

There used to be about 1,000 dance halls around the state but now we are down to about 300; there are even fewer dance halls that hold regular events.

This radio documentary on Texas dance halls was produced in 2009. Since then the rate of decline has not slowed. The dance hall that we focused on, Club 21, has since been destroyed.

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David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi