Social dancing is fun and good for you!
Did you know that social dancing has positive effects on both mental and physical health? It’s not just great exercise – it’s also good for your brain! Texas Dance Hall Preservation believes that social dancing at a historic Texas dance hall is one of the best ways to keep your mind and body in shape. But what if you don’t already know how to dance?
There are three keys to learning to dance: take lessons, practice on your own, and then get out to a dance. Start with the two-step, and soon you’ll be learning to waltz, polka, and dance the Cotton-Eyed Joe!
Where to find two-step lessons
Watch a video online, like this one.
Find a friend who knows how to dance and ask them to help you learn.
Ask your local dance hall to offer a free or low cost beginner dance lesson before each dance.
Go to a hall that does offer dance lessons (such as the Broken Spoke, in Austin).
Sign up for dance lessons at a local community center, or — if you’re shy — call up an instructor for private lessons.
Practicing at home
It’s best if you have a partner to practice with, but if not, never fear! You can still practice the footwork by yourself. Here’s a list of songs that are well-suited for beginner practice – not too fast, not too slow – starting with the slower ones (about 132 beats per minute, or bpm) and getting faster from there.
Now you’re ready to go to a dance!
It might seem intimidating, but we promise that once you get started, you’ll find dance hall fans to be welcoming. Feel free to ask someone to dance or accept an invitation to dance – and don’t be afraid to tell them you’re just learning. Enjoy!
Don’t be afraid to try something new. Dancing is a lifelong hobby and a great way to meet new people!
Support Texas Dance Hall Preservation
Your kind and generous help makes it possible for us to work directly with dance hall owners to provide technical assistance, workshops, grants for building repairs, and other resources. Please become a TDHP Member and make a donation today.