Celebrating Texas dance halls since 2007.
Texas Dance Hall Preservation, Inc., (TDHP) was founded in 2007 by a group of Texans who were passionate about preserving the historic dance halls of Texas. TDHP is incorporated in the State of Texas and recognized as a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization by the Internal Revenue Service.
Gregory Smith, the Texas Historical Commission’s state coordinator for the National Register of Historic Places, had been contacted by three separate individuals about their interest in historic dance halls and Texas music history, and so he suggested that they should get together. When Steve Dean, Steph McDougal, and Patrick Sparks met for the first time on South Congress Avenue in Austin, they hatched a plan to start a nonprofit organization that would preserve dance halls and the authentic culture and music that was found in them.
For the first eight years, the organization focused on awareness-building and media outreach, including recognition of historic dance halls by Preservation Texas’ Most Endangered Places list in 2008. TDHP also put on dances and educational events.
In 2015, TDHP launched new ongoing programs to directly serve dance halls and in 2019, updated its mission to reflect an outward focus not only on dance halls, but also the communities in which they are located, underscoring the important role that these historic halls continue to play in the life of rural and urban areas.
Today, TDHP continues to be a leading organization in the preservation and promotion of Texas dance halls. Through programs, events, and partnerships, TDHP raises awareness of the cultural and historic significance of these iconic structures and works toward their preservation for future generations.