by Jake Dromgoole
photos by Gary E. McKee, Texas Polka News

Last spring, after being shuttered for nearly two years by the pandemic, Texas Dance Hall Preservation, Inc. (TDHP) welcomed legendary Western swing band Asleep at the Wheel to Cat Spring Agricultural Hall for its inaugural Swing Into dance. Dancers and fans from all over the country excitedly filled the 12-sided dancehall, ready to tear up the dance floor. With longtime TDHP members, along with representatives from the staff and board, it was a night of old friends, new friends, and lots and lots of dancing.

Al Dressen and his Super Swing Revue kicked off the night and had the dance floor filled early on with two-steppers. Dressen, a western swing mainstay from Austin, delighted the crowd with classics from the genre. With an ever-present smile, Al and his band got the stage, and hall, ready for the night’s headliners.

Taking the stage to the cheers of nearly 400 patrons, Asleep at the Wheel were in fine form that night in Cat Spring, Texas. Led by guitarist Ray Benson, the band never missed a beat as they played classic after classic. Dancers were treated to songs including originals like “Miles and Miles of Texas,” the Ernest Tubb classic “Waltz Across Texas,” and even Willie Nelson’s “Angel Flying too Close to the Ground.” The dance floor remained full throughout the band’s 90-minute set, with generations of dancers sharing their enjoyment of the timelessness of a Saturday night in a Texas Dance Hall.

That timelessness will continue in 2023 with Texas Dance Hall Preservation’s second annual Swing Into dance. Save the date for Saturday, June 24 when TDHP will be swinging into Round Top Dance Hall for another night of unforgettable dancing. Didn’t have a chance to make it out to Cat Spring for last year’s Swing Into dance? Be sure to follow TDHP on Facebook and Instagram, and sign up for email updates to be in the know for when tickets go on sale!