Texas Dance Halls in need of assistance

Published 6:53 pm Tuesday, December 1, 2020

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Dance halls have always been an integral part of Texas life and an important bloodline for the community. In the late 1800s and into the early 1900s, dance halls flourished and at one time there were over 1,000 halls in the State. Although there are now fewer than 400 remaining, there are still more historic dance halls in this state than anywhere else in the country. Over the last century they have represented the culture, romance, history and musical roots of Texas. Luckily there exists an organization devoted to preserving these dance halls. Founded in 2007, Texas Dance Hall Preservation is a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to safeguarding historic dance halls and the authentic Texas heritage, music and culture found in them. Currently TDHP is conducting a survey of the 41-county Hurricane Harvey disaster area, including Orange County. Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas and Louisiana in August of 2017, a devastating Category 4 hurricane that caused catastrophic flooding as well as many deaths.

TDHP hopes to catalog every dance hall, standing or gone, in the affected area for inclusion in the survey. Results of the survey will be used to help TDHP create a disaster response plan for halls to help increase resilience after future natural disasters.

“As part of a National Park Service Grant, TDHP is hoping to locate every dance hall in counties affected by Hurricane Harvey,” said Executive Director, Casey Jordan. “Historic Texas dance halls are vital pieces of our cultural history, and TDHP works to help preserve their legacy. Natural disasters are a huge threat to many of these buildings, and we ask for your help to find and identify them in your area.”

TDHP is asking the community for any information about current halls as well as halls no longer standing, especially when it comes to locating the lesser known halls as well as some of the culturally diverse halls. If you’d like to reach out to the Texas Dance Hall Preservation, you can contact them at: admin@texasdancehall.org