Two-stepping is a time-honored tradition in Texas. Every city might add their own flair to the classic country/western dance move, but some things will always remain the same. Expect cold beer, live music and a great atmosphere no matter which honky-tonk you visit.
Don’t know how to two-step? What better place to learn than Texas? Most dance halls offer free weekly lessons for beginners.
Neon Boots was once a historic concert venue called the Esquire Ballroom. Sound familiar? Willy Nelson wrote “Night Life” about playing the Esquire Ballroom. The Patsy Cline musical “Always…Patsy Cline” also takes place in this Houston hangout.
The Esquire Ballroom fell into disarray until the concept for Neon Boots was born. The new owners completed a painstaking renovation of the historic site before they launched Neon Boots. Now, guests can two-step across the same stage that Kenny Rogers, Waylon Jennings, Patsy Cline, Willy Nelson, and Tanya Tucker played on.
Neon Boots holds dance lessons every Thursday and Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. Bring a partner or come alone, and don’t leave without taking a spin on the mechanical bull!
The Broken Spoke
The Broken Spoke, a dance hall in Austin, TX, is best known for its live music, dance floor, and chicken-fried steak.
The Broken Spoke has welcomed countless nationals acts to its stage since opening in 1964. Willie Nelson and Garth Brooks both played surprise gigs at the Broken Spoke, and Dolly Parton filmed the 1987 movie “Wild Texas Nights” in the dance hall.
Two-step dance lessons are held Wednesday through Saturday from 8 p.m to 9 p.m. Private group lessons can be arranged in advance. Live music starts at 9 p.m.
Stop by the Tourist Trap, the Broken Spoke’s store, for unique souvenirs to commemorate your visit to a legendary Texas honky-tonk, and don’t be surprised if you run into James M. White, the owner and founder of the Broken Spoke. White, with the help of his family, still manages the day-to-day operations at the Broken Spoke.
The White Horse
Learn to two-step every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at The White Horse in Austin. Lessons start at 7 p.m. If you’re feeling nervous, have a few drinks at the bar first. It’s always happy hour at The White Horse. Bomb Tacos are $3 all day, and they are incredible.
Cowboys Dance Hall
Visit Cowboys Dance Hall at either its Dallas or San Antonio location for an unforgettable evening of two-step dancing. Two-step lessons are held every Thursday and Friday in Dallas and every Wednesday and Friday in San Antonio. Lessons start at 7 p.m. All skill levels are welcome.
If you want to two-step, why not do it in the oldest dance hall in Texas? Advertisements from the 30s and 40s still line the walls of Gruene Hall, and the venue’s stage and outdoor garden haven’t changed much since 1878.
This New Braunfels dance hall doesn’t offer lessons, but they do host live music every night. Loretta Lynn, Kacey Musgraves, Chubby Checker, Kevin Costner, Leanne Rhymes, BB King, The Charlie Daniels Band, and Willie Nelson have all graced the stage at Gruene Hall.
Whether you’re a beginner or have been two-stepping since before you knew how to walk, there are saloons and dance halls all over the great state of Texas to enjoy!