Research: Texas Dancing

When I wrote Hyacinth, I included a scene where my characters go to a bar/dancing. I originally wrote it with dancing like I did in college – which was not club style (mostly). At my editor Wendy’s suggestion I changed it on the realization that my characters in that book wouldn’t do the type of dancing I’d done.

Now, however, I’m writing the first in a new series of books (series titled Hearts & Souls) that will be set in small town Texas where they do my kind of dancing. I’d thought I’d share a little of my background in it as well as some additional research and cool videos I found.

I grew up in Texas. I was a dancer most of my childhood. It was one of the things I was naturally good at. When I went to school at Texas A&M I discovered what I call Texas or southern-style dancing. They still have the “in-da-club” type bars (which I also like btw). But they also have dance halls.

In these places people where boots. At the time I was there it was with tight jeans and a “hot” top. These days I’m betting it’s more sexy dresses with the boots. Most people not from the south think of southern dancing as line dancing. I’m here to tell you it is NOT line dancing (although, yes, that gets thrown in occasionally – a good Cotton Eyed Joe can be a lot of fun). Southern style dancing includes things like two-step, waltz and polka (but not like you’re thinking), and some pretty cool jitterbug.

I learned to dance this way first from going out to these dance halls with friends. But I also learned it from some of the best. Texas A&M has a performance group called the Aggie Wranglers who excel at the type of dancing I’m talking about. They also give lessons, which I’ve taken.

Here’s a promo video from the Aggie Wranglers showing you exactly what I’m talking about:

I’m here to tell you that this is my favorite type of dancing. These days, living in California, I don’t get to really do it much. In fact, I only really get to bring it out at weddings and things. Sigh. But at least my characters can have fun with it, and I can live vicariously.

 

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