Central Texas Dance Halls

View the Interactive Portion of our Show

A Fusion of Country Culture

Country culture is not just about the music, but a story of how the Wild West brought together immigrants from Europe, Mexico, Native Americans, and other states, all of whom came to call Texas home. Each group brought their customs, skills, moral values, and their music. While they generally tried to avoid each other, music flowed throughout central Texas. Dance Halls were an old world custom that became the heart of the new world; a place for rural communities to come together for business, fun, and safety. These halls house the history of how everybody else’s culture fused to become uniquely Texan, and maintain the traditional identity of Americana.

In the early-mid 1800s, Germanic and Czech immigrants fled a shaky socio-economic situation that led to the unification of Germany, bringing their beer, push-button accordion polka music, and community meeting hall customs to Texas. Mingling polka with local Hispanic music and the bajo sexto guitar created conjunto music. Western Swing was born when the horns of jazz fused with the hillbilly fiddle. Western Swing then adopted blues rhythms and conjunto sound to form the early country-western songs that became Rockabilly, Rock n Roll, Honky Tonk, and Outlaw Country. Despite the social changes reflected in the music, the family values, tradition, and respect for the community in Central Texas Dance Halls has never changed.

Set to be in display through November 23th, this exhibit will open Saturday October 19th with a special reception starting at 7:09pm.  We will have live music from The Grand Prize Polka Boys and a yet to be announced Western Swing band to fit the theme! As always admission is free and donations are always welcome.

For more information, contact the Center at 512-440-8318 or by email samopc@gmail.com

Thanks to the Texas Commission on the Arts and the City of Austin Cultural Arts Division for providing funding that, in part, funds the Center’s exhibits.

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1516-B S Lamar Blvd Austin, TX 78704 | (512) 440-8318
Usual hours of operation are Thursday through Sunday 1 – 6pm and by appointment or chance.
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