Hundreds of historic dance halls dot the Texas landscape. Built by organizations like rifle clubs, agricultural, gymnastic, singing, and other fraternal societies, these halls provided communities with a common place to gather for enjoyment and to engage is the pressing issues of the day. German Texans built a significant number of halls in a variety of architectural styles, from the simple rectangle to the intricate and innovative 12-sided structures designed by Joachim Hintz in Bellville, Cat Spring. But these treasures are not unique to any given cultural group. Other European immigrants, like Poles and Czechs, constructed community-use spaces for similar purposes.
Today’s dance halls continue to serve as important community gathering places and have become destinations for a public eager to whirl about on an old wooden dance floor on Saturday night.
Visit the Texas Dance Hall Preservation, Inc. website to learn more about efforts to save dance hall buildings, music, and culture.