Did you know that Houston is the Western Swing
Capital of the United States?
When it comes to Western dancing, Dallas with its weird Dallas Twostep is
a distant second. The rest of the State
of Texas still thinks it is a crime against nature for the
man to dance going backwards.
The rest of the United States thinks Country-Western
Line Dances is the authentic form of western dancing.
Sad to say, they don't know what they are missing.
Certainly nowhere else in the USA does an entire city have ladies double-turning to
Individuals perhaps, but an entire city? No way. Houston,
Texas, owns the
Western Swing. No other city comes close.
Do you ever wonder if
God created the universe, then who created God? Do you ever wonder if there's life on
other planets? Of equal importance, do you ever wonder why Houston is the only city in America
where everyone double turns to Western music?
There is a reason, you know. If you are
interested, this is the story of how Western Swing was created and why Houston gets all
(Quick Note before we get started: "Western Swing"
is a term I chose many moons ago circa 1980 for two reasons
when this style of dancing was first becoming popular in the
Houston area. I needed a name and there was no name out
there at the time.
First, it is a name with high recognition in Texas due to a
style of music originated by Bob Wills. "Western Swing" is a
style of Western Music that is very danceable. Modern
examples of this style would include music by Asleep at the
Wheel and George Strait. In other words, Western Swing
the dance works great to Western Swing the music.
Second, Western Swing the dance has many patterns in common
with East Coast Swing. The major difference is that the
Western patterns are TRAVELED whereas the East Coast
patterns are danced in one spot on the floor. To me, the
easiest way to separate out the two similar dances was to
call one "Swing" and the other "Western Swing".
25 years later, the only name I have come across that might
also work is "Twostep with Turns". That
name works okay, but after all the dust is cleared, I still
like "Western Swing" better. That's my choice
and I'm sticking to it. RA, January 2006)