Guest article by Laurie Engle
Not having grown up in Texas, one of the things I enjoyed most when I first moved to Austin was listening to live music and watching all the cute couples on the dance floor, having a blast two-stepping. At first, I didn’t know what type of dancing I was looking at, but I quickly decided I wanted to twirl around in a southern gentlemen’s arms wearing a sundress and boots.
You may have a secret desire to get out there yourself, but you’re concerned about not knowing what the heck you’re doing. No worries, I’m going to share with you where to take your two left feet for an awesome class with some of the best teachers in Austin. Our city has no shortage of amazing and truly historic joints to head to when you want to show off your new skills.
Here are three of my favorites.
1/ Donn’s Depot
When it comes to dancing, nothing is better than live music, and Donn’s Depot features live music Monday through Saturday. Do yourself a favor and go on a night when Donn and The Station Masters are playing. There’s no way you’ll be disappointed.
This place is quintessential Austin. It’s local, divey and old Austin at its best. The building is made up of an old train depot and rail cars. If you’re lucky enough to visit the ladies’ bathroom, you’ll see that it features a ladder leading to a secret spot where you can spy on the dance floor.
The dance floor is truly delightful, with all ages gliding, whirling and twirling. This is the place where couples who have been two-stepping together for at least 50 years show off their moves. You’ll find the crowd is a mix of college kids, genuine old-timers and everything in between.
Ladies, come here to dance! You’ll be happy to know you won’t be sitting at your table all night. The polite, seasoned gentlemen who frequent Donn’s Depot are more than willing to escort you to the dance floor.
1600 W. 5th St. – Website
2/ The Broken Spoke
The Broken Spoke is the holy grail of honky tonks. If you’re going to get your dance on, you must put this true Texas dancehall on your bucket list. Many country legends have graced the stage at The Broken Spoke, including Willie Nelson and George Strait.
Soak in a little ambiance while checking out the pictures on the walls of the famous musicians who have played here. This place is legit. You’ll go to The Broken Spoke to drink cold bottled beer and dance to incredible live music. If these walls could talk, they would tell you to throw back a whiskey or two then hit the dance floor.
The doors are open Tuesday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. I recommend going on a weeknight to avoid the crowds.
3201 S. Lamar Blvd. – Website
3/ The White Horse
The bands at The White Horse on Austin’s hip east side are amazing. There is plenty of room on the dance floor for two-stepping, and the crowd is a combination of grad school hipsters and forty-somethings who love to dance. The White Horse is unassuming, country and chill all at the same time. When Austin plays host to South by Southwest, you may even spot a celebrity or two.
500 Comal St. – Website
Learn to Two-Step
You’ll want to head to The White Horse on Saturday night at 7 p.m. for hands-down the best two-stepping dance class in Austin. I’ve been to a few different dance classes, and none of them compare to the fun you’ll have when Two Left Foots is teaching you some moves.
Two Left Foots teaches the class for about an hour. It’s the best five dollars you will ever spend on an hour of entertainment, and you will actually learn a thing or two. It’s evident that these teachers love to dance, are having a blast and want you too as well.
I suggest going to four or five classes in a row to really get comfortable with your new skills. You won’t have to bring a partner. In fact, you’ll have more fun if you don’t. Lot’s of people go solo and you’ll never feel left out. There are typically either more girls or guys, so the instructors have everyone rotate after learning each move. It’s genius because you meet lots of new people and don’t get stuck with the same person stepping on your feet all night.
That feeling I wanted of twirling around in a sundress and boots…I now have it, and I give Two Left Foots all the credit. The best part is that after class, you get to practice your moves on the dance floor with a live country band in a honky tonk in Austin. Life doesn’t get much better than this.
@theAustinot wants to know:
Where do you love to two-step in Austin?
Laurie Engle LOVES Austin, Texas…its many fantastic neighborhoods, laid-back sophistication and never-ending supply of things to experience. Her work is selling homes in this amazing city, while making new friends along the way. You can follow Laurie on her Facebook page.