Get in step with Texas Twisters; learn the free spin, right-side pass, cha-cha
As a Houston high schooler, Tony New could bust all the disco moves. But six years ago, when he started taking private professional dance lessons, he finally unlocked the mystery of disco.
“Disco is just an amalgam of East Coast swing, West Coast swing, the two-step and line dancing,” New explains. “If someone would have told me that a long time ago, I probably could have been a professional dancer.”
During the day, New works as a librarian in Bedford. In 2000, he helped form the Texas Twisters, a country-western flavored LGBT dance group. In June 2005, Texas Twisters helped bring together the Best Little Hoedown in Texas, the 12th annual convention for the international association of gay and lesbian country-western dance clubs. According to New, the event was so exhaustive that it almost killed the Texas Twisters. It seems they’ve finally caught their breath and are ready to kick up their heels again.
A few months ago, Texas Twisters launched Wednesday night dance lessons at the Reverchon Recreation Center. Classes are taught by Gretchen Lutz, a national champion and professional instructor. The class is designed to cycle through the dance competition cycles: two-step, cha-cha, West Coast swing, East Coast swing, the waltz, the triple two-step and the night two-step.
“But no polka. Sorry, we’re just skipping that one,” New says.
According to New, there are about 25 Texas Twister members, but New also is a member of Team Twister, which is the competitive performance team that raises money for local gay charities and competes in straight country western competitions.
“It’s surprising. When we dance at straight competitions, no one even blinks that same-sex partners are on the floor. You’d think country-western would be filled with these macho cowboys who’d have a problem with it. They don’t. Everyone just cares about the dancing,” New says.
GET INTO THE SWING
Join the Texas Twister dance classes at the Reverchon Recreation Center, 3505 Maple Ave. Wednesdays at 7:45 p.m. Classes $10 for members, $15 for non-members. In November, learn how the West Coast swing. (No classes, Nov. 21). For more information, TexasTwisters.org
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 2, 2007