Portfolio: Sample from T+E Magazine: Austin Issue (Oct. 2013)
By Stacey McLeod
Dressing the Part
Sure, you can wear any kind of shoes to your
two-step lesson, but when in Texas, you might
as well go big. Cowboy boots are a popular
Austin souvenir, but be warned, they don’t
come cheap (ranging from $150 to $5,000 US).
But just about everyone claims you’ll wear
them for life. Plus, once you’ve been bitten by
the Austin style, you’ll find ways to rock those
boots in cities everywhere.
There’s an old saying: you don’t break in
cowboy boots – they break you in. If you’re
purchasing boots on your Austin visit right
before hitting the dance floor, you might want
to chuck a pair of flip-flops in your purse or
bag – just in case.
Allen’s Boots , over on South Congress in the
hip SoCo neighbourhood, has been an Austin
institution since 1977 and popular tourist stop.
We asked them for a little lesson on picking
out the perfect dancing boots.
In the Texas two-step, one person leads and
the other follows, travelling counter-clockwise
in a circle around the dance floor in a series of
“quicks” and “slows.” The dance can be done to
any song with a 2/4 or 4/4 time signature. Once
you know the moves, and as long as the tempo’s
there, you can break into a two-step dance
If you struggle with two left feet, several
authentic Austin dance halls and bars offer
lessons, including East Austin’s The White
Horse, and The Broken Spoke honky-tonk,
with all-ages dance lessons from 8 p.m. to 9
p.m., Wednesday through Saturday. For $20
US, you get a one-hour dance lesson, which
includes admission to the show afterwards,
where you can test out your new moves.
Lessons are led by Terri White, a long-time
dancer and daughter of the club’s owners.
Be sure to check out James White’s “tourist trap
room,” chronicling the countless celebrities
who’ve swung by since it opened in 1964.