Dance Hall Preservation Art Contest Winners Announced

Fourteen Fayette County students accepted Texas Dance Hall Preservation’s challenge to create art depicting the county’s rich dance hall history. “They were all amazing entries,” TDHP President Deb Fleming said. “It was great to see dance hall history come alive through the eyes of these young, talented artists.”
      First place went to Allyson Hoffman, a junior at Fayetteville High School, for her colored pencil drawing of Sengelmann Hall. Second place went to Hector Aguilar, a sophomore at Round Top Carmine (RTC) High School, for his drawing of antique cars outside a dance hall. Third place went to Justin Hickman, a senior at RTC, for his drawing of a band playing at the Chicken Ranch Dance Hall layered on top of a Fayette County Record newspaper. Alyssa Hayden, a RTC junior, received honorable mention for her 3D representation of Sengelmann
      The art was displayed at the TDHP fundraiser on Nov. 12. Each contestant received a signed print of Cat Spring Agricultural Hall by Fayetteville artist Pat Johnson, and a Polka On! goodie bag from Texas Polka News and The four winners also received cash prizes and a Polka On! tote bag, along with a one-year subscription to the Texas Polka News.
      The winners shared why they entered the contest and their future plans.

I decided to enter the contest so that I could grow as an artist. I wanted to do Sengelmann Hall because of the detail in the architecture. I have been to many Fayette Co. dance halls, like the
SPJST hall in Fayetteville, Swiss Alp, and a few others. I think it’s important to preserve
the dance halls because it’s a part of our Texas history. Buildings like these are no longer constructed. I plan on pursuing a career in art.

I am new to Fayette County, so the art competition seemed like a good way to learn about the history of the area. I have never been to a dance hall in Fayette County, but after researching
them I want to go and hear some good music! Preservation of the dance halls is very important because it is the same as preserving the culture and the heritage of the people here.

I entered the competition because I love living in Fayette County and the dance halls are a big part of growing up here. I have been to just about every dance hall in Fayette County. I really enjoy dancing and listening to good Texas country music. Maintaining the dance halls in Fayette County is important because it is a major piece of the culture and history of this area. I would like to attend TSTC after high school to become a diesel mechanic.

ALYSSA HAYDEN, Honorable Mention
I entered the dance hall competition because I admire antiques and history. This gave me a chance to express my appreciation on a larger scale. My piece allowed me to create a representation of Sengelmann Hall without using conventional drawing tools. I have been to Zapp Hall, RoundTop Rifle Hall, Carmine Hall, and the Round Up Hall! Preservation of the dance halls is important because it gives people a glimpse at how things used to be. My goal is to major in International Business and Marketing.

Texas Polka Festival & Symposium Coming to Schulenburg

Austin, Texas – January 15, 2014 – Texas Dance Hall Preservation, Inc. and Texas Folklife announce their partnership to produce the Texas Polka Festival & Symposium to be held in Schulenburg on February 22, 2014.  With support from a Humanities Texas grant, the event will feature the state’s European polka traditions of German, Czech and Polish heritage.  The Festival & Symposium will be held at the historic Sengelmann and Turner Halls in Schulenburg and will feature esteemed Texas polka musicians and exhibits and discussions on European history, dance hall architecture, food, music and dance in Texas. 

Bands performing include The Boerne Village Band (German), Brian Marshall (Polish), Czech Melody Masters, Mark Halata (Czech), and special appearance by Santiago Jimenez Jr. (Texas-Mexican.)  The program will include a showcase of up and coming polka accordionists in the state as part of the Big Squeeze Accordion Contest produced by Texas Folklife.  Other polka master musicians will be presented in panel discussions on the history of the music and efforts to preserve and promote polka in Texas.

A symposium portion of the program, sponsored by Humanities Texas, will include discussions by scholars and lay cultural workers on the history and culture surrounding polka music in Texas.  Confirmed speakers include Patrick Sparks and Steve Dean of Texas Dance Hall Preservation, Inc. (TDHP), Dawn Orsack and Lori Navar of PolkaWorks moderating a panel on food, John Novak and Frances Burton on documenting Texas Czech songs, and Dan Margolies and Cristina Ballí on sustainability of Texas polka music.  More speakers are being added to the program and updates can be found at

The festival and symposium will take place in two historic dance halls in Schulenburg.  Activities will begin at 10:00 AM at Turner Dance Hall, with a welcoming of accordion music and kolaches to view an exhibit on Texas dance halls.  Panels and music presentations will then move over to Sengelmann Hall (531 N. Main Street) at noon for the rest of the program, to last until 9:00 PM.

“We are very excited to partner with Texas Folklife to produce this unique event in Texas,” says Patrick Sparks, co-founder and president TDHP.  “We want to nurture a living culture of dancing across Texas to sustain our historic dance halls.  This event will further our appreciation and understanding of Texas polka music and culture, but will also just be a lot of dancing fun.”

Presentations at Turner Hall are free and admission to the festival at Sengelmann Hall is $15.  Tickets can be purchased at

The Texas Polka Festival and Symposium is supported by the members and Board of Texas Dance Hall Preservation, Inc. and Texas Folklife, by a grants from Humanities Texas and Texas Commission on the Arts. Additional support is provided by regional businesses including Sengelmann Hall and Texana Country Inn.


About Texas Dance Hall Preservation, Inc.

Texas Dance Hall Preservation is committed to saving historic Texas dance halls and the authentic music and culture that is still found in them.  We accomplish this mission by: Developing informational programs to promote public awareness and use of Texas dance halls as living venues for community assembly, music, and social dancing;  keeping an inventory of all traditional dance halls in Texas, including those that have been lost;  documenting and publishing the history of Texas dance halls;  serving as a clearinghouse for information that can aid the preservation of Texas dance halls;  providing assistance to list dance halls on the National Register of Historic Places or to complete grant applications for preservation projects; providing financial, technical, or organizational assistance for the restoration, rehabilitation, and preservation of historic dance halls. 

About Texas Folklife

Texas Folklife is a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to presenting and preserving the diverse cultures and living heritage of the Lone Star State. For more than 25 years, Texas Folklife has honored the authentic cultural traditions passed down within communities, explored their importance in contemporary society, and celebrated them by providing accessible and joyful arts experiences. It is located in Austin, Texas, in the SoCo neighborhood—one of the city’s vibrant commercial and arts district.