Texans Sponsor Country Dancing

Weekly Events To Spread Culture

For years, Texans at Harvard have had to cope with roommates who have never heard of Vince Gill or Trisha Yearwood, poor reception of country-western radio stations and a severe shortage of occasions for two-stepping.

The Texas Club of Harvard may not be able to help with the first two problems, but they seemed to have solved the last one.

Starting tomorrow, the club will sponsor weekly dances where culture-shocked Westerners can pull on their cowboy boots and teach their New England friends to dance country-style.

The dances will be held every Wednesday from 8-9:30 p.m. in the basement of Old Quincy.

The dances will feature "most of the partner dances...maybe some line dances too," Chip (a.k.a. Matthew) Sumner '95 said. Time at the dances will be divided between lessons and dancing.


Sumner, who transferred to Harvard last year from Trinity College in San Antonio, Texas, is the driving force behind the dances.

"[Trinity College] is where I learned to dance," Sumner said. "Then I came here and found out there wasn't anyplace to dance."

"Last spring, we held [a country-western dance] and a lot of people showed up," he added. "Everybody's welcome whether or not they've done it before."

Daniel S. Cohan '98 said that although he is a Texan, the spring event was his first real country dancing experience.

"I had a great time learning how to two-step and country swing," Cohan, who is a Crimson editor, said. "Most people were beginners like me. It was fun to do it right."

Sumner said he is hoping to move the dance to a place with a better dance floor, but "for now," storage room 9 in E entry of Quincy House will be the location for the dances.

"It would be a good idea to wear shoes with slightly slippery soles," Sumner said in an e-mail message sent to the "Harvard Desperados," the name he coined for those who have expressed interest in the dances. "The ideal choice for footwear is, of course, a pair of cowboy boots."

Brian R. Rice '98, a Miami native, says he will definitely be present at the dances.

"I think it's a good idea. It's cool that [country dancing] has become popular," Rice said. "It's something I want to learn about."

Daniel Arbelaez '97 said even though he can't attend the dances this semester, he is looking forward to participating this year.

"I'm planning on doing it next semester," Arbelaez said. "It looked like a different thing to do. Those types of things aren't usually available on campus.