The Terpsichorean Texan
As a senior in high school, Byron’s mom received a phone call from a family friend who was looking for more people to take dance lessons with her kids. His mom asked Byron and his brother if they would like to go, expecting them to say “no.” They both said “sure” and, consequently, started taking swing lessons from a local ballroom instructor. They were misfits at the ballroom dances because they didn’t know any of the other ballroom styles. Eventually, the instructor convinced them to go dancing at the Dallas Swing Dance Society events. Byron had so much fun at those dances; he was hooked.
While attending Texas A&M, Byron found many more opportunities to learn lindy hop. He started making regular trips to the Melody Club in Houston to take lessons and dance and attended events like Lindyfest, Cheap Thrills, Austin Lindy Exchange and many others. Over the years, he has taken classes or workshops from many international, national and almost every swing instructor in Texas.
Byron enjoys performing and volunteering his time for swing dancing. He performed with the Texas Aggie Swing Cats Performance Team for two and a half years and has teamed up with many other groups for demos and performances. He volunteers because he wants to keep swing dancing alive. The genre almost completely disappeared for a while and he would hate to see that happen again. “It is such a fun dance with such great music. I can’t help but to have a smile on my face most of the time when I am dancing.”
Although, Byron started teaching and DJing out of necessity, his skills were immediately recognized as an asset to his dance community back in Texas (and a huge asset to ELLA). He has a slow and patient teaching style that is very beginner friendly. He focuses on connection, body position and footwork. He’s also a big fan of creating rotational energy and will often incorporate that into lessons. Plus, his love of the music is evident when he DJs—he can keep a room dancing all night.
Byron’s advice for new and continuing dancers
Make your goal every evening to dance with everyone in the room. At the end of the night, there is rarely a follow who has stayed the whole time that I haven’t danced with. You learn so much from dancing with other dancers and working with different types of connections.
How Does Byron Volunteer for ELLA?
- He serves on the ELLA Board of Directors.
- He teaches with Karly every first and fifth Wednesday of the month.
- He DJs every third Wednesday of the month.