ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Abilene Couple Reid Burton and Madison Holeman have opened a new bar and dance hall at 141 Oak Street, located in the place formerly known as ‘Stairs’ or ‘The Upstairs Club.’ The pair hope to provide not only a place for dancing but also a place for the less coordinated to get their feet stepping in the same direction.
“We had a lot of people asking us to teach them how to dance… We started teaching, then we started doing privates, then we started doing wedding first dance lessons and choreography, and it just kind of grew into its own thin,” Burton said.
The Dark Horse Dance Hall had its soft opening Thursday night. Burton and Holeman shared that they’re excited to offer a place for everyone to come and enjoy, adding that the music might not be as loud as other places.
“There are so many 25, 50-year-old couples that love dancing but haven’t been out in a while because they don’t wanna go out and see 18-year-olds. Especially if you’re a teacher or a college professor, you’re not going to want to see your freshmen when you go out,” said Burton.
They’ve been a couple for nearly two years; their paths intertwined when Burton relocated to town with aspirations of launching a business and delving into the local dance community.
“I got really into dancing, probably my second year in the Army… I came here. I was maybe dancing once a week. Then I met her, and we were dancing like every day,” Burton recalled.
“He just happened to bring up that he really likes dancing, and I was like, well, I really like dancing. So we were dance partners for about six months, and now here we are… That many hours. That close proximity, yeah, you get to know them real fast,” Holeman said.
For Holeman, country dance was a way to define herself outside of the hobbies she grew up with, while Burton said it provided a focus outside of his duties as an Army medic.
“I grew up in a very like tap ballet household… Dancing is something that came very naturally,” said Holeman.
Together, they found a shared language that helps keep them grounded even when things get tough. They added that opening a business together can certainly provide those opportunities.
“Like when we feel like we’re ever coming apart, it’s something that we can sit down and find some kind of common ground to like stabilize ourselves,” Holeman said.
They also offer free dance lessons every Wednesday in hopes of helping the less coordinated among us get a feel for the competition-style dancing they’ve come to love. Burton and Holeman are no strangers to the competition floor and both are excited to see the Abilene dancing community grow.