How a Amarillo Native Danced On I-40 Across The Entire Panhandle
When it comes to Texan charm, David Waddle, known by his unofficial title as the "Dancing Cowboy," takes the cake. This cowboy embarked on an unforgettable journey waltzing his way from New Mexico to Oklahoma along the iconic Route 66, also known as I-40.
Born in Houston, Texas, in 1953, David relocated to Amarillo, where he honed his skills as a two-stepper and immersed himself in the country-western dance culture. His life took a surprising turn when a friend's request led him to become a dance instructor at Amarillo College, a role he embraced for an incredible 21 years.
The Dancing Cowboy's infectious charisma didn't stop at the dance floor. David also entertained as the "Big Texan," as a larger-than-life character on stilts, captivating audiences with his eight-foot-three-inch stature and self-made cowboy outfit. His stilt-walking career spanned an impressive 35 to 40 years, earning him recognition and applause.
But what makes David Waddle different than any other normal Texan dancer was an unthinkable stunt that he pulled in 1979. Inspired by the famous song "Waltz Across Texas" by Ernest Tubb, he conceived a plan to dance his way across the Panhandle, covering a distance of 204 miles over 19 days, accompanied by 22 enthusiastic dance partners. On his 26th birthday, September 29th, 1979, David completed his waltz in Hollis, Oklahoma, celebrating with a grand birthday party.
Even in his older years Waddle still remains an interesting individual, participating in the well-known anti-littering campaign called "Don't Mess With Texas" and in some interviews has expressed his interest in exploring the art of ventriloquism.
In the long list of spectacular individuals from the Texas Panhandle, this Texan dancer definitely earns his spot among some of the most interesting.
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