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Dallas is a major city in Texas and is the largest urban center of the fourth most populous metropolitan area in the United States. The city proper ranks ninth in the U.S. and third in Texas after Houston and San Antonio. The city's prominence arose from its historical importance as a center for the oil and cotton industries, and its position along numerous railroad lines. The bulk of the city is in Dallas County, of which it is the county seat; however, sections of the city are located in Collin, Denton, Kaufman, and Rockwall counties. According to the 2010 United States Census, the city had a population of 1,197,816. The United States Census Bureau's estimate for the city's population increased to 1,281,047, as of 2014.

The city is the largest economic center of the 12-county Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington metropolitan area (commonly referred to as DFW), which had a population of 6,954,330 as of July 1, 2014, representing growth in excess of 528,000 people since the 2010 census. The metropolitan economy is the sixth largest in the United States, with a 2013 real GDP of $448 billion. In 2013, the metropolitan area led the nation with the largest year-over-year increase in employment, and advanced to become the fourth-largest employment center in the nation (behind New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago) with more than three million non-farm jobs. The city's economy is primarily based on banking, commerce, telecommunications, computer technology, energy, healthcare and medical research, and transportation and logistics. The city is home to the third-largest concentration of Fortune 500 companies in the nation.[13] In the latest rankings released in 2013, Dallas was rated as a "beta plus" world city by the Globalization and World Cities Study Group & Network, and was 14th in world rankings of GDP by the organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Located in North Texas, Dallas is the main core of the largest metropolitan area in the South and the largest inland metropolitan area in the United States that lacks any navigable link to the sea. Dallas and nearby Fort Worth were developed due to the construction of major railroad lines through the area allowing access to cotton, cattle, and later oil in North and East Texas. The construction of the Interstate Highway System reinforced Dallas' prominence as a transportation hub with four major interstate highways converging in the city, and a fifth interstate loop around it. Dallas developed as a strong industrial and financial center, and a major inland port, due to the convergence of major railroad lines, interstate highways, and the construction of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, one of the largest and busiest airports in the world.

Country/western dance, also called Country and Western dance, encompasses many dance forms or styles, which are typically danced to country-western music, and which are stylistically associated with American country and/or western traditions. Many of these dances were "tried and true" dance steps that had been "put aside" for many years, and became popular under the name(s) "country-western", "cowboy", or "country".

In West Texas dances were referred to as "country dances", or sometimes "ranch dances" because they were held at ranches, and were a significant institution in the life of many Americans. Dances for people in very small areas lasted the evening, whereas "all night dances" involved people who could not return home the same day. While children slept, adults danced and socialized until morning. Cowboys did the cooking at these events, serving a midnight meal. Musicians usually played where several rooms in a house came together, often facing the two "main rooms". When crowds were large, dancers would take turns dancing, paying a fee each time they danced so that the musicians could be paid.

"House parties" featuring music and dancing were common in the South through the 1920s, the dawn of commercialized country music. Popular tunes played by fiddlers such as The Sailor's Hornpipe, or "The Virginia Reel" were increasingly divorced from the dances that bore the same names.

In the late 1930s through the 1950s millions of Americans in the Lower Great Plains danced to Western Swing at roadhouses, county fairs and dance halls in small towns. The music was strictly for dancing, and included mostly the simpler one and two step dances with quite a few foxtrots along with both "cowboy" and "Mexican" waltzes.

Cain's Dance Academy opened in 1930 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. People danced to "hot hillbilly music" or "hot string-band music". Bob Wills and Texas Play Boys played Western Swing nightly from 1934 until 1943. Crowds at Cain's Ballroom were as large as 6,000 people. Regular shows continued until 1958 with Johnnie Lee Wills as the bandleader.

When Wills played, people danced simple couple dances: two-step, the Lindy Hop with a few western twirls, schottische, and Cotton Eye Joe. Jitterbug arrived in the mid-1930s, but the western styling was smooth and more subdued than that of the east.

During the early days of WWII National Guardsmen patrolled the beaches of Venice, California in search of enemy submarines and ships. During the daytime, Venice became a major draw for sailors and soldiers on weekend leave. Country Western and Swing music echoed from the dance halls and casino lounges.

Bands playing Western Swing attracted "people (who) were top-notch jitterbugging, jumping around, cutting loose and going crazy” during the 1940s and into the 1950s. In the Los Angeles area, the Venice Pier Ballroom, the Riverside Rancho in Los Feliz, and the Santa Monica Ballroom were all homes to popular Western Swing bands.

World War II resulted in worker migrations and troop movements that spread country music and dance into other parts of the country and abroad.

After the war the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco hosted a syndicated radio show featuring Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys. Wills opened the Wills Point nightclub in Sacramento.

400 South Long Beach Boulevard in the suburb of Compton in Los Angeles, California was the site of California's largest barn dance. The Town Hall Barn Dance ran on Friday and Saturday nights from 1951 through 1961. Over 2,000 people paid to attend, and over 1,000 people danced to live performances of popular entertainers. The shows were broadcast both on radio and television.

During the 1970s and 1980s Gilley's Club in Pasadena, Texas, with its Texas-size bar and a Texas-size dance floor could hold 6,000 people in its 48,000 square feet (4,500 m2), and was certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's largest nightclub.

One writer, Skippy Blair, noted in 1994 that, "At this writing, Country has become the dance of the decade." Blair lists Two Step, Waltz, East Coast Swing and West Coast Swing as the most popular couple country dances



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