Heart of Louisiana: La Poussiere
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - There are very few of the old Louisiana dance halls still standing. But in the town of Breaux Bridge, you can still kick up a little dust on the dance floor to the sound of live cajun and zydeco music.
La Poussiere dance hall in Breaux Bridge has had live music and lively dancers spinning across the dance floor since 1955. In fact, the name La Poussiere comes from all of that dancing.
“That is french word for the dust,” said Lawrence Patin.
Lawrence Patin has been the manager here since he was 18 years old, that’s 55 years ago. His dad opened the place at another location across the street.
“He started that business there and had cajun music every saturday night. He was true to his heritage. He was more concerning, preserving the culture and the music,” said Patin.
But this friday night is a break from tradition. Jeffery Broussard and the creole cowboys are the first zydeco band to play at La Poussiere. Normally it’s all cajun all the time.
“You just have be careful, we never did zydeco before. Zydeco wasn’t popular, but now you have a clientele that want a little bit of that, so we do a little bit of that now,” Patin said.
“Seems like a very nice place, hoping we pack it out. It sounds like it has a good sound, so i’m ready to have a good night,” said Jeffery Broussard.
Broussard has been playing creole zydeco music professionally since he was eight years old, he grew up in it.
“My father was Delton Broussard, he had the band Delton Broussard and the Lawtell playboys. I’ve been around music all my life, i’m gonna stick to my roots because the young people come out sometimes when i’m playing. I want them to learn more about the culture, and see what this music is really about,” Broussard said.
Back when you started this, every town had at least one maybe two or three dance halls. They were everywhere across south Louisiana.
“I can tell you right now, over here, we had probably 10 to 12,” Patin said.
Literally a couple of hundred across south Louisiana.
“Oh yes. That or maybe even more, every community had four or five,” Patin said.
What happened to all of them?
“I think changing of the time, people got exposed more to the outside world,” said Patin.
Now a third generation, Patin’s daughter, is helping to run the dance hall. Nothing like a dance hall on a saturday night.
Yeah, nothing like that. Later on, they will realize after they lose it, they lost it. I mean, once you lose it, you lose it,” Patin said.
But La Poussiere is proof. They haven’t lost it yet with live bands and devoted dancers. Still kicking up a little dust here every weekend.
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