Post presidential election, the Texas Society Black Tie and Boots Inaugural Ball will be one of the hottest tickets on The Hill, and the Lake Highlands High School Wildcat Wranglers will be there in January, front-and-center, with bells … er, make that boots on. 

Back home, deep in the heart of Lake Highlands as candidates blaze the final frontiers of the campaign trail, Wranglers practice routines and work to fund their trip to Washington, D.C. Spending a little time around the Wranglers before a performance at the Mayor’s Back to School Rally at Fair Park in August, it’s simple to see why they are so sought after.

Kent McCoy, a senior sporting cowboy boots, denim and a shiny belt buckle — he’s likely got a 10-gallon hat somewhere nearby, too — says, “I’m definitely not a country and western kind-a guy.” 

The statement and look might not mesh, but Lake Highlands neighbors understand. Personal style is irrelevant when the Wildcat Wranglers are doing their thing — putting on the toe tapping, boot scootin’, Texas-sized shows that have made them known around the world.

“We like to ham it up,” senior Katie Smith says, though she adds (with polish befitting a politician) that, “the southern charm is all real.”

They are a playful bunch, but they also know how to get down to business. They are athletes who have trained tirelessly to get where they are. The Wranglers are no strangers to world travel, having taken their Lone Star act all the way to London last year. Veteran members value the exposure to places they might have missed had it not been for their in-demand dancing.

“The difference in cultures, like when we went to London, is exciting. You get to see the stuff you’ve only seen in movies and learned about in school,” says David Bott, a senior with a broken wrist — the injury a result of an unsanctioned stunt gone wrong.

Even the non-partisan students should gain an interest in the political process on this trip, says Cheyney Larkin, who coaches the troupe alongside Beverly York.

“This can’t help but spark interest,” Larkin says. “I’m anxious for them to be a part of this historical event.”

While the Wranglers kick, flip, and spin their way to D.C., they still need support. This month, the team will host the Wranglers Auction and Adult Dance Clinic — that’s where they teach area old folks (18 and up) how to dance.

Wranglers Auction and Adult Dance Clinic
when/ Saturday, Oct. 25, 6:30-10 p.m.
where/ Lake Highlands High School, 9449 Church Rd.
cost/ $20 a person