GALVESTON — When you think about street performers, memories quickly flash to celebrity impersonators on Hollywood Boulevard or perhaps aspiring musicians in Austin and Nashville.
Certainly, few would consider Galveston a premier spot for these men and women.
But that doesn’t mean they aren’t here.
Joe Klass has been performing his Evolution of Dance routine and pleasing crowds for years in Daytona and Clearwater, Fla. The Evolution of Dance is a compilation of popular songs and dances made famous throughout the decades.
He recently moved to Galveston in order to capitalize on an open market, he said.
“I was looking online for places that had pretty much absolutely no street performers,” Klass said. “I haven’t seen any other performers since I’ve been here.”
Klass says he chose to perform the Evolution of Dance because he has been dancing his whole life and many of the songs in the compilation aren’t frequently heard anymore.
“I combined some stuff I liked growing up and new-edition stuff,” he said. “It brings back a lot of nostalgia for people when they hear it because some of the songs are not on the radio very often anymore.”
Klass ends his dance routine with a recognition to soldiers he called “19,” which was the average age of U.S. soldiers fighting in the Vietnam War.
“As my finale paying tribute to the soldiers of yesterday, today and tomorrow,” he said. “That’s kind of what sticks in people’s mind the most when they’ve seen the show.”
Klass has recently begun juggling flaming torches to excite the crowds and add a hint of danger.
Klass works full time as an entertainer and has been performing streets acts for 24 years.
“It’s a definite show every night,” he said. “When it’s in season, the crowds are good. The money is OK.”
Klass works his act at Saengerfest Park on the intersection of The Strand and 23rd Street.
His shows last about 20 minutes. He expects to entertain crowds every evening from 5 p.m. 7 p.m., weather permitting.