Monday, June 14, 2010

More grooms taking dance lessons

More grooms taking dance lessons

This is a great article on the increase in the number of Grooms taking dance lessons!
What a great way to put an extra special touch on your wedding day!
Dance Lessons are also a great way for newlyweds to spend time together and ensure a great beginning to their marriage!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Taking Dance Lessons for Your Wedding Helps Groom Feel Less Stress

Great article from the Canadian Press...

Grooms who can't dance feel pressure of 'Dancing with the Stars,' YouTube videos

By Leanne Italie (CP) – 19 hours ago

Looking silly — or worse — during the first dance as a married couple rates way up there on the scale of wedding stress for grooms who are terrified of anything fancier than the high-school prom sway.

"It's not Emily Post's dance anymore," said Crista Tharp, a wedding planner in Kokomo, Ind. "Some are doing rap, hip-hop, break dancing in little snippets. Most grooms would probably nix the dance, but they're not given that option."

Motivated by television's "Dancing with the Stars" and wacky wedding dance YouTube videos, more couples are building fancy footwork into their big-day budgets, turning up the pressure on members of the wedding party with two left feet.

For those who can't dance — but will be singled out by cameras and watching guests — setting a clear goal is a good place to begin, dance instructors suggest. Are you merely looking to survive with a few basic steps, or are you going all-in with dance sequences put together with help from an instructor or a wedding choreographer?

Groom-to-be Jerry Karran, 28, a video editor in New York City, decided on regular lessons at a dance studio ahead of his wedding in July with 400 invited guests. He tried watching instructional videos online, but they left him confused.

"I'm very nervous," he said. "I'm not nervous about anything else concerning the wedding but that. I can't dance, like, at all. Everybody's looking at you. I don't want to look stupid messing up, or stepping on her toes or something."

Dance lessons helped calm Jeremy Gorelick, 30, when he got married in April at Johns Hopkins University, where he met his wife. He has always enjoyed dancing in clubs, but slow dancing was "THE worry of the wedding for both of us."

They took lessons together, but he often practised on his own with a broom. That, Gorelick said, was a misstep because it wasn't at all like leading his bride on the dance floor.

"A broom will do whatever you do, so it was actually an exercise in futility and probably did more damage," said Gorelick of New York City and White Sulphur Springs, N.Y.

Start taking lessons well in advance of the big day to make your movements more instinctive and less dependent on shaky, short-term memory, instructors recommend. Beginning at least six months ahead of a wedding is ideal, but six weeks would suffice, as long as at least four lessons are involved.

Start with group lessons, many suggest, to get comfortable on a dance floor and boost confidence. Then take private instruction to work on a specific routine or dance.

Jackie Horner, who was Gorelick's instructor, often teaches whole wedding parties how to dance. While women, too, can be dance-challenged, men are often more nervous because they must also learn how to lead, she said.

"I say to them, dancing is just walking to music," Horner said. "I have them walk around the room for me to just feel the music a little bit, because there are men who do not have any rhythm at all. Usually it's a little easier than they thought."

Gorelick said beginners should advocate for a short song. He and his wife chose "The Way I Am" by Ingrid Michaelson after their instructor steered them away from a longer tune, "based on the fact that I seemed so tense. She didn't want me to be out there for an eternity, which is sort of what it felt like."

James Joseph, who wrote the book "Every Man's Survival Guide to Ballroom Dancing" (BlueChip, 2010), said taking lessons is fine if couples have the time, money and inclination. For those in dance-floor survival mode, try embellishing the basic side step with a simple change of footwork, a slow rotation or some underarm turns.

"If anyone asks, tell them it's a foxtrot," he said.

Change steps when the music changes, from verse to chorus, for instance, to avoid getting lost. Making four or five changes, with a dip in the middle and at the end, can look more difficult than it really is.

Working with a choreographer, Joseph said, may be more trouble than it's worth.

"If you work with a teacher, there's a temptation to add choreography that you might not be able to handle," he said.

"Don't get in over your head."

Practising in wedding clothes, including shoes, also helps lessen anxiety, said Joseph, a former two-left-footer who lives in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Videotape a practice session to see what needs work — and practise, practise, practise.

Grooms aren't the only front-and-centre wedding participants who may be jittery about big dances.

In 2006, at age 62, bawdy TV personality Jerry Springer brought tears to the set of "Dancing with the Stars" with an on-air kiss for his daughter Katie after a waltz he learned so he could dance at her wedding that December.

"I've never really danced," Springer, now 66, said in an interview. "So the night of the wedding, it's time for the big father-daughter dance. In the middle of it, Katie looks up at me and says, 'Dad, nobody can see our feet.' They were covered by her big gown. My advice to dads unsure if they can dance for their daughter's wedding is to make sure they have a big gown. Then you can get by doing anything."

Shelley Kapitulik, 29, and her fiance, Michael Drazin, 27, both of Greenwich, Conn., hope to do more than just get by when they dance to the Michael Buble cover of James Taylor's "How Sweet It Is (To be Loved by You)" at their June reception. They plan a swing dance, and took lessons to get a nervous Drazin over the hump.

"The more we dance and I make mistakes, we figure out how to just keep going, which has decreased the anxiety level," he said.

Copyright © 2010 The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Dallas & Plano Arthur Murray Provides Official Celebrity Dance Teachers for Paws in the City Event




DALLAS, TX – April __ - Top Hat & Tails, the annual fundraiser for Paws in the City, will be held on Saturday, June 12th at the Frontiers of Flight Museum at Love Field. The evening event brings in the most revenue for Paws in the City each year, saving more dogs and cats from the streets as strays and from being euthanized at the Dallas shelter. And it's a fabulous social event, a chance to dance with some local "Stars."

Judge Claudia Marshall, owner of the Arthur Murray Studio in Dallas and Plano, will serve on the panel of official dance judges, and the celebrities will be paired with several Arthur Murray dance instructors, who will teach the stars how to put their best performance on the dance floor.

"We are honored to be a part of this great annual event both for judging and teaching the celebrities how to look great when they step out on the dance floor, like they know what they're doing" said Claudia Marshall.

"We had a great time last year at Paws and are looking forward to another successful fun filled evening. This year the competition seems to be even greater. A few of the Celebs have started taking some brush up 50's Rock and Roll, Twist, and slow dance lessons at our studio."

The Flight Museum will be transformed back to the 1950's featuring a star-studded celebrity dance contest along with cocktails, and a live and silent auction. The dance floor will be open to all before dinner and after the dance excellent opportunity to dance with our local stars.

Dancers for 2010 so far are:

• Carly Patterson: all around Olympic Gold Medalist

• Dee Lincoln: Founder, Dee Lincoln's Tasting Room & Bubble Bar, Del Frisco's Steak House and The Dinghy

• Gary Seith: CBS 11 Meteorologist

• Michelle Witten: Wife of Dallas Cowboy, Jason Witten

• Richard Chamberlain: Chef/Proprietor Chamberlain's Restaurants

• Jocelyn White: Texas TV and Radio Personality and President of Jocelyn White Media

• Brendan Higgins: Television Anchor and personality

• Kim Fischer: Reporter for KXAS NBC 5

Judge Claudia Marshall, owner of the Arthur Murray Studios in Dallas and Plano, is joined by fellow judges Charles Lewis Haley, five time Superbowl winner and Former Dallas Cowboy, and Kellie Rasberry, host of KDD’s Kidd Kraddick morning show. These three strong personalities bring their quick witted critiques, comments and "step by step-coverage" to highlight the evening. The judges’ scores are combined with guest's votes to determine the winner, who is presented with the Lucy Award, named after a beloved dog owned by our emcee, Preston Pierson.

The Dallas Arthur Murray Dance Studio is located at 6526 LBJ Freeway, Dallas TX 75240 (972-702-9660) and the Plano Arthur Murray Dance Studio is located at 3001 West Spring Creek Parkway Plano, TX 75023 (972- 312-1262). To learn more, visit For more details on Paws, visit

Arthur Murray Dance Studios can be found throughout America and Canada and in Australia, Brazil, Italy, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, South Africa, Japan, and Puerto Rico. For more information about ballroom dance, visit the Arthur Murray International website at

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Monday, April 26, 2010

Try Dancing for that Inferiority Complex (Nov, 1934)

Who should learn to dance? Everyone! Why? Check out this article by Arthur Murray himself. Although it was written over 80 years ago, much of what it says still rings true for many of you today.

Try Dancing for that Inferiority Complex (Nov, 1934)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Dancing With the Stars and Arthur Murray Dallas and Plano

I was pretty excited about this seasons cast of characters for Dancing With the Stars. After watching the show last night I am still thrilled with who they chose! Even though the show has been on now for several years, the intrigue of watching other people learn to dance hasn't changed! What has changed is the public's general perception of what dancing can do for you in your life!

I remember the first season of the show. We had many, many people come into the studio wanting to "dance like the people on TV". Most of them thought it was something they could accomplish in about a week's time. After all, isn't that how long it takes them on the show?!?! As you can imagine, many were disappointed when we had to give them a little bit of education. Yeah, you can learn a routine to a dance in one week's time...if you work at it for 8 hours a day like it was your full time job. Then, you could dance that routine with your teacher, but no one else because you haven't really learned how to lead/follow. etc., etc., etc.

However, as the seasons have progressed and the Stars have opened up and shared their own personal experiences of how dancing has impacted them, the public has also started to see beyond the glitz and glamour and into the more substantial side of social dancing! We've seen stars experience a total body make-over, weight loss after having kids, a self-esteem boost, the feeling of accomplishment that comes from learning something new, a way to push through tough times, and much more. So, now, when people come in because they love to watch Dancing With the Stars, it's because they see dancing as a way to win whatever personal battle they are struggling with at that time. It could be weight loss, meeting new people, improved confidence, exercise, realxation, or any of the other wonderful benefits that dancing has to offer.

Last year, Kelly Osbourn was my favorite. I guess I am truly a dance teacher at heart, because I don't look at the flashiest costume, the most wiggly hips, the best showmanship, or the most popular star. I look for the one who is experiencing the most inner change and the most growth. Last night, Chelsea Hightower told her partner Jake that the competition is not about who does the best first's about who grows the most as a dancer over the course of the show. I totally agree! This year, there are a lot of great Stars who will put on a grand show. The debut night last night was one of the best so far. There is a lot of talent out there! But, my prediction this year for the Star who will experience the most change during the show (if she let's the dancing work its magic) is Kate Gosselin. I'm not saying she will win, but I think this is a woman who has been through a lot of emotional crap in the last year or so, and I think if she opens up her heart and lets dancing in, she will find out just how strong she really is. I think it will heal a lot of hurt for her and give her a positive outlook on life again.

Among the other contestants, I thought that Evan Lysacek and Nicole Scherzinger did a great job last night...but I also think they have a little bit of an advantage over the others. Ochocinco surprised me, and the rest of the playing field seems pretty even to me.

Anyway, I hope you are realdy for a great season and if you aren't already learning to dance with us at Arthur Murray, come on in and give it a shot...if everyone else is doing it, why aren't you? You deserve to experience what life is like when you have the confidence to dance, don't you?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

How Has Dancing Changed Your Life?

The coolest thing happened the other day. I was working the Arthur Murray booth at the Plano Bridal Show with 3 of our executives, Nikki, Justin and Ian. We were having a good old time meeting brides to be and dancing to the Violin Guy's music. As the day started to wind down, and there weren't so many people coming by the booth, we all just started chatting about dancing. I commented that it is really hard for me to put into words the way my life is different because I know how to dance. What ensued was probably one of the most awesome and inspiring conversations I have ever had!

I know a lot of our students probably look at us teachers and feel like we were born doing this (or at least that it came easily for us). Wrong!!! And, like you, most of us started social dancing later in life, as adults. Dancing has done everything for us that it can do for you. Some of us have changed the shape of our body, we've gained confidence, we've learned better social skills, we've tried new things, we've let go of stress, we've coped with difficult life changes...all through dancing and the support of the studio. We can easily tell you about all of these things, whether from our own experience or through the stories of the countless other Arthur Murray students who have experience some kind of change by learning how to dance. It's the bigger things that are harder to quantify, harder to explain, and harder for you to imagine since you haven't been there yet.

The opportunities that just arise out of nowhere when you know how to dance are amazing. The boost in confidence just knowing that you can dance..and not even having to actually dance...just knowing you could if you wanted to, is like an elixir for the soul! Being able to hear a song and just feel how your body could move to it. Feeling the freedom to do silly, crazy, fun dances like the "lawnmower", the "running man", the "sprinkler", the "Cabbage Patch" (ok, I'm giving away my age now...) because you don't mind it anymore if people laugh at/with you because you know that you can knock their socks off if need be,  is so freeing! Meeting great people and being able to enjoy yourself anywhere...

All of these things and more. Hearing the raw, true experiences of the other executives and attempting to explain the difference in my own life was a really neat experience. So, the next time you are tempted to doubt that dancing was ever "hard" for us, or that we were never "shy" or that we "just don't know where you are coming from when you say you don't want to...", please remember that we have been there, we have done that, and we have come out on the other side with a wealth of experience and knowledge to share. It's kind of like we've been to outer space and come back. You've seen pictures of it, but you haven't actually been there yet. And even though it is hard for us to describe what it feels like to be weightless, we really, really want you to know how cool it feels, too!

Keep dancing, keep moving forward, keep your mind open, and we will help you get to that place, to!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Arthur Murray Dance Schools in Dallas and Plano Host Fundraiser this Friday

Arthur Murray to Host Dance Marathon to

Help Children With Life-threatening Illnesses

Local Dance Studio event will benefit Give Kids the World

(Dallas, Texas) ––Arthur Murray Dance Studio of Dallas/Plano will participate in the second annual Dancing For Dreams dance marathon to benefit Give Kids the World. The event will be held on Friday, March 19 from 9pm-11pm at the Dallas location, 6562 LBJ Freeway. Arthur Murray staff, students and their guests will have the chance to kick up their heels and enjoy an evening of dancing and a show from Arthur Murray’s professionals, while raising money for Give Kids the World. Last year, Arthur Murray Dance Studios nationwide raised more than $50,000 for the non-profit organization that makes dreams come true for children with life-threatening illnesses.

Arthur Murray Dance Studio is a proud sponsor of Give Kids the World and its mission to provide memorable, joyful, cost-free visits to the Central Florida attractions for children who need it most.

Not only will the participants be collecting pledges and donations, but there will be raffles and silent auctions. Some of the amazing items that have been donated include:

Dallas Cowboys - 4 tickets to a game in the 2010 season.

Dallas Stars - 2 tickets to a game in the 2010 season.

Southwest Airlines - 2 Round trip tickets anywhere Southwest Airlines Flies

Ginger Rogers & Fred Astaire - A museum quality framed original Time Magazine Cover from December, 1947, picturing Ginger Rogers and signed by her; and a bio-picture of Fred Astaire signed by him.

Dinner for 20 delivered to your home or office

Mansion on Turtle Creek - an overnight stay, including champagne, a 3-course dinner in the restaurant and overnight valet parking.

Arthur Murray - 10 dance lessons

Afternoon Cocktail Cruise for 2

Horseback Riding - a morning of riding at a private ranch followed by lunch.

To learn more or to make a donation, log on to

About Give Kids The World

Give Kids the World Village is a 70-acre, nonprofit resort in Central Florida that creates magical memories for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. Give Kids the World provides accommodations at its whimsical resort, donated attractions tickets, meals and more for a weeklong, cost-free fantasy vacation. With the help of many generous individuals, corporations and partnering wish-granting organizations, Give Kids the World has welcomed more than 100,000 families from all 50 states and 70 countries.

About Arthur Murray

Arthur Murray School of Dance has been teaching the world to dance for 98 years! We provide instruction in Ballroom, Latin, Swing, Country Western, Salsa, Tango, Social and Wedding Preparation to singles and couples. Our unique approach to instruction and our masterfully created curriculum can be tailored to meet each student’s individual needs, making it fast, fun and easy to learn. With 3 metro-plex locations and over 250 schools worldwide, there is an Arthur Murray near you! What are you waiting for? You could be dancing!

Monday, March 8, 2010

At Your Wedding, Let Arthur Murray Dance Studios Help You Avoid a First Dance Disaster

First Dance A Little Rough?

Let Arthur Murray Make It Smooth!

As a current bride to be myself, I understand completely just how much "stuff" you have to think about as you prepare for your wedding. But, having worked as an instructor at Arthur Murray for the past 10 years, I also know how often the first dance gets pushed aside until the last minute.

Your first dance as husband and wife should be a moment that you can both cherish for the rest of your lives. You and your new husband, swaying together to your favorite song, under the admiring eyes of ALL your friends and family...

Ok, reality check time, for most of you - without at least a few lessons under your belt, the first dance will be awkward, stressful, and maybe just a little bit clumsy. Let's face it, how often do couples actually get the opportunity to hold each other and dance romantically? It's kind of a lost art...but not at Arthur Murray!

In just a few short weeks, we can have you and your betrothed feeling glamorous, confident and smooth on the dance floor!

We usually recommend getting a 3-6 month head start so you have enough time to dance the way you want to, but even if the big day is swiftly approaching, give us a call and we can help!!!

Plano and Dallas:

for other studio locations and listings, please visit our corporate website:


Simply mention that you read about us on our Blog!

(Dallas, Plano & Ft. Worth Locations Only)
(New Students Only, Please)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

New Cast Announced for Dancing With the Stars

I am pretty excited about the new cast members for this season of Dancing With the Stars! In case you haven't read about it yet, allow your trusty Arthur Murray friends to present you with the list:
Pamela Anderson - actress
Jake Pavelka - the most recent "Bachelor"
Kate Gosselin - of TV's "Jon & Kate Plus Eight"
Chad Ochocinco - NFL Star
Aiden Turner - Soap Opera Star
Erin Andrews - ESPN Reporter
Shannen Doherty - actress
Buzz Aldrin - former astronaut (also 80 years old)
Niecy Nash - of TV's "Reno 911"
Nicole Scherzinger - of "The Pussycat Dolls"
Evan Lysacek - Olympic Gold Medal Figure Skater

All in all, I think this will shape up to be a pretty competitive season! We will just have to tune in to see if history repeats itself...will the soap star, the football player, the Olympian or the Pop Star win the hearts of America this time???

Friday, February 26, 2010

Things to consider when choosing where to take ballroom dance lessons.

After 10 years as a dance instructor at Arthur Murray, and innumerable encounters with students who had less than fabulous experiences learning to dance at other venues, it became apparent that there was a need for some guidelines. Although every prospective student is looking for something different, there are some common traits that anyone should look for to make sure they are getting a quality ballroom dancing experience. Whether you want private instruction or group classes, whether you are a beginning dancer or one with experience, here are seven things you should consider when choosing a dance studio.

1) Are the instructors certified? By what governing body?

Certified Instructors are trained in their craft and understand the proper way to impart information to you and to eliminate bad habits from the beginning. There are various certifications available to dance instructors – the most credible being the World Professional Dance Teachers Association and the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing. An instructor who has undergone the rigorous training required to become certified certainly demonstrates a level of commitment, passion, professionalism and excellence that will translate into your learning experience.

2) How many instructors are available for you to learn from, and does their schedule accommodate yours?

Learning to dance well requires consistency in your lessons. If your instructor becomes ill or injured, will the studio be able to supply you with an equally accredited instructor who can follow through with your program? Are the instructors in the studio on a full-time basis? Are the hours of operation convenient for your schedule?

3) Does the studio have a curriculum or syllabus they can show you that outlines their method of teaching?

A good studio should have a scholastic approach to your learning; a system that makes learning the dances fun, fast and easy. Be on the lookout for a teacher who asks you “What do you want to work on today?” You are investing your money for a professional instructor to teach you a skill that you do not know. What would you say if your doctor looked at you and said “Well, it looks like you have a broken bone, how do you want to fix it?” Not very re-assuring, is it?

4) Is the facility suitable with proper floors and a music system?

A dance studio should have a special floor that provides added cushioning for your joints as you dance. It also should be well lit, with an up-to-date sound system. Beware of dance lessons that are taught in a garage, living room, or other non-dance specialized space. The atmosphere of the studio should make you feel comfortable and at ease. The room should be equipped with mirrors to aid in your learning.

5) Does the studio provide you with clear cut cancellation policies and billing procedures, etc. in writing?

There is a lot of hype out there about contracts. Keep in mind that a formal, written agreement is used to protect the client as well as the business. It will help to avoid any confusion by having the policies and agreed upon services in writing. Also, find out if the facility offers refunds and under what circumstances. A good studio should be okay with smaller tuition payments for only several lessons at a time. Also, ask about the longevity of the studio. How long have they been in business and how long have they been at the current facility? Unless you feel totally comfortable with the studios policies, or are dealing with a franchised studio, do not pay for an exorbitant number of lessons up front.

6) Do the instructors / management help you to set realistic goals and follow through on helping you achieve those goals?

Search for a dance facility that feels more like a school than just a place that gives lessons. Look for a studio that offers private lessons, group classes, and social dance sessions. Notice if the instructors appear to work well as a team? Do they communicate and listen well? Dancing well takes time, and a professional staff will help you understand just how long it will take you to reach your specific goals.

7) How many other studios are there where you can use your lessons?

If you travel, move, or otherwise, does your studio allow you to transfer your lessons to another location? How many other locations do they have? Does the company have a standard and system of teaching that allows you to continue your learning in another location without missing a beat? Although this may seem like a small thing to consider, many jobs today are transient and it can be nice to have one thing that stays the same in a world of change!

Remember: you are investing your money into dance lessons and into yourself.

Do not make your decision based on price alone, you often get what you pay for.

If possible, see if the studio offers a sample lesson so you can make an educated decision based on experience.

Do not be afraid to ask these questions. A good studio will not shy away from answering your questions thoroughly and without hesitation.

Protect your investment by choosing wisely the first time.