Arthur Murray has been a leading name in franchise dance since 1912, when the entrepreneur began selling mail-order dance lessons. Expanding his reach, he enlisted teachers to spread his signature dance lessons on first-class steamships and skyrocketed to fame in the '30s after introducing the public to such dances as the Lambeth Walk and The Big Apple. By the 1950s, Arthur and his wife, Kathryn, were hosting their own highly popular TV show on ABC, The Arthur Murray Dance Party, which ran for 12 years. Today, Arthur Murray's team prepares students for rug cutting at special events and weekend nightclub jaunts. Throughout lessons, instructors teach the foundations of two to four dances from a long list of styles that range from Latin to country-western, helping students to learn basic step patterns, timing, and the ability to lead or follow.
Alonzo Boschulte remembers his own stage fright when he guides beginning students onto the dance floor. With years of training, he grew from an amateur to a certified ballroom teacher and professional competitor registered with the National Dance Council. At Savannah Ballroom Dancing, he strives to echo this journey by transforming total novices into confident twirlers.
Lessons in more than 15 varieties of Latin and ballroom dance occupy the school's floor space. With pupils ranging in age from 6 to older than 80, the instructors stress the importance of mixing private, group, and practice classes to expose everyone to different dance scenarios. They also laud the fitness benefits of learning to dance, which hones one's sense of rhythm and muscular strength more safely than being at the bottom of a vertical conga line.
Elite Dance International Studio & Apparel teaches a variety of social and competitive dancing styles in an olive-green studio ringed with golden lights. Students glide across a glossy wooden floor during group classes, private lessons, and Friday Fun Nights, which blend a beginner class with refreshments and open dancing. The studio also hosts first wedding dances for couples who prefer starting on the right foot rather than stepping on Aunt Milna's foot.
In Goddess Dance Studio's pole-dancing classes, students don't just develop the strength to perform inversions and other aerial tricks—they also develop cardio endurance. Designed for women of all body types, these upbeat classes also give students a forum where they can unleash their sultry sides.
Dancefx Charleston, a subsidiary of Dancefx, Inc., is a not-for-profit dance organization dedicated to bringing professional and quality dance to the Charleston community while providing a continuing dance education and performance outlet for dancers and artists to express themselves creatively.
Kirk Sprinkles abides by the philosophy "Once a dancer, always a dancer," which he's shown over the course of a decades-long career. Kirk, who has performed on Broadway, at venues across the country, and even on the open seas aboard cruise ships, now imparts his expertise to students of all ages and abilities during dance classes and private lessons. At Sprinkles Productions, students can stop in for a ballet, jazz, or pointe tutorial, or schedule one-on-one sessions to perfect new skills or correct left feet.