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.
Dance icon Gene Kelly once said, “The history of dance on film begins with Astaire.” Since its founding in 1947, the Fred Astaire Dance Studio has continued to turn out dancers with the aid of a pragmatic curriculum that imparts Hollywood–quality footwork. Now taught at more than 140 studios, the curriculum teaches students diverse styles ranging from ballroom to latin to swing and salsa. Stratified by skill level, classes can take students on a journey from rudimentary basics through the foundations of social dance, and then on to more advanced moves, with a trophy system delineating each student’s progress. Dancers of all skill levels and ages can expand their repertoires with group classes, personalized one-on-one instruction, or special wedding dance programs that fortify couples for their first dance as newlyweds.
Our goal is to bring the art and joy of pole dancing to all women and men who want to discover an exciting and enjoyable method of fitness.
We strive to remove the stigma that the term ‘pole dancing’ may bring to mind, and to show our customers a method of fitness that is as enjoyable as it is effective.
An instructor of the Argentine tango, James Valentino moves gracefully, his feet instinctively hitting the floor in time with the music that fills the ballroom. As the owner and founder of City Style Tango, Valentino imparts his grace to dancers of all experience levels during private and group lessons, sharing the secrets of the tango as well as other dancing styles such as swing, salsa, and the fox trot. Beyond the classes for adults or children, James encourages his pupils to show off their skills during student showcases or venture together to local clubs to dance amid the real world's oil-slicked floors.
Few dance instructors can say they've trained U.S.B.C. dance champions. But that's just icing on the cake for national dance champion Blake Kish, who has won teaching awards in Las Vegas, Washington D.C., Cincinnati, and Cleveland. Now, he channels more than 25 years of dance experience into his Birmingham studio, where he teaches private lessons in American and international ballroom styles. His students regularly compete at dance competitions across the country, where dance partners can show off their spins or impersonate Tasmanian Devil.
When she isn't busy choreographing routines for music videos on MTV, Annette Bergasse trains the next generation of aspiring dancers at her eponymous school. For 30-plus years, Annette and her fellow instructors—all recipients of top awards at national and regional competitions—have helped students hone techniques in both classic and popular styles. The studio's programs focus on everything from the tiptoed grace of ballet to the more loose-limbed moves of hip-hop.
As part of Annette's chorus and competition program, the school's most talented pupils even participate in dance competitions, workshops, and performances for local charities. Such intensive training has helped launch students into professional gigs in Hollywood films, on Broadway stages, and as inflatable tube men outside car dealerships.