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. Clients who arrive to lessons partnerless will be paired up with other classmates as the instructors assess their current skill level and make recommendations on the most appropriate program. 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 for Joy! gets visitors moving in single-session workshops, ongoing group classes, and private lessons. Instructors draw on professional dance experience to teach students the ins and outs of waltz, East Coast swing, blues, foxtrot, Latin, and zydeco dancing. Classes are open to participants of all skill levels, allowing beginners to receive as sharp an education as seasoned rug-cutters. Dance for Joy! also plays host to numerous special events and activities, including a dance summer camp and an annual Viennese Ball.
The jazz standard ?Flying Home? brought Savoy Swing Club?s founders together in 1993 at a dance camp, after which the group of friends began meeting regularly to keep the choreography fresh in their minds. The troupe?s dedication to the lindy hop and other jazz-era dances gradually blossomed into the club?s current calendar of professionally staffed classes, workshops, and dance events. Classes grouped by skill level progressively transform students with two left feet or three right toes into fleet-footed hoofers, imparting classic moves that help nurture a sense of rhythm and speed. Each week, students of all levels can take part in Savoy Mondays, a decade-long tradition, as DJs and a single trumpeting swan provide background music for dancers to sharpen their moves. And on the first and third Fridays of every month, the basement of the local Bagel Deli becomes the Blues Underground, where a free introductory blues lesson is followed by a late night of dancing.
In 1984, lifelong ballerina Elizabeth Chayer founded American Dance Institute in Anchorage, before relocating to two nearly-adjacent studios in Seattle. There she began amassing her current staff of talented toe-artists. Recruited from ballet troupes, contemporary dance companies, and flamenco ensembles around the world, the teachers lead open-level classes that balance technical training with expressive kineticism. Each instructs in their specialty, and as a result the twinned studios can offer a wide range of styles including ballroom, break dance, ballet, jazz, and the invisible lasso. Collectively, more than a century of professional experience conglomerates in the staff, and each boasts a solid footing on the basics of anatomy and kinesiology to maximize the effectiveness of training while minimizing the chance of injury. The classes themselves take on a welcoming, noncompetitive format that emphasizes enjoyment without sacrificing technique. Aimed at any dancers of 18 months and older, many classes, including musical theater, Irish step dancing, and ballet, come in a multitude of permutations designed for each age-set. Others are more restricted, such as adults- and teens-only flamenco, ballroom, and jazz sessions, or the grown-up-free Polynesian class. While individual movements and underlying concepts form the heart of these classes rather than choreographed productions, children enrolled in the spring semester get the chance to take part in a seasonal studio performance. American Dance Institute also hosts birthday parties where guests learn a particular style. During one notable jubilee, the attendees of a family reunion mastered an Irish ceili, then used their newfound skills to stomp on a block of icing until it became a cake.
Taking dance lessons can be an exciting and wonderful adventure. We also know that it can be intimidating to make that first call or even get through the door of a dance studio. You will feel the difference when you walk in the door of Abayas' Ballroom. Enjoy the hospitality and warmth on your very first lesson.