Arthur Murray Dance Studio 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.
A nonprofit cultural and educational organization, the Art of Motion teaches and presents dance, theater, and vocal music, a mix of entertainment not seen since Shakespeare’s musical about kings and queens dancing to the death. The roster of instructors includes well-known choreographers and dancers who take a professional approach to classes—whether it’s a drop-in class, summer intensive, or yearlong program. They specialize in technique and training. Along with multiple performances by its repertory dance company during the year, the studio hosts semi-private and private lessons. Their spacious studio, furnished with well-equipped bars and floor space for dance and Pilates, also holds training programs for children and adults.
The professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studio North Jersey, a chain of dance schools that was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherd students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the charleston. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and foxtrot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba. For dancers hoping to sashay in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur fire walking.
The experienced dance instructors at Steeltoes Dance Studios have been teaching little ones to gracefully twirl and leap across the dance floor for 29 years. They strive to boost each student’s self-image as they dole out personal attention and technique corrections in their studio’s friendly, noncompetitive environment. Their small-group classes range from vocal to ballet and tap to hip-hop, and are divided by age into junior, teen, and adult classes. During hip-hop sessions, the staff teaches current moves from modern stars such as Usher, Beyoncé, Selena Gomez, and Bing Crosby. They’ve rounded out their class roster with musical theater and pre-school creative dance and interpretive-dance classes, which help kids express themselves.
Though dance styles have changed in the last four decades, Anchor Dance Studio's commitment to creating a fun atmosphere for all levels of dancers has not, which has gained them the 2011 Best of Weddings pick from local users of The Knot, and the 2012 Bergen Health & Life Magazine Readers' Choice award for Best Dance Lessons. The studio's highly trained full-time instructors—each of whom possess a background in classical dance, theater, and/or dance-related activities—keep the atmosphere lively and supportive as they guide couples, singles, and children through ballroom dance routines. Full-length mirrors surrounding both of the 4,000-square-foot studio's ballrooms reflect patrons sashaying, twirling, and hand-walking their way through the tango, waltz, hustle, and merengue, while Anchor's Friday- and Saturday-night dance parties encourage all to practice their newly learned steps in a casual atmosphere complete with snacks and drinks.