Arthur Murray has been a leading name in dance since 1912, when the founding entrepreneur began selling mail-order dance lessons. Expanding his reach, Murray enlisted teachers to spread his signature dance lessons on first-class steamships, and he skyrocketed to fame in the '30s after introducing the public to such dances as the Lambeth Walk and The Big Apple. By the 1950s, Murray 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, the Arthur Murray team prepares students for rug cutting at special events and weekend nightclub jaunts. Clients who arrive to lessons partnerless will be paired with an instructor, who will assess their current skill level and make recommendations on the most appropriate program. Instructors teach the foundations of a variety of dance styles, including samba, swing, and tango, helping students learn basic step patterns, timing, and the ability to lead or follow.
Motus Dance Theatre sends its ensemble pirouetting through the walls of convention and into the city's auditoriums, libraries, and art museums. With performances such as Pairings—a series of six dances inspired by six wine and gourmet food matchups—the nonprofit company translates imaginative contexts into spectacles of movement. Its reputation for novelty stems from a mission to disperse the arts throughout the public sphere without putting tutus on every streetlight. By hiring up-and-coming choreographers, planning site-specific installations, and collaborating with other entertainers, the theatre brings continuously evolving dance presentations to the community.
Motus is by no means exclusive: its classes and workshops welcome participants of all backgrounds to enhance their bodily awareness. Lessons from highly trained instructors cover techniques from yoga poses to burlesque pivots, and focus on finding confidence regardless of age or build.