Advice from Arthur Murray himself: How to Get the Most Out of These Lessons and Enjoy Dancing
This is the 100th Anniversary of the opening of the first Arthur Murray Franchised Dance Studio, in New York city in 1912. As we celebrate our 100th Anniversary, we decided to let him speak for himself. This blog gives some advice quoted from “Let’s Dance” by Arthur Murray, printed in 1937. “Let’s Dance” is the original Arthur Murray Dance Studios mail-order book that sold for 25 cents, back then.
Arthur Murray says: “I have spent many years perfecting the method which enables you to learn quickly and easily. All this time I have had only one aim: to make my pupils the best dancers possible.
You can’t enjoy anything you don’t do well.
Learn one step at a time and learn to do it well. Make your feet remember the steps: in dancing, you have to have your brains ‘in your feet.’ ”
Mr. Murray says: “Grace of movement can be acquired only through continued practice. Some people are considered ‘natural’ dancers, but they have earned that reputation only by dancing constantly.”
Tips from Mr. Murray:
“How Girls Can Acquire Balance…A girl must learn to stand on her own feet in order to strengthen her muscles and to avoid ‘hanging on’ her partner. The girl should practice alone with arms at shoulder height [as if in a dance frame]. This helps strengthen the arm muscles.”
“Why You Should Dance Alone at First. The beginner should learn to dance well ALONE first. How can a man lead his partner if he is not sure of his own part? If he can’t do the steps alone, he will never do them in partnership…Learn to dance ALONE. This will keep you from relying too much on your partner. Also, there is no better way to give your own dancing more expression.”
“The Secret of Leading and How to Follow. If I were asked the first secret of being a good leader, I should answer without hesitation, ‘A good leader is always SURE OF WHAT HE IS DOING.’
A good dancer never even thinks about how to lead his partner. HE MERELY DOES HIS OWN PART WELL.
Every girl who wants to follow easily should familiarize herself with the man’s part of every step. This will give a real appreciation of what the man may do.”
Good advice is timeless! In the next blog, we will give Arthur Murray’s advice on “Don’ts For Dancers.”