Arthur Murray Dance Centers


Posted by Jessica Gladstone on Wed, Dec 12, 2012 @ 17:12 PM


Only through some sort of regular excercise can we avoid having all those extra calories we consume convert to body fat. Instead of spending endless hours working on boring, monotonous exercise equipment, why not enjoy burning those extra calories while dancing in a pleasant atmosphere with pleasant people and great music!


Medical specialists tell us that long periods of inactivity can cause a decline in the heart's efficiency. A heart, which is accustomed to exercise, when forced into more vigorous activity (i.e. running upstairs to answer the phone, shoveling snow, playing an active sport, etc.) will be better able to handle the extra load. Your heart will pump blood throughout your body with much more efficiency when required to so frequently by a mild form of exercise such as dancing.


Do you know that our nerve cells govern our senses of sight, feel, hearing, smell and taste? They govern our memory, emotions, reasoning and motor reflexes too. Doctors have long recognized the beneficial effects of exercise on the psyche and nerve cells. Dancing aids in relieving stress and strain and couteracts nervous fatigue. If we are to think clearly, and make intelligent decisions in our everyday life. we must possess the kind of relaxed nervous system that can be provided by regular dancing!


Often we don't stop to reflect on the needs of our bodies until it is too late. Good circulation not only nourishes our muscles, giving us coordination as well as grace and poise, but though dancing wit does more to stimulate and improve the appearance of our skin than all of the massages and creams we can use.

As we grow older, it becomes a greater challenge to remain active so our minds and bodies will stay strong and fit. Dancing is a wonderful way to keep both mind and body active, and the amount of energy you want to devote to it is entirely up to you!


One of the beautiful things about social dancing is the way it works muscles that would otherwise not get very much use in a normal day. Firmer underarms/triceps will result when the arms are held up and used. Sounds like dance position and arm styling might make you look good in more ways than one.

As for the legs, most people have fairly solid muscle tone on the front of their legs. If you want to firm up the back of the thigh and lower buttocks, you have to use them. Swing the leg back from the hip in a slow Fox Trot could help tone this area.

Topics: arthur murray dance studios, exercise, heart, blood, ballroom dance shoes, ballroom dance lessons, arthur murray dc, dance class

How Should Ballroom Dance Shoes Fit?

Posted by Cheryl Cortez on Wed, Aug 8, 2012 @ 11:08 AM

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Finding the perfect dance shoe can make all the difference during dance lessons!

It is important to have proper tools to improve any hobby. Dance shoes are specifically made to enhance the dancing experience. Wearing proper dance shoes while dancing will help with balance and turning.

While ballroom dancing shoes should fit more snug than your sneakers or business shoes, they should not be so tight that they pinch your feet or constrain movement. Dancing in shoes that are too small can leave your feet in pain for days.

Learn about sizing ballroom shoes before you go shoe shopping, so that you get the right fit. If you're unsure of what type of shoe to order, check with your Arthur Murray dance instructor for a recommendation.

When trying on dance shoes , make sure to try on both the left and right shoe. Many people have one foot that's slightly bigger than the other, so it is important to make sure that both shoes fit right before you go dancing. Consider buying foam inner soles, which stabilize your foot inside the dance shoe. Shoes that stretch too much wear out more quickly.  


Topics: how to dress for ballroom dance lessons, ballroom dance shoes

How to Choose Ballroom Dance Shoes

Posted by Cheryl Cortez on Fri, Apr 6, 2012 @ 20:04 PM

Ballroom dance shoes have thin, suede soles and come in a variety of styles.What is the difference between ballroom dance shoes and regular shoes?

The biggest difference is the soles. Ballroom shoes have a thin, suede sole. This allows the shoes to glide on the dance floor, with just the right amount of grip. Ballroom shoes are also very flexible, allowing the movement necessary to show off your dance techniques. In competition, women should wear tan or flesh-colored shoes, to extend the look of the leg, and not call too much attention to the feet.

What are the types of ballroom dance shoes?

The three basic types are Latin, Standard (also called "Court" or "Modern"), and Practice shoes. Shoes should be selected not only for appearance, but for comfort, support, performance, and protection. Some women prefer the closed-toe shoes, because they offer some protection against being stepped on, and they shield your toenails from your partner's shoes.

If you buy a pair of insoles, you can probably double the number of hours you can dance in comfort. The best insoles are the ones sold for running shoes. Avoid the "gel" kinds, because their squishy nature voids much of the precision contact you need with the floor.

Latin shoes for women are typically an open-toed sandal with a heel from 1 to 3 inches high. The standard heel height is 2.5 inches. If high heels hurt, try adding arch supports. If you only buy one type of shoe, it is generally recommended that you start with a latin sandal.

Men's latin shoes have what is called a Cuban Heel that is 1.5 inches high. Most men only wear latin shoes for competition, and you do not see men wearing them often for social dancing outside of the ballroom.

Standard shoes for women are closed-toed pumps. The heel is positioned more centrally under the foot than a latin sandal's, in order to ease backward movement.

Men's standard shoes are usually a black oxford-style lace-up, with a heel comparable to regular dress shoes. Men, if you only purchase one type of shoe, it should be the standard.

Practice shoes are optional. Women's practice shoes resemble a man's standard shoe with a higher heel. You can also buy dance sneakers that have suede soles.


Dance shoes are typically made and sold in European sizes, which are generally 1.5 sizes smaller than American sizes. This is not always true, so check size charts carefully if you are ordering online.

Maintaining Your Dance Shoes

Heel protectors perform three important tasks: they protect the floor, they give you more traction, and they protect the heels of your shoes. The little heel tips on your shoes wear out quickly, and replacing them will cost $5 or more. When they wear out, they expose the nail that attaches them to the shoe. Plastic heel protectors will prolong the life of your shoes (and your investment).

Shoe Brush: Suede soles lose their nap after a couple of months (more often if you wear them outside of the ballroom). Buy a steel-bristled shoe brush with a handle to refresh the nap in your shoes. These are available at dance shoe vendors, or you can buy a steel "file brush" from a hardware store (the kind used to clean the grit out of files). Be sure to get a handle with a good grip, to prevent damage to your skin from contact with sharp bristles.

Scotchguard: Ladies, if you buy satin shoes, use some Scotch Guard or other fabric protector on them before you wear them. They are very difficult to clean once they get dirty.

Where to Buy Dance Shoes

Unfortunately, there are not a lot of dance shoe stores in the Washington, DC area. Your instructor can recommend some online stores.

Your best opportunity will be to visit the dance shoe vendors at our Arthur Murray DC regional dance events (Freestyles, Showcase, DC Dance-o-Rama). The vendors bring a huge selection of styles and sizes, and are very knowledgeable in fitting you with the correct size and style for your needs.

Vegan Dance Shoes

There are vegan options, that have no leather nor animal products. Generally speaking, these are available on the internet by special order. Most have hard rubber soles, but there are some that have a pseudo-suede sole made from synthetic materials. PETA's website has several recommendations, as does Step One Dance Shoes.

Topics: ballroom dance shoes, ballroom dance lessons