Jan and Gordon McLean have been putting the dance moves on each other for more than 15 years.
Traditional dancing is very much alive in their Aberfoyle Park home, where they have built a ballroom for practising.
The couple has been learning at Arthur Murray Dance Studio since the 1990’s, when Mrs Mclean, now 55, persuaded her husband, 52, to attend lessons.
The pastime is now a mutual love. The couple not only dance two to three times a week at Arthur Murray’s but also regularly attend socials and gala balls where they can show off their moves.
“When we married we didn’t know how to dance; it was just something I wanted us to do together,” Mrs Mclean says.
“It’s fun, it’s good exercise, and you can enjoy it and meet people. “It’s a shared interest for both of us now and it’s also very relaxing. Also, it gives you a confidence in social situations.”
Arthur Murray Dance Studios franchisee Tara Johnston says the number of students at her school is on the rise.
Her studio offers an “all-round experience”, teaching more than 20 different styles, including tango, waltz and foxtrot.
“We’ve got around 60 regular students who come to us each week and then we have the wedding department – that obviously fluctuates but we probably teach 150 wedding couple a year to dance for their big day,” Ms Johnston says.
Dance fans of the good old days would once flock to Adelaide hot spots such as the Palais Royal, on North Tce – which operated from 1921 – 1966 – and The Floating Palais de Danse, in the 1920’s.
Ms Johnston says traditional dancing is growing in popularity due, in part, to recent TV shows and films.
“ Today, people are a bit unsure but then as soon as they’re here they love it because it is such a great social outlet,” she says.
“I think it’s becoming cooler and the costumes are a big part of that.
“Obviously the TV shows like Dancing With The Stars and So You Think You Can Dance drive people to want to learn. I think through Dancing With The Stars they see it is possible because they’re seeing someone who has no dance knowledge and the journey that they go on and then it’s more relatable.
“Seeing it in a lot of movies makes it acceptable as well, like Dirty Dancing and Take the Lead; seeing the dance scenes in these films, it makes people get excited.”
Ms Johnston says exercise and social confidence are among the many benefits that come with learning to dance.
“I think the great thing for me, like so many other people, is we have so much stress in our lives, life just takes over and it is hard break that,” she says.
“They (the students) will come in and say they’ve had a bad day and by the time they leave they’re smiling and happy.
“They’re so grateful for coming in. It just changes their feeling and attitude for the day.”
Ms Johnston says her school sees a lot of older students with time available to pursue a new hobby.
“Our demographic would fall between 30 (years) and I think our oldest student is 80 at the moment,” she says. “ We tend to be a place for when people’s children have grown up and they’re looking to rekindle something within their relationship. “They’re looking to find themselves again and find how to relate to one another again through dance. For us, it’s lovely to be a part of that.”
As we begin our journey into 2013, so many of us look at our lives with fresh hopes and ideas of making positive changes.
To become healthier and happier appeals to us all and it is for this reason that we find our Arthur Murray studios world wide being inundated with new student inquiries.
Dancing no doubt is a” one pill” solution to so many of our goals to improve our quality of life.
1. Excercise-improved health and fitness levels
When people dance we don’t think of it as excercise, yet it uses every part of your body,and because its fun you will do it for longer and more often during the week.Any fitness level benefits from Social dancing as with the variety of the smooth to the uptempo rhythms it works the cardio-vascular system at what ever pace suits you.
When your having fun feeling and moving to the music, you body cant help itself it just wants to keep moving and dancing !
2. Improved social life- meet more people
The Arthur Murray Studios focus on the every day social use of dance.Along with full time teaching hours ,dance parties are held weekly at your local studio encouraging students of all levels to meet and mingle and enjoy there dancing with fellow students and instructors. Topped with Gala Balls, dance festivals, dinner dance outings both locally Nationally and Internationally, you are bound to make a new bunch of dance friends when learning in the Arthur Murray schools.
3. Improved personal confidence
Dancing allows you to explore a different side of your personality. No matter how serious your every day job or role in life maybe, through dance we can become free of inhibitions by becoming one with the music. Sensual latin rhythms speak to our soul and as we learn to move to the beat we become in touch with our sensuality. We find ourselves becoming more confident in the way we speak, walk and interact with others.It is no wonder that so many professional actors, performers and public speakers have taken up dance to improve their skills and confidence.
4. Break the monotony of our day to day life.
We all look for an outlet to add colour and fun to our lives. When we dance we become absorbed with the music, become focused on our steps and movements that we are literally forced to forget about everything else and just have fun.
Nothing could be more theraputic than that
Benefits of dancing are endless. Those of us who have found Dance in our lives know that to “Live is to Dance and to Dance is to live”. Make 2013 the year to start living- put a little fun in your life- TRY DANCING.
Chris Michaels, our Crows Nest Franchisee, has been fortunate enough to be a part of a select few of Robotics engineers to become part of one of the biggest robotics companies in the world, Aldebaran Robotics.
Even though these developers are programing “Nao” the robot for all types of applications, Chris Michaels has focused on the applications of Dance, and one day will be releasing an application, where you can “Learn to Dance, the Arthur Murray Way’, through the tutoring of Nao himself. This is the beginning of a wonderful new technology, that will have many more applications when introduced to the public.
Proving yet again, Arthur Murrays, always first in the Dance world with the latest!!
For more information on Nao, Aldebaran, or Robotics, Visit http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL9KFQ3KIE_WqLqvXcD0WSJINrGwqnDdKD
Or subscribe to my channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/cjmichaels
The history of the Arthur Murray Franchised Dance Studios began in 1912 with a man named Arthur Murray, an American symbol of entrepreneurial success and social dancing. Murray was among the first to use advertising techniques considered cutting edge at the time. His concept of selling dance lessons by mail, one step at a time, took the use of direct mail to a new level.
Murray’s creative use of print advertising attracted national attention, as did his business acumen. In March of 1920, using students from Georgia Tech, Murray arranged to have music transmitted to a group of his dance students a few miles away. This was the world’s first radio broadcast of live music for dancing.
Prior to World War II, Arthur Murray teachers were a regular part of every first-class steamship cruise. During the Thirties, the studios introduced such dances to the public as the “Lambeth Walk” and “The Big Apple.” In fact it was “The Big Apple” that launched Mr. Murray’s one studio into the largest chain of dance schools.
In 1942, singer Betty Hutton with the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra recorded the big hit song “Arthur Murray Taught Me Dancing In A Hurry” for the movie “The Fleet’s In” and by 1946 there were 72 Arthur Murray Dance Studios across America.
Arthur Murray was the first to realize the growing popularity of the Latin dances in America during the 1950′s. Many conventions were held in Cuba during that time to give Arthur Murray dance trainers first-hand knowledge of the hot new Latin styles and moves that were in vogue and becoming popular.
In July 1950, Mr. Murray purchased five fifteen minute television spots on CBS and persuaded his wife Kathryn to do the teaching. Before the third show, Arthur bought a half-hour summer series on ABC. The show was called the “Arthur Murray Dance Party.” By May 1952, the Murrays had televised almost 100 programs. Their TV ratings climbed and in the summer of 1952 they signed with their first sponsor, General Foods. Millions of viewers all over the United States fell in love with the show and flocked to the Arthur Murray Studios throughout the country. This highly popular show ran for twelve years on national television.
In 2006, Arthur Murray International celebrated the induction of Arthur and Kathryn Murray into the Hall of Fame at the National Museum of Dance in Saratoga Springs, New York.