Our History

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The History of Arthur Murray Dance Studios

In 1912, a young man named Murray Teichman began teaching dance in the evening, while working in an architectural office during the day. He was a fast learner, and by 1914 he changed his name to Arthur Murray and established himself as a leading dancing teacher to members of the upper class.

Mr. 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. Mr. Murray’s creative use of print advertising attracted national attention, as did his business acumen. In March of 1920, using students from Georgia Tech, Mr. Murray arranged to have music transmitted to a group of his dance students a few miles away. This was the world’s first radio  roadcast of live dance music.

Arthur Murray teachers were a regular part of every first-class steamship cruise and during the Thirties; the studios introduced such dances to the public as the “The Big Apple.” In fact it was “The Big Apple” that launched Mr. Murray’s one Manhattan studio into the largest chain of dance schools in the world.

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 also 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 the 1950, Mr. Murray purchased five 15 minute television spots on CBS and persuaded his wife Kathryn to do the teaching. Before the third show, Mr Murray bought a half-hour summer series on ABC. The show was called the “Arthur Murray Dance Party.” By 1952, the Murray’s had televised almost 100 programs. 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 popular show ran for twelve years on national television.

When Mr and Mrs Murray retired in 1964, a group of franchisees purchased the company and brought a fresh new spirit and leadership to it. Under its new leadership, the Arthur Murray Franchised Dance Studios have kept pace with the rapidly changing “youth culture” and continue today to flourish as the world’s largest dance instruction organization.

Arthur Murray dance teachers can be found not only in the studios, but on the movies sets in Hollywood; backstage on Broadway; and in partnership with major entertainers to promote the music that the world dances to. Whenever a movie involves dance, it’s good bet that Arthur Murray has been involved in some way, shape or form. Movies including Dirty Dancing, Dirty Dancing II, Beautician and the Beast, Flash Dance, An American President, True Lies, Saturday Night Fever, Scent of a Woman and Dance With Me are some of the films which have used Arthur Murray instructors to either teach a dance to the stars and/or dance in the film.

As America’s second oldest franchise organization, Arthur Murray Dance Studios is known around the world as the leaders in the dance industry located throughout North and South America, Caribbean, Europe, the Middle-East, Africa, Australia & Asia. Arthur Murray’s commitment worldwide in dance goes even further, with senior management heavily involved in the world of professional and amateur competitive dance, known as DanceSport.

All Arthur Murray franchised Dance Studios are independently owned and run by individuals who started in the dance industry and worked their way up to the executive level. By the time they are qualified to own a franchise, they have proven themselves in all aspects of studio operations, from teaching and supervising to marketing and managing. Our Franchisees are committed to the Spirit of Excellence which is the hallmark of the entire Arthur Murray system. Currently there are approximately 270 Arthur Murray Franchised Dance Studios worldwide.

With the beginning of a new millennium, social dancing is again a significant part of popular culture for all generations. Today, the Arthur Murray Franchised Dance Studios continue a tradition of more than 100 years in teaching the world to dance.

The Arthur Murray Philosophy

The Arthur Murray philosophy of dancing holds that since people are all social and gregarious by nature, we seek pleasure in human contact and experience. Dancing, throughout the ages, has been the art that brings people together for young and old alike. Arthur Murray Parramatta have helped teach dance not as isolated feet or step movements, but as an integral part of social life. Our teaching methods are tested and true and after a century of being in the industry, speak for themselves.