8 Reasons To Reboot Your Dance Lessons After Your Wedding

Don’t Make Your First Dance, Your Last Dance

You performed a great first dance.

There was shock, tears, even heart palpatations… and that was just in the lobby while you were warming up.  So what do you do now that your big day is behind you?

1. Bragging Rights

Dancing together is a skill that not many couples can say they share together.  Taking lessons after your wedding dance makes you “That Dancing Couple” instead of “That Couple Who Danced that One time.”

Test it Out! – If you have another couple you see often, ask them what they did over the weekend.  When they return the question, casually mention that you took Tango lessons, and then went out for drinks.  Attempt to change the subject, and watch how quickly they repeat the word:  “Tango!?”

2. “May I Have This… Spontaneous Moment?”

What if you could dance, anytime, anyplace without hesitation?  With the confidence you learned from your first dance, your future dancing will be perfect for turning you from a one-time performer, to spontaneous dancers.  Have the urge to Tango at the hardware store, or Salsa on a cruise ship?  While everyone else is falling into their “marriage routine”, you two can focus on the skills that allow you to become spontaneous dancers.

3. Solve Problems

Sometimes a simple disagreement can cause couples to lose sight of what is most important. Dancing has a way of pressing the refresh button.  Think of how flimsy an apology can sound, but imagine if it started with a romantic, spontaneous (see #2), Rumba to start. Learning to dance is an extremely effective problem solving tool, and it keeps you closer to the highest priority:  your connection to each other.

Test it Out! – Try this when you’re not in an argument, or if that’s your current situation, apply this immediately.  Here’s the plan:  The Kitchen Dance.  At some point, while in the kitchen, approach your spouse, put their left hand over your head to your right shoulder, and sway side to side.  Whenever you’re ready, take your left foot forward into your secret weapon:  the Rumba Box.  You’re welcome.  

4. Facetime

Let’s, um… face it? Life, work, and starting a family will make it harder and harder to spend face to face time with each other now that you’re married.  A regularly scheduled dance lesson is the solution.  Even if you didn’t learn a thing (impossible), you’d still have a regular appointment to make eye contact, connect, flirt, and learn something together – no matter how crazy your life has become.

5. The Best Wedding Gift

If your wedding pictures are a glimpse into how happy you are, then what did your first dance say?  What if that was just a preview of exciting dance-related things to come?  What if you asked your spouse to become your dance partner?  There aren’t many brides that will want to exchange that gift for something else.

6. Our Dance Night

These days, it seems like every night is TV night.  The Poker Nights, Bowling Leagues, and Bridge parties seem like some distant generation you’ve only heard about on… TV.  You can change it.  Dance Night.  Set at least a night or two up where you’re doing something fun, social, and physical together.  Grab dinner, take a lesson or two, and go back for dessert.

7. Get Dressed Up

Being married doesn’t mean you can’t have fun, go out, get dressed up, and socialize.  Have outfits in your closet that you are saving for a special occasion? As a part of the Arthur Murray community your social calendar will fill up, and that let’s you get glammed up.  Do you have a disco shirt that you just can’t part with?  Fret not, Arthur Murray offers plenty of costume events as well.

8. Insurance Policy

Unfortuately, many people wait until disaster strikes to buy insurance.  Think of your lessons as marriage insurance.  It may sound silly, but there are many couples that come to take lessons only when their marriage has experienced a disaster.  Sometimes the damage is too severe. Starting your dance lessons when things are going well can do something even the best car insurance can’t do:  Prevent problems from happening.

Final Thoughts

Learning to dance isn’t a cure-all, but it’s close.  Great marriages are built on trust, communication, and teamwork.  The same can be said for learning to lead, follow, and move as a unit on the dance floor.

Whether it is your date night, marriage insurance, or strenghtening an already strong bond between you two, one thing is for sure – it is not by accident.  At Arthur Murray, the positive results of your dance lessons are as much a part of the goal setting process as the moves and turns you learn.


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Gain More From your Group Class!

5 Tips To Gain More From Your Group Class

If we had to choose one method for learning how to dance, and dance well, it would be private lessons.  No doubt:  Signed, Sealed, and Delivered.  However, if we were selecting the most effective system for learning how to dance, it would be the Arthur Murray unit system.  That is:

Private Lesson + Group Classes + Practice Session

This article focuses on the middle child of the three – the group.

Unfortunately, like a middle child, sometimes the group can get overlooked.

The reality is that attending class sessions, even just one per week, can make a huge difference in your dance progress.  So here are 5 tips to get the most out of group classes.

1. Arrive Ready To Learn Something new.

When you come in for a group or workshop don’t worry about what dance is being taught.


You can’t learn anything, no matter who is teaching, if you decide not to.  A great way to practice this idea is to:

  • Try a group in a dance that’s unfamiliar to you
  • Try a group with a teacher you don’t normally work with
  • Invest in a Master Class from a visiting coach

2. Change partners often: The more the better.

I’ll let you in on a little secret,

“Teachers are not naturally more talented than students.  We just dance more often, and with more partners. That versatility is created by dancing with so many different types of people.”

When you rotate partners, you are constantly making tiny adjustments in your leading or following to the person you are dancing with.  This is something you can get in large quantities in our group sessions.  This will sharpen your leading, following, and dance adaptation skills.

3. Focus on fundamentals

Remember this:  “Perfect practice prevents poor performance”

Add this: “You can’t learn an advanced technique while doing an advanced pattern.”

Focusing on the fundamentals:

  1. Strengthens your dancing
  2. Fast tracks your technique
  3. Improves the chances of you talking and dancing at the same time
  4. Is fun.

You can find these in group sessions.  Too many advanced students, however, avoid classes that focus on fundamentals.  Unfortunately for them, all of the advanced patterns they are looking for include the fundamentals they are avoiding.

So, if you’re in the rumba group and you already know the pattern.. that’s a bonus!  This is your perfect opportunity to practice that pattern with the best Cuban Motion, the best posture, or the best lead or follow.

4. Take Some Dance Notes

No matter what group you take, you can’t remember everything you learned.  So after the class, or workshop, is over – take some dance notes:

  • Some key focal points from the class
  • Questions you have for your teacher to follow up with

You can easily do this on your phone or tablet, or you can do it old school, like me, and keep a dance notebook.  (Taking great Dance Notes is encouraged for all activities in the Arthur Murray Unit System).

5. Measure and Repeat

Following up is important.

Having a strategy to do that is even more important.  Here’s what I do:

DanceProgressBarTake a look at the material you were introduced to in the group session.

Put it on a difficulty scale from 1-5.

  • Simple = 1-2
  • Moderate = 3
  • Challening = 4-5

Material in the 1-2 range can be practiced at the practice party.

Material at a 3 you should practice with teacher supervision.

Material in the 4-5 range needs to be followed up with on your private lessons.  It may seem challenging, but they are just your “ah ha” moments in development. I love it when this happens.

Following up with your teacher on the group material is as important as following up with your doctor on medication you’re taking:  They need to hear about it.

In Closing

Instead of something neglected, imagine if you treated your group class as something different?  What would happen if you treated it as the glue that held your unit together?  Whether it is to practice fundamentals, improve the way you take notes, or add more zest to your private and party sessions – the group class will no longer be your forgotten middle child.”


Thank you to:
For the great blog entry


The Learning Curve of Dancing

Often, when one begins to dance, it can be easy to become overwhelmed and feel like progress has slowed. In reality, you are probably learning just as much or more than you did in your first few lessons, but you have simply realized just how much there truly is to learn about dancing. So, to put your mind at ease, let us consider the learning curve attached to learning how to dance.

Stage 1: The Initial Learning Stage

In the first stage of learning to dance, many students feel a sort of euphoria. They have often never danced before and learning how to do any steps at all feels like a huge accomplishment. It is in this stage that the student first experiences a skill or step, but is still learning it. Even though it has not yet been mastered, the student often feels as though they have learned a great deal simply by walking through the step or skill a few times with the aid of an instructor.

Stage 2: The Awkward Use Stage

After the initial high of experiencing the step, the student often tries to use it and it is at this point that they often realize they are not the master of the move they thought they were. Usually, the student is more aware of how his or her body moves, but feels awkward and clumsy while trying to execute the maneuver. This can lead some to feel discouraged, as though they are not that good at dancing or learning, but in reality, almost everyone goes through this stage. After all, it is one thing to execute a step when someone is guiding you through it in a controlled environment, and an entirely different thing to try to do it on your own. It is important not to become discouraged; it will come together for you with a little more experience.

Stage 3: The Conscious Use Stage

After a few more tries, the step or skill becomes a little more natural, but it still takes a fair amount of concentration to successfully execute. Again, this sensation is natural. After all, very few people learn any complicated skill overnight, and dancing is no different. It may take a little thought, but at this point in the dance learning curve, you are in the home stretch. All you need now is more experience with the step and, just like driving a car, touch typing, playing piano, or any other complicated activity you will soon be able to both execute the step successfully and do it without too much thought.

Stage 4: The Natural Use Stage

This is the final step of the dance learning curve. At this point, the skill or step is done with ease and is spontaneous, comfortable, creative, and — as the name of this stage implies — very natural. This stage usually only comes after a significant amount of use and repetition. At this point, you are often able to execute the maneuver while doing other things, like carrying on a conversation with your dance partner or thinking about the next step in your choreography.

Final Thoughts

Much like other types of learning, the more you know, the easier it becomes to learn more and learn it faster. But, do not become discouraged if it seems like your learning starts to crawl after a few lessons. In reality, what has happened is you have realized how much more you have to learn and are becoming impatient to accelerate the learning process beyond what you would likely be able to retain. Learning just one new step or move each lesson is actually a pretty significant accomplishment. After all, you probably did not learn and master a new math equation every single day in school when you were growing up, so why do you think dance steps would be any different? Dance is a lot of fun, but it takes a bit of patience, as well. Savor the experience and enjoy the opportunity to master a skill that will help you feel confident and look amazing on any dance floor, open new social opportunities for you, and either help you find or get closer with your special someone.

Finding the Right pair of Dance Shoes!


Finding the Right Pair of Dance Shoes

Getting Started:  Your First Pair of Dance Shoes


For Men:

                        You want an “everyday” shoe.  Something with suede on the soles, lightweight, and made for ballroom dancing. We recommend traditional leather over patent leather for your everyday shoe.

For Women:

The women’s version of an “everyday” shoe must be lightweight and with suede soles.  We recommend an open toe shoe that has a heel 2.5 inches or less. Important note: select shoes as close to your skin tone as possible.


TIP:  With all dance shoes, keep in mind that the fit, in most cases, should be snug in the beginning.  After a few practice parties – they’ll fit like a glove.




Expand Your Options:  Graduating from your Beginner Shoes


For Men:

                       As an intermediate dancer, it’s time to pick up two pairs of shoes:  Some patent leather ballroom shoes (for your next routine), and a pair of Latin Heels.  Yes, even to this day it still sounds crazy to type the words “heels” as a shoe recommendation for dudes – but they really do help.

For Women:

As an intermediate dancer it’s time to diversify your shoe options:  Latin & Ballroom (*open toe & closed toe respectively).

TIP: Latin heels are part of your latin dancing uniform.  Don’t wear them to buy groceries…ever.

Add a half inch to your heel for every full level you pass. (3 inch maximum)


Make a Statement:  Shoes for Advanced Dancers


For Men:

As an advanced dancer, foot flexibility is key.  Now you will be in the market for ballroom shoes that are “split-sole”.  These shoes can, literally, fold in half and allow for more range of motion.  They are available in both ballroom and latin varieties.

For Women:

Your teacher has recreated your feet and legs into works of dance-art – and now it is time to glam up your shoes.  After all, great footwork is the best accessory to great footwear. So, feel free to add rhinestones, bold colors, or butterfly wings to your shoes (joking).  If you’ve got the footwork, show it off with great footwear.

TIP:  Great footwork is the best accessory to great footwear.

Planning a Vacation to a Far Away Oasis?


Have you ever gone on vacation where you saw some of the most exhilerating dances performed and thought to yourself, “Next time, that’s going to be me!” or “I wish I could do that?” Well this summer is your summer! Arthur Murray specializes in teaching you those very dances you will be witnessing on your vacations. Salsa, Merengue, Tango, Cha Cha, and many more. It’s time to learn the basics, that way when the music is playing, you can get up and dance along! Some places even offer small group classes you can join in on, why not be prepared and have the ability to stand out in those classes!?


Interested in Lessons?

Call Arthur Murray Etobicoke Today!!!!



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