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Re: Arthur Murray Stinks
Posted by TangoFandango
9/11/2010  3:41:00 PM
Wow, this topic has migrated so far to the right of my screen, I am having to go next door to read the posts!
Re: Arthur Murray Stinks
Posted by dpalincs
9/29/2010  8:56:00 AM
I know this has all been said already on both sides - for and against AM and other chains - but I just want to say that the thing I love about AM is the community. We all go out for drinks after dancing, and we support one another. It's great to develop as a dancer, and that is very important to me, but I also realize that I am never going to be competing as a pro for a national title or anything, so I was to enjoy the people and the experience as much as the end result. AM is a great place to enjoy the journey! And, I am very happy with my instructor - he is a competative smooth dance pro who works really hard and has significant dance knowledge. I know that it's expensive and that the whole franchise has some very odd restrictions, but you have to weigh the options, and for me, AM has been an overall positive experience. Plus, I get to train with the best in the country because AM has contracts with retired top pros! Thank you AM Ann Arbor!!
Re: Arthur Murray Stinks
Posted by Jerry
11/5/2010  3:54:00 PM
A friend of mine did just that. He hired a small dance studio for a couple hours in the evening, once a week and had a Professional dance instructor teach a small group of us. It was excellent and only cost us about $15 per hour. Lasted about a year until the studio change hands and was turned into a health clinic.
Re: Arthur Murray Stinks
Posted by DeadManDancing
10/31/2011  11:00:00 PM
I've taken lessons at a studio that was originally a AM that went independent. And later even taught for a while. There was good instructor training...but alot was also sales. At one point I felt like a cross between a carsalesman/gigalo. I believe that I taught well (maybe a bit dull for some since I always stessed technique). But there was a tremendous pressure to sell SELL SSEELLLL! I eventually left due to being burned out and not receiving additional training after the initial crash course.
Re: Arthur Murray Stinks
Posted by binky54
3/8/2012  4:31:00 PM
I am sorry that some people have had bad experiences with Arthur Murray Studios. I began dancing a year ago - had never ballroom danced in my life. I was very uncomfortable in a ballroom dance setting. On my wife's initiative, we took an introductory package of 10 private and 20 group classes at the Victoria, BC AM Studio. The instructors broke down the basics in a way that was understandable and also made me feel comfortable in a dance environment. I did not - and do not have aspirations to be a high level ballroom dancer; I just wanted to know the basics and not feel awkward in a dance situation. The instructors were excellent and gave me comfort and confidence in ballroom dancing. And their style of teaching was perfect for a neophyte like myself. After that, we decided to expand our experience by taking lessons with a recognized competitive professional at a different place - and found that this person, although a successful national level competitor, was not well suited to teaching basic technique to beginners. And so, I don't think it is fair to say that you need an advanced professional to teach ballroom dancing - it depends on the student. As a beginner, I would much rather have a less experienced teacher who knows basic technique and can show me the basics in a clear and patient manner instead of a seasoned successful and advanced competitive pro who goes way beyond my skills and capabilities. And so, in a nutshell, the Victoria AM Studio helped me as a beginner. I have now moved on to the Victoria Ballroom Dance Society and am taking intermediate/bronze lessons - and am enjoying them. But I am very grateful to the AM Studio for helping me take my first steps as a dancer.
Re: Arthur Murray Stinks
Posted by Steven Brittan
3/9/2012  4:42:00 AM
I have just read your message and I agree with you. The Arthur Murray company is one RIP OFF and I hope they see this reply. To start with I have never in my life seen an under arm turn in the waltz it is childish to start with and the rumba well what can I say ??????? They teach it wrong to every client and they dance it on the count of one and it should be on the count of two. they make you dance on a bent knee and it should be straight knee. There professional certificates are not worth a lite in the professional ranks when a person takes an exam they ask you a few questions, dance a couple of steps and then they say you have passed what a load of rubbish. I an a qualified dance teacher here in the UK hold letters behind my name with the IDTA and the UKA. so I know what I am talking about. The price of lessons and the amount you have to purchase. the whole company is a high street con in most countries you can book a lesson and pay for it on the day also you are not limited to the step you can learn. It is people like us who should warn others about the murray company and advise them not to entertain them with our money also would be interesting if they are insured and what dose the insurance cover ?????????
Re: Arthur Murray Stinks
Posted by TeacherNotStudio
3/9/2012  8:58:00 AM
" To start with I have never in my life seen an under arm turn in the waltz it is childish to start with and the rumba well what can I say ??????? They teach it wrong to every client and they dance it on the count of one and it should be on the count of two. they make you dance on a bent knee and it should be straight knee."

There are plenty of aspects of the business to legitimately criticize, but this just makes you sound surprisingly ignorant for someone claiming your credentials. They are not teaching international style dances, any more than someone who teaches another regional specialty such as sequence or new vogue would be. These aspects are entirely correct for the style of dancing they market, and while it may not be what you or I prefer, that is the style of dancing that is dominant in most of the markets they serve. Most students making a choice would not be choosing between this dancing and international style, they would be choosing between this dancing at AM, or the very slightly different versions offered at FADS, or with an independent teacher.

Re: Arthur Murray Stinks
Posted by waynelee
3/15/2012  7:42:00 AM
Wow, reading this thread can make your head spin. I have a unique view of the world of ballroom. When I started, my studio was Arthur Murray. Then, it changed to Fred Astaire. The two franchises have a different "flavor" that goes back to its roots. Arthur Murray (by the way, AM is the oldest franchisor in the world. 2nd place goes to KFC) was an instructor who wanted students to be know the latest dance steps in order to be "social" dancers. Watch his old videos on YouTube. So, AM grew up as a "social" dance studio.

On the other hand, there never has been a more technical dancer than Fred Astaire. He was amazing, but drove his partners crazy. Point your foot this way, move your head back 1/2", etc. etc. That's what Fred was like. So, guess what, the FADS studios are generally somewhat more technically oriented than AM.

But the results are out there. As others have pointed out both AM and FADS have their share of world champions, US champions, etc. Both studios show well when in Dancesport competitions. After all, several of the pro's on DWTS are from FADS (Tony and Max to name two).

And while we are on the issue of competitions, our European brothers and sisters should realize that in the US we have American Smooth and American Rhythm plus, what we call, International Standard and International Latin. And to Steve... American rumba does start on the 1 beat, it's International rumba that starts on the 2 beat. There are also differences in dance groupings. But I digress from the subject of this thread.

Bottom line is that you can get a tremendous training experience at AM or FADS if you want it. I am 66 years old and I am a competition student and have placed well in AM, FADS, and Dancesport competitions. My coaches are US and world champions including Michael Mead, Jesse DeSoto, and many others. I also enjoy the social benefits offered by my studio including group lessons, parties, dances, etc. My cost for this is only slightly more than the independents charge in my area.
Re: Arthur Murray Stinks
Posted by TeacherNotStudio
3/15/2012  9:07:00 AM
"So, guess what, the FADS studios are generally somewhat more technically oriented than AM."

This is kind of like writing a review of McDonalds vs. Burger King in the food section of your paper - having a personal preference between the two is certainly valid, and there are real factors you can point to to explain it, but anyone who visits halfway sophisticated restaurants is going to laugh, or groan when they read the article.

"But the results are out there. As others have pointed out both AM and FADS have their share of world champions, US champions, etc. Both studios show well when in Dancesport competitions. After all, several of the pro's on DWTS are from FADS (Tony and Max to name two)."

This is not really meaningful. While dancers who are famous in their own right may have business involvement in the chain studios, that is not where they learned to dance that way. Occasionally you will see serious competition training going on in a building with a chain's name over the door, but it's not being done as part of the chain program offered to the public. And no, chain studios do not generally show well in outside competitions - most avoid even going to them.

"And while we are on the issue of competitions, our European brothers and sisters should realize that in the US we have American Smooth and American Rhythm plus, what we call, International Standard and International Latin. And to Steve... American rumba does start on the 1 beat, it's International rumba that starts on the 2 beat. There are also differences in dance groupings. But I digress from the subject of this thread."

Indeed.

But remember, the real difference is not between a chain studio or some other studio, the real difference is between a studio program vs. a teacher who uses their extensive personal experience and business autonomy to meet the needs of their student, without having to justify their actions to a sales manager.
Re: Arthur Murray Stinks
Posted by Meg
5/21/2013  11:52:00 AM
My parents and I have been taking lessons at Arthur Murray for five years. Doing so , we have been to all three studios in the district. Each one has a different feel. At our studio, the instructors are all friendly and it is easy to tell that it is genuine. They never pressure us to pay for things we don't want to do. They also do not hold us back. My instructor recognized my progress and gives me advanced technique that he knows I am capable of doing. I can talk to any of the staff about things that are troubling me and they are a great support system. The curriculum is excellent and we are always exposed to new things. The students are all like a family. We constantly get together outside of the studio. The teachers honor the rule of no fraternization outside the studio. The other studios in the district are not as great. An instructor at one studio is always goofing off. The group classes I've done there have been too basic and the students are loud and annoying. Female instructors only dance with females from their own studio. Having observed Fred Astaire students and instructors, I am glad we do AM. Fred Astaire does not teach social dancing. Their students looked constantly bored and the teachers showed off too much. They are not considerate on the dance floor.

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