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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.
Re: Arthur Murray Stinks
Posted by ballroomchick
5/28/2013  11:10:00 AM
Dance Studios are not all the same. Some are better than others. I've talked with many local X-AM teachers who have completed their 2 year none compete contract clause and they say they are so happy out. I've heard at competitions them asking the instructors to sound off if they have done their time at AM. Followed by the comment "we all know better now."

Yes AM does take that non fraternization outside the studio to a whole new weird level of avoidance. Should instructors see you at the mall they literally run in the opposite direction. Lord forbid if you happen upon them in a department store and you speak to them before they see you. They nearly die, dropping what they have and move out of the area quickly.

I hate the false advertising the local AM studio does. The owners son and dance partner do not receive training by the studio teachers. These children do not compete at AM competition. They compete in the real world of dance including Blackpool. This is something AM will not allow their students to do. Isn't it strange that AM students that do A LOT of comps can wins all kinds of championships. Yet when they try and dance outside of AM they don't even make first cut? One major problem being they can not do Cuban motion.

I do admit AM is VERY good a selling that feel good, all important, we care for you attitude. You are most certainly paying for it at generally twice the going rate most independent instructors charge.
Re: Arthur Murray Stinks
Posted by Dancingqueen1
5/29/2013  12:20:00 PM
I started out at Arthur Murray also like we all have and yes they have their
faults but every studio is doing the same thing (the independent ones also) All
the previous notes from people on here prior is exactly what every studio is
doing. WAKE UP PEOPLE it's all for the money so they can live rich and every
one of them lives very well. Their are also scams out there too. Its time to
show what Ballroom really is. Don't get me wrong I love it but I do not like
the tactics and manipulation they do to students. They are just as bad as the
car dealers.!
Re: Arthur Murray Stinks
Posted by Old dancer
10/13/2013  10:41:00 AM
$140 for 40 minutes of private instruction/. They want you to sign up for large number of lessons. , maybe 20 or 30. I do like it but it is too pricey for me.
Re: Arthur Murray Stinks
Posted by ballroomchick
12/27/2013  9:19:00 AM
Older Dancer - Contrary to what Arthur Murry Studios would have your believe they are NOT the only "game" in town. You can get a LOT more "bang" for your buck by going to an independent instructor. Some teach in 45 min blocks others in full hr blocks. You DO have to do your own research though. Just like with any type of service some are better than others in the quality of instruction they give.

Start out by taking group lessons. Go early and observe the instructors at work. Are they telling the student do XYZ while they lazily walk next to the dancer or are they working too? Can they answer the students quests as to WHY or WHAT the student is doing wrong? ASK around about the different instructors and how the students like them. Find out what all the instructors are willing to do with their students....social dance only, showcase, competitions? Remember you can just social dance with competition instruction , but you can not compete with just social dance skills.

You are NEVER too old to compete. I've seen good number of 80 yr old ladies in my area on the competition floor several of them have more stamina than 80% of the young folk!! One older lady is trying to win top studient of the year. She's dancing 300 heats at each compititon and going to 3 comps a month.

Re: Arthur Murray Stinks
Posted by dancer
12/26/2013  4:38:00 AM
Dancing is a great way to keep stress level down but not when they are charging you ten thousand... What a waste of money and how easily anyone falls for it because you either enjoy dancing or you enjoy the attention you get from the instructors. My friend used to be an instructor for A.M. and quit because she was asked to flirt and lead on her male students so that they would stay interested on her and feel like paying bill dollars just to have an hour a day with her... Horrible place to learn to dance. Stay away.

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