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.