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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.
Re: Arthur Murray Stinks
Posted by O.K.
12/30/2013  1:44:00 AM
There are good as well as bad within the talked about organization. To know what is a genuine studio one really needs to have some knowledge of dancing. This is unfortunate but is a reality. My advice to a beginner is. Set yourself a budget and don't go beyond that set amount of money that you are willing to spend. And never go into any lengthy contracts where money is paid in advance. And are you enjoying yourself. I attended a studio where I paid $75 dollars at the beginning of the month. Over three evenings there were three classes each evening, that's 9 classes per week. 36 in one month. That I think was good value for money. It was possible to be a casual . This cost was $10 per lesson.
Re: Arthur Murray Stinks
Posted by Bryan M
1/12/2014  6:34:00 AM
AM stinks? My wife and I have been taking lessons at AM for almost 8 years. We have also taken a few lessons at indy studios, and belong to a local indy club. Here is my experience with all;
First- any student who is not satisfied with a studio either has very high expectations without the natural ability to match, or does not attend classes and practice enough to make a difference.
Second- to all the AM haters- whenever we attend a function outside of our AM circle, both students and instructors alike give us tons of compliments on our dancing before they know where we learned to dance. We are always amongst the top dancers on the floor.
Third- our AM experience is a lot like other instruction in life. Like your job. You have good bosses (instructors), bad ones, mediocre and exceptional. We have had them all. Speak up for yourself on instructors who you feel are not meeting your needs. It's your money.
We recently attended a New Years Eve dance party hosted by a local indy club. Students from indy studios marveled at our dancing as did some indy instructors. When we told them we take lessons from AM and who are teachers were, they knew our instructors very well and also said that our teachers were very highly regarded in the local dance community. We were told by several people that aside from a few instructors, we were the best dancers on the floor out of about 150 people.
Bottom line- there is good and bad in every studio, everywhere. I have danced in studios across the USA and can tell you this from first-hand experience.
No, I am not an AM instructor or franchisee.
Re: Arthur Murray Stinks
Posted by terence2
2/9/2014  9:24:00 AM

Well... you have a LOT to learn.. So you know,, I am a Fellow in 2 english soc. in BR and latin. I also was an examiner with the NADTA. States-side for 30 yrs.

1st.. You need to know the roots of Rumba. What you call Rumba today ( Intern style ) is a re-make of Bolero and a Mambo basic. The original dance we called Rumba, was a Danzon, and THATS what we danced in the UK thru 1948/9, when the change was made, to todays format. And yes, it did commence on a fwd slow (1.2 ).

The english versions of " latin ", in many cases, do not resemble anything comparable, to the social style of latin taught and danced in the States. They have stayed much closer to indigenous roots, and , made it socially acceptable, to the general public. And ,the Cuban Motion is patterned ,after cuban ladies, from the way they walked( WITH a flexed knee ,to straight leg, causing lateral motion )carrying baskets upon their head. Islanders, always move with a " sway " au natural..

And... Do you not realise that, ALL the dances in our Syl. came from somewhere else ?. They are hybrids at best.

Both AM and F.A. met a need in the 30s and 40s, and there were multitudes of great teachers and dancers who developed social dance to what it is today ( I met and got to know many of them ).

And by the way Fred couldnt dance B/ room worth a lick ( his words )

Yep.. we had our dance geniouses, Scrivener, Binnick, Thiebault, Howard ,and Jacques .Their input, was geared much more towards the competitive arena, and Medal test standards.

Bottom line,there are bad and good schools/studios and same goes for teachers.Its universal...
Re: Arthur Murray Stinks
Posted by allen
3/25/2014  10:15:00 PM
I am taking lessons at AM. I'm single and no one at the studio promised me that I'd meet anyone. Actually, I inquired if there were any single ladies, and they said may I'd meet some people in the contests, but never any pressure or overselling this idea. that's just my experience at the chicago AM.
Re: Arthur Murray Does Not Stink
Posted by other friend
5/28/2014  2:38:00 PM
I know who you are. You are the grumpy person at the parade, at the party...you are there not 5 minutes and you have found 10 things wrong. All you need now is knowledge and facts and you will be all set. You see, the instructors ARE trained...most for at least 3 months before they even see a client. I could go on...but with you it is a waste...so, suffice to say...go on with your sad and unhappy life....and go cry somewhere else.
Re: Arthur Murray Does Not Stink
Posted by Ballroomchick
6/2/2014  11:06:00 AM
Dear Another Friend

Thank you for posting THE FACTS - AM instructors start out teaching after only 3 months training. They are novices, teaching novices, learning on the job. So why would should someone be paying them double the price of most independent instructors who have been competition and winning on the professional circuit? I'm taking from an independent who is also a NDCA judge. I'm not paying anywhere what AM charges AND my instructor has passed the qualifications and is a NDCA judge.
Re: Arthur Murray Stinks
Posted by Gtwteshark
6/23/2014  3:11:00 AM
I started dancing at the Fairfax, VA Fred Astaire studio in May 2013,and my experience has been completely different then some of those described. Most of the students are in their 40s to 60s, some older and some younger. I would estimate that 3/4 are married and 1/4 are single. Most of us are professionals that work long hours. I would agree that it is expensive but it is the only activity I found where I can work 11-12 hours and still have the energy to dance. My instructor has been dancing since he was a child and has won numerous national and international competitions. He is not learning steps from videos the night before. When I joked with him that I was his favorite student, I got the "knock it off" look, so that was the end of that :) Do I enjoy dancing with a hot young stud with puppy dog eyes? Yes, I do. Do I have any illusions that he is "interested" in me? Absolutely not! One of the unexpected perks is that many of the students have formed friendships.
If you live in Northern VA, I highly recommend the Fairfax Fred Astaire studio.
Re: Arthur Murray Stinks
Posted by diskman50
6/23/2014  7:02:00 AM
We've been AM students for a long time and although it's expensive we've been generally satisfied with out dance instruction. Until recently, at least half of the instructors were long time AM employees with some having 30+ tears of teaching experience. Even the lessor experienced instructors are very good at their craft. So we are satisfied customers as I stated in the beginning of this post.

My issue....
I would like to know if this is a common practice at most studios. Our studio has two fairly large dance floors and a small private dance room that's about 18' x 18'. Typically group classes are held on one of the large dance floors and private lessons are conducted on the second dance floor or in the private room which is perfect for the absolute beginner to remove any intimidation. Recently enrollment has been down so to impress new prospects all classes, group and private, are held on only one dance floor. This gives the impression that we are a thriving and busy studio even with a small amount of dancers in the room. My issue arises when there is a group class and sometimes multiple private lessons going on at the same time. We all share the music... this means the swing group class can be dancing to the rhumba music that's being played for one of the two private lessons going on at the same time, while the second private lesson is practicing the cha cha. The music will then be switched to swing so the group class can finally dance to the rhythms they are practicing and the two privates are now dancing rhumba and cha cha to swing music. This is extremely annoying and considering the large amount of money we've paid for lessons it certainly feels that we are being short changed. We've brought this up to the owner multiple times but to no avail. We've even switched our private lessons to times when there are no group classes going on but 75% of the time there is another private lesson going on at the same time and once again the music is shared. We don't expect exclusive use of the dance space but it seems to me the studio has the facilities to minimize this situation but refuses to do anything about it. Your thoughts?

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