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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?
Re: Arthur Murray Stinks
Posted by ballroomchick
6/23/2014  9:45:00 AM
Its not unusual to take turns sharing the music if space is limited. If your working on smooth dances and need a good runway, a showcase or its a wedding dance and there is an open room most instructors move to that free room.

Sharing the music teaches you to tune in whats important. More people on the floor teaches you better navigation, especially if you moving up to do competition.

As for what you can do about your situation if this is really bothering you.... Money talks. If you feel you pay enough NOT to have to be crammed into 1 room when there is more space to be utilized and they are not willing to use it - maybe you should tell them it's time for you to looking for a new studio.
Re: Arthur Murray Stinks
Posted by Clary
6/23/2014  1:18:00 PM
I agree with ballroomchick. Just as a comment, my personal preference would be to share the floor/music on the bigger floor, rather than have exclusive use of floor/music in a small room.
Re: Arthur Murray Stinks
Posted by diskman50
6/24/2014  5:30:00 AM
Just to be clear we are not talking about a gymnasium size floor here. Most of the time the group class students are banging into the private lessons that are going on at the same time. It just seems to me that it's a waste of resources for the sake of appearing bigger then they actually are.

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