Arthur Murray: The Man, the Myth, the Legend

Arthur Murray Charleston, with a Long-Rich History,
is the Place to Learn to Dance


arthur murray kathrynmurrayWhile everyone knows about Arthur Murray as an elite brand in the field of ballroom dancing, few are familiar with the life of the man who founded the original studio. While there may be options when it comes to taking dance lessons, it’s important to focus on experience. Where there is history and commitment to craft, there is experience!

Here are some fun facts about Arthur Murray, one of America’s foremost innovators in the field of dance.

  • The first Arthur Murray studio was started in 1912 and taught different styles of dance including: Tango, Foxtrot, Rumba and Waltz. (Arthur Murray Charleston still teaches all of the original dance styles and many more!) Despite being founded by an internationally known ballroom dance superstar, this studio sought to inspire average couples to join the fun. By advertising to his customers through the mail, Arthur Murray brought the elegance of dance to the lives of everyday people.
  • Murray was a smart guy. He immediately saw the value of the social media of the day! While studying business administration at Georgia School of Technology in 1920, Arthur Murray orchestrated the world's first "radio dance" A band played on the campus while 150 enthusiasts danced along in downtown Atlanta.
  • As Arthur Murray’s influence grew, he changed the national dance scene with crazes like the Lambeth Walk and the Big Apple. His students came to include John D. Rockefeller and Eleanor Roosevelt.
  • Prior to the Cold War, Murray helped bring about the rise in popularity of Latin music in the United States. He learned Salsa, Cha-Cha, and the Hustle first-hand through his travels to Cuba. By doing so, he dramatically changed the face of social dancing, which had been dominated by the Waltz and Foxtrot up until that point.
  • Arthur Murray demonstrated the social benefits of ballroom dance when he married his former dance partner, Kathryn Kohnfelder, in 1925.  Together, they raised twin daughters, Jane and Phyllis. Jane would go on to marry Dr. Henry Heimlich, the doctor who became well known for inventing the Heimlich maneuver.

We still see Arthur Murray’s cultural impact in our lives today. In just the past decade, USA Dance Inc. has reported a 35% increase in the number of people taking ballroom dance. The social dance scene pioneer by Arthur Murray is still growing stronger.

If you are considering taking up ballroom dancing, there’s no better place than Arthur Murray Charleston. Contact us today and get started. Your first lesson is free.

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