An Interview With: Kennedy!

What is your favorite part of the Arthur Murray day?
 
“I really enjoy our dinner time together. Laughing at random videos we come across, telling jokes, and talking about our lives makes it fun!”

What do you do for fun when not at Arthur Murray?

“I enjoy exploring new places/restaurants. Watching TV shows, relaxing at home, and doing whatever Colleen wants, of course. I’m also guilty of being sucked into the Fortnite craze.”

 

How did you start dancing?

“As a kid, I would step on my mom’s feet as we danced in the kitchen, and there was always music and dancing at family parties, so I grew up with a lot of dancing.”

 

How did you find Arthur Murray?

“After knowing how to do the Latin dances from family parties and hip hop/break dancing in middle school and high school, I wanted to expand my knowledge of dancing to impress the ladies. So I came across Arthur Murray, and scheduled my first complimentary dance lesson. And the rest is history.”

 

What’s your favorite dance?

“This is such a tough question. It depends on my mood, but if I had to pick, I would lean towards the Rhythm dances.”

 

Funniest dance moment?

“I almost got killed for this, but I started dancing a Mambo at a competition backwards, and I didn’t realize it until halfway through the dance. I got plenty of dirty looks from Colleen for it once we came off the floor.”

 

What’s your dance dream?

“To become a Franchisee.”

 

How do you maintain your inspiration for dancing and teaching?

“I always try to maintain a vivid picture of what I want to accomplish in the long run, and that usually puts me back on track if I veer off. I also like to read or watch interview videos of “successful” people for extra motivation.”

Dance Is Their Love Language

For Week 2 of our International Spring Festival, Romance is in the air! To celebrate, we interviewed three of our student couples about how dancing has changed their relationships.

How did you meet your significant other? 

Louie & Odette said: “We were classmates in Chemistry 3 class in College; Louie was in Pre-med; Odette was in Pre-nursing.”

Matt & Caitlin said: “Caitlin and I met in our second year of college. We were both pledging a community service fraternity, a process which encouraged us to become, at a minimum, friendly with everyone else joining that semester. I learned that Caitlin lived directly below me in the dorms, and she mentioned that we played our music loudly. Despite the consistent, reverberating bass line through her room, we started to hang out frequently and became fast friends. It was not until a few months later, though, that we started dating.” 

Tom & Abby said: “We met at  New Years Eve party in Hoboken.”

What’s your favorite part of your Arthur Murray date night? 

Louie & Odette said: “We always look forward to that day in the week when we have our private lesson. It gave us that “break” from all the stress from our work because we were doing something we both enjoy. Dancing has always made it feel young at heart. It helped us keep our sanity in this crazy, hectic world.”

Matt & Caitlin said: “Our favorite part of dancing is that we get to spend one-on-one time together, challenging ourselves while having a good time. It is different than most other activities as it requires us to constantly listen to the other person, feel how they are moving, and respond to their actions. Initially, there were times we could argue about who made what mistake, but I am amazed at how we have grown closer and more communicative through the process and we really enjoy the experience.”

Tom & Abby said: “The best part is we get time away from our kids.”

How long have you been dancing? 

Louie & Odette said: “We signed up for dance lessons at Arthur Murray in December of 2001. Nuria has been our instructor since day one.”

Matt & Caitlin said: “We initially joined Arthur Murray, at my parents’ suggestion, to learn how to dance for our wedding. Then after the honeymoon, we enrolled in an actual program. This month is officially one year at the studio.”

Tom & Abby said: “Dancing two years now.”

Share a story about dancing together outside the Arthur Murray studio. 

Louie & Odette said: “We have been requested numerous times through the years to perform in birthday parties/celebrations of our family members and class reunions (both high school and college). We have performed at reunions/events in New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and most recently during Louie’s 40th Med class reunion in Manila, Philippines.”

Matt & Caitlin said: “We have not yet danced together, aside from our wedding, outside the studio, but that is going to change this summer. We tend to have a much more active night life in the summer, unlike in the winter when we prefer to be at home under the warm blankets, watching a movie or reading a book.”

Tom & Abby said: “We’ve gone to a wedding for a friend and our cousin where we got to dance!”

In what ways has dancing changed your date night or relationship? 

Louie & Odette said: “We have met life long friends through dancing, sharing happy memories of competitions, Freestyles, and other events. Dancing has made our life more colorful! We cannot imagine our life without it.”

Matt & Caitlin said: “Last year, we went out to a few nightclubs and mostly danced variations of the two-step. This year, we are definitely ready to use some of our new skills. And with two weddings as well, we are excited, for the first time really, to go out and dance.”

Tom & Abby said: “For the first time in our marriage, we actually have date nights! We attended grad and post-grad programs back to back, then wound up with three kids in quick succession. Prior to dancing at Arthur Murray, we hadn’t dated since 2008. Most weeks our lesson is the only time we have together.”

An Interview With: Chris!

What is your favorite part of the Arthur Murray day?

“Of the Arthur Murray day, my favorite part would have to be the end of it – not because it is over, but because I have had the chance, nay, the privilege to interact with and teach so many students from all different walks of life and know that I, as well as our entire studio, has made a positive impact on their day and life.”

 

What do you do for fun when not at Arthur Murray? 

“I spend what little spare time I have between work and practice either watching shows and movies with Kate or playing games with friends. Growing up I played video games quite competitively so I enjoy relaxing by playing still but I also am a Dungeon Master for my friends and we play Dungeons and Dragons weekly.”

 

How did you start dancing?

“With my left foot of course! Just kidding. I saw the movie Shall We Dance starring Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez. My sister saw it with me and I thought to myself that the dancing looked fun and classy so I figured it was something I should do. Men should know how to dance! Actually everyone should. It’s fantastic.”

 

How did you find Arthur Murray?

“Funny story about that. Despite being a computer geek, I did a google search for “ballroom dance lessons near me” and it said the only location for me was in Kenilworth, now Cranford, and that I could try a free lesson there. I had no idea that there were 2 other Arthur Murray Dance Centers way closer to where I lived, but, as destiny would have it, I think I was sent to the right one. I had no idea I’d love it as much as I do!”

 

What’s your favorite dance?

“My favorite dance would have to be Waltz, because I’m classy like that – or Hustle. Waltz to me is the elegant epitome of ballroom dancing. I feel like a Disney prince when I dance it. On the other hand, everyone knows I love Hustle. When I’m feeling fun and the beat kicks in, you can’t listen to Hustle music and not want to get moving. Whether it’s tapping your foot, bobbing your head, or pretending to do the John Travolta arm point from Saturday Night Fever, I just start going!”

 

Funniest dance moment?

“That would have to be at a Jack & Jill Salsa event I was thrown into. We all know I have some sexy moves, but when I brought out my “not-really-award-winning-double-gun-hands” I stunned the crowd. For all the right reasons of course. It was a one-time thing, so don’t expect to ever see it.”

 

What’s your dance dream?

“My dance dream would be to become a Rising Star 9 Dance Champion. Being that proficient in all of my dancing would be a dream come true. Not only being able to demonstrate my ability and knowledge in the smooth dances but the more rhythmical and club styled dances as well would be phenomenal.”

 

When do you recommend going to your first dance event?

“AS SOON AS POSSIBLE! When I began my journey here, I had only completed two Personal Lessons and one Group Class when I was invited to join Arthur Murray at their Medal Ball. I only knew the Foxtrot basic as well as the Rumba box. I survived. Many ladies’ toes probably did not.

Seeing everyone socialize and have a blast on the dance floor whether you were new or had been dancing for 8 years or more, was wonderful. It was a secret community that I had never even known about. I was welcomed to so swiftly. I’ve never experienced anything like it. So no matter how scary it may seem, go, dive in, and experience it. You won’t want to leave!”

 

An Interview With: Colleen!

What is your favorite part of the Arthur Murray day?

“When I make my student smile because they love what they do and they realize that they CAN do it.”

 

What do you do for fun when not at Arthur Murray?

“I catch up on my favorite TV shows and series, while snuggling with my pup.”

 

How did you start dancing?

“I always loved dancing. When I was young, I used to put on shows for my mom. I started professionally after meeting Kennedy and got offered the job. I knew it would be perfect for me.”

 

How did you find Arthur Murray?

“It’s a funny story actually. I used to waitress at a restaurant, and one day Kennedy and a former coworker came in to eat. They sat at my table and offered me the job. The rest was history.”

 

What’s your favorite dance?

“Hard to say, because they’re all so different and it depends on my mood. I think I’ll go with Viennese Waltz. It’s so elegant and graceful. I love the swift, turning movements of it and how it glides across the dance floor.”

 

Funniest dance moment?

“For one Showcase, my student and I wore wigs for the performance. That day, due to the excessive amount of hairspray in my hair, I could not pin the wig into my hair fully. Once I got on stage and started dancing, the wig started to come off. I had to keep dancing with the wig flopping around. The show must go on!”

 

What’s your dance dream?

“My dream is to continue getting better in my dancing and in my teaching so I can inspire others to keep working on their own dance dreams.”

 

How do you feel about group classes?

“I love group classes. I truly believe that they are an essential key to learning, aside from personal lessons. Not only do they refine a step that you may or may not know, but they teach you how to lead and follow better and much quicker! You’ll be dancing with multiple partners, not just one. Plus, it’s always fun to be surrounded by a group of people who are interested in the same hobby.”

An Interview With: Kate!

What is your favorite part of the Arthur Murray day? 

“Teaching! Which happens all day so I can’t pinpoint a time. I love the atmosphere when the studio is full of students achieving their dance dreams.”

 

What do you do for fun when not at Arthur Murray?

“I think I live here. But if I had to say, building legos and puzzles.”

 

How did you start dancing?

“When I was 14, the first ballroom studio opened in my small hometown. I walked in and never left.”

 

How did you find Arthur Murray?

“I was nearing the end of my Masters program in Boston when my dance coach at the time asked me why I wasn’t teaching. He said I clearly loved this and should share my passion with others. He put me in touch with the Arthur Murray in Cambridge. I started the next month. It has been the best decision.”

 

What’s your favorite dance?

“International slow Foxtrot.”

 

Funniest dance moment?

“During a stage performance, my jumpsuit halter broke and fell off. I snapped my top hat off my head and danced with it covering my chest.”

 

What’s your dance dream?

“Become an Arthur Murray Champion and a US World finalist.”

 

What advice would you give to wedding couples?

“This is the best date night you’ll ever have. Wedding planning is stressful. Dancing together lets you relieve any stress you may have, and you start to communicate with your loved one on a whole new level.”

An Interview With: Val!

What is your favorite part of the Arthur Murray day? 

“Seeing everyone’s smiling faces! And getting to dance, of course!”

 

What do you do for fun when not at Arthur Murray? 

“In the small amount of free time I have outside of the studio, I enjoy sewing, rhinestoning, going to the beach, going social dancing when the opportunity comes up, and going on random adventures with my closest friends.”

 

How did you start dancing?

“I started dancing as a kid. Whenever there was music on, I would dance around the house, so my parents enrolled me in ballet and tap classes at the local dance school. From there I branched out into jazz, modern, lyrical, liturgical, the college dance team, and eventually ballroom.”

 

How did you find Arthur Murray?

“After I graduated college, I moved around through a few different jobs like many young adults trying to find their place in the world do. I had started taking ballroom lessons at an independent studio and gradually started teaching for them. I knew then that I wanted dance to become my career path. I searched for a new job, sending my resume to every dance studio I could find, and landed an interview with Nuria and Danila in the Kenilworth studio. The rest is history!”

 

What’s your favorite dance?

“I don’t have one. I also don’t have a least favorite dance. I go through phases where I fall in love with something I’m working on, but then I move on to the next dance. My first loves were Samba, International Rumba, and International Foxtrot.”

 

Funniest dance moment?

“Dancing Salsa with Chris in a Jack and Jill contest at our Area training seminar. So much twerking!”

 

What’s your dance dream?

“To be a judge at a Dance-O-Rama.”

 

What’s the most important reason someone should learn to dance?

“Because you can. Because it changes you and your relationships and your world for the better. Because it will become the best part of your day. Because it’s something not everyone does and you deserve something special and unique for yourself. We waste way too much precious time in our lives with ‘should I?’ when the answer is 100% yes. Take advantage of your physical and mental capabilities and do something that will enhance your life. Dance!”

An Interview With: Lance!

What is your favorite part of the Arthur Murray day?

“I love teaching the students and helping them achieve their dance goals!”

 

What do you do for fun when not at Arthur Murray?

“Topgolf and finding new places to eat. Golf is my stress relief.”

 

How did you start dancing?

“I started dancing in high school because a friend thought she needed a partner to try out for the Ballroom Dance Team, so she bribed me with dinner.”

 

How did you find Arthur Murray?

“Kate facebook messaged me.”

 

What’s your favorite dance?

“International Foxtrot! I also believe it is the hardest dance and I like the challenge.”

 

Favorite dance moment?

“When I stepped onto the dance floor for my first professional competition. Knowing I was on the floor with the best dancers in the country was energizing. And I get the same feeling today when I compete.”

 

What’s your dance dream?

“Long term I want to provide a high level of Ballroom training to the kids in my home state. So that they can realize their own dance dreams. I love helping others achieve their goals.”

 

What advice would you give an introvert on the dance floor?

“The social dance floor is the best and safest place to step out of your comfort zone. It is the place you can relax and enjoy.”

An Interview With: Keenan!

What is your favorite part of the Arthur Murray day?

“My favorite part of the Arthur Murray day is teaching lessons. I love sharing and teaching about the thing I love so much.”

What do you do for fun when not at Arthur Murray?

“I like to play xbox to distress. I also like to do outdoor things, like dirt biking, hiking, camping, etc.”

 

How did you start dancing?

“I started dancing in elementary school, after seeing my friend dance. I thought it would be fun, and a good way to meet girls.”

 

How did you find Arthur Murray?

“Through Lance Gillman.”

 

What’s your favorite dance?

“My favorite dance is Jive, I love how energetic and athletic the dance is.”

 

Most memorable dance moment?

“My most memorable dance moment was when the music suddenly stopped playing 1 minute into our 3 minute theater arts routine. (Think lots of lifts and fancy tricks.) I looked over to the music man and he just shook his head telling me it wasn’t coming back on.

At first I felt very embarrassed. I let Laura down from the lift and spun her out to bow. We walked off the floor and were greeted by fellow competitors, judges, coaches, people we knew and many more we didn’t, telling us how great our piece had been, and how sad they were that we weren’t able to finish it. It was amazing to feel the support of so many people that we look up to in a moment we considered to be a low point for us as dancers.”

 

What’s your dance dream?

“My dance dream is first and foremost to open my own studio, and have my own dance family and home. I would also like to be in the US National Latin final.”

 

What would you say to someone considering attending their first Dance-o-Rama?

“Be prepared to meet your new family. Fellow students and teachers will always be supportive of you in your personal dance journey. Everyone there has opened their heart and let everyone watch them dance, and they are eager to see and support you in that next amazing step in your dance journey.”

An Interview With: Laura!

What is your favorite part of the Arthur Murray day?

“Dinner is an exciting hour in the day to be able to get together with the staff to eat and chat! It is great to have time during a work day to have this. Most of all dinner builds camaraderie and being like a family.

My favorite part of my day is being a part of the Practice Party. This really is such a party! There is constant dancing, but most importantly we are having the most fun ever. And again sharing the love of dance on the dance floor with students is the best. It is one of the best ways of ending a work day with a Practice Party.”

What do you do for fun when not at Arthur Murray?

“I love working out! So when I am not at Arthur Murray, I am at the gym. I also enjoy being outside and active! I love spending time with friends and family. It is also fun to be able to go out on date nights with Keenan!”

 

How did you start dancing?

“I started dancing in high school! I saw a college performance team perform and I fell in love with dance. I found the closest studio and I attended the beginning group class. And the rest is history. I started competing with my instructor. Later tried out for a college team and never stopped dancing once I started!”

 

How did you find Arthur Murray?

“I found Arthur Murray through a friend. So basically, Lance.”

 

What’s your favorite dance?

“My favorite dance is a tie between International Rumba and International Samba! I love the romance and love of the Rumba. But then the party and sassiness of the Samba.”

 

Funniest dance moment?

“I don’t really have any funny dance moments. Many embarrassing moments, but not funny ones.”

 

What’s your dance dream?

“My dance dream is to one day own a studio and give back to the community! And to one day have a dance family and be a family to others through dance!”

 

What would you say to someone doing a solo for the first time?

“Have fun! Enjoy the moment and have fun! It may not be perfect, because we are humans and mistakes happen. But the most important part is enjoying and having the time of your life!!”

An Interview With: Alexis!

What is your favorite part of the Arthur Murray day?

“I’m not sure I can say I have a single favorite part but I do have a favorite aspect, and that’s the camaraderie and respect that fills the studio from the moment you peer through the glass doors.”

 

What do you do for fun when not at Arthur Murray?

“When I’m not at Arthur Murray, I am typically enjoying my days with my family, finding new places for good eats, and the occasional shopping trip.”

 

How did you start dancing?

“I started dancing at the age of 3 and continued for my entire life. It was always the one consistent thing in my life because of what it gave me in return.”

 

How did you find Arthur Murray?

“I found Arthur Murray through a long search for a career that I enjoyed and loved, so it was almost as if an Arthur Murray birdie knocked on my window and made me apply.”

 

What’s your favorite dance?

“Anything that gives me the chance to let loose, so anything in the Rhythm realm always makes my heart happy.”

 

Funniest dance moment?

“Danila Dance Session – working on our drive in Waltz and Foxtrot one minute, in a complete split the next.”

 

What’s your dance dream?

“My dance dream is to be the very best I can possibly be with medals to prove it.”

 

What would you to say to someone thinking about dancing for the first time?

“Go for it! You miss out on all opportunities not taken. Whether you’re part of a couple or an individual, dancing allows you a kind of expression you find nowhere else.”