Arthur Murray Dance Center of Hillsborough Grand Opening!

On Friday, September 8th, Team Arthur Murray Kartashov officially held the Grand Opening of their new location in Hillsborough, New Jersey. With food, drinks, a ribbon-cutting ceremony, and, of course, a lot of dancing, it was a grand affair as students and staff of both Cranford and Hillsborough locations came to help celebrate.

Hillsborough Township did its part to welcome Arthur Murray as well. Several prominent members of the city, including Mayor Carl Suraci and Business Advocate David Kois, joined the celebrations and helped cut the red ribbon with franchise owners Danila and Nuria Kartashov.

“A big thank you to the Hillsborough area for welcoming us here,” Danila said. “We are looking forward to changing lives through dancing.”

This is the second Arthur Murray location opened by Danila and Nuria Kartashov. Both Danila and Nuria have been dancing since childhood – Danila in Moscow, and Nuria in Madrid. They met and began their partnership in 1999, and joined Arthur Murray – and tied the knot – in 2001. They became owners of the Kenilworth location in 2010, and moved studios to Cranford in 2015. The Hillsborough studio first opened its doors at the beginning of June 2017.

“We are so blessed to get the chance to share our love of dancing with our new Arthur Murray family in Hillsborough,” Nuria said.

“It was truly a blessing to see so many faces, both old and new, come support us in our new endeavor,” said Alexis Martinez, the New Student Director of Hillsborough. “These past few months have been amazing and I cannot wait to see how many lives we can change through dancing.”

The rest of the Arthur Murray Hillsborough team boasts of varied and impressive experience as well. Alexis, also an Instructor there, has a background in multiple styles of dance, including tap, ballet, and jazz. The other two full-time instructors at the Hillsborough location, Keenan and Laura Smout, have both led lives full of dance. They are the newest members of Team AMK.

“It was great to have families of both studios come together for exciting night of celebration!” Keenan said of the event.

His wife, Laura, agreed. “It was a fun-filled night seeing our awesome students and sharing a great time together with our new addition to the Kartashov AMpire!”

After their successful Grand Opening, Arthur Murray Hillsborough looks forward to sharing the Arthur Murray passion for ballroom dance with the Hillsborough community.

Theater Showcase “Around the World”

Arthur Murray Cranford and Hillsborough celebrated following the final curtain for their annual fundraiser showcase on August 12. This year, owners Danila and Nuria Kartashov supported the Sunshine Kids. The non-profit organization helps children with cancer by providing positive group activities and emotional support.

Arthur Murray instructors from Cranford and Hillsborough express themselves before the show starts.

Most students spend months preparing routines. Diane, a newer student at Cranford, said the show exceeded her expectations. “It was far superior than what I had envisioned. So professional. No detail, from costuming, lights, and jewelry was left out.” She felt proud to be a part of the Arthur Murray family’s gesture to help the cause.

Arthur’s Kids strike a pose before their debut performance.

Jerry, a student at Cranford, says theatre night is unlike any other event. “You will never be so alone, but you will never feel as validated – and thankful – as you do when it’s over.” This was Jerry’s fourth year supporting the theatre event.

Among the performers was the Arthur Murray Kid’s formation. In their debut showcase, children from four to six years old took the stage with their team of instructors. Learning to dance doesn’t just teach you how to dance. It requires focus, dedication and helps with social skills. For the Kartashov owners, ballroom dance is the perfect mixing ground for kids to experience it all.


This year’s themed “Around the World”  show featured 54 different students from the Arthur Murray family showcasing dances from different countries. The hour and half show started in North America, with the USA and Mexico before hopping the ocean to Asia.  There was everything from the traditional flavor of Japan to the current pop sensations of South Korea – and a strong Bollywood flavor. After brief visits to Australia and Africa, the show went into intermission.

Arthur Murray staff and students celebrate!

Before the second act started, Steve Janett – speaker for the Sunshine Kids Foundation – thanked all of the Arthur Murray family and viewers for their support. Aisha Guadalupe joined him onstage to speak first hand of the support the Sunshine Kids afforded her while she battled cancer.

The curtains lifted once again, this time in the cold and grandeur of Russia. Several group numbers kicked off the second act, including an adult  formation and some dancing penguins. Next up was South America – everyone wanted to move their hips whether in Colombia, Brazil or Costa Rica. The show finished in Europe as the entire cast came on stage for a final bow before the curtain closed.


Welcome Keenan & Laura!

Keenan and Laura Smout are the newest members of Team Arthur Murray Kartashov, and we’re incredibly excited to have them join us! They will become instructors at our Arthur Murray Hillsborough location when it opens this spring. Until then, we’ll have them in our Cranford studio to allow everyone to meet them and work with them.

Arthur Murray Dance Center of Cranford

Keenan grew up in American Fork, Utah, the third of four children — all sisters. He played piano and soccer before dancing took over his life at age 10. After high school, he received a scholarship for dance from Brigham Young University. Since graduating, he and Laura have taught at various independent studios, as well as competed on a professional level.

Laura grew up in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with two brothers and a sister — quadruplets. She grew up with music in her life. She played piano and flute throughout her childhood, and began ballroom dancing in high school. She also attended Brigham Young University, where she and Keenan met in a dance technique class.

Despite being on the same ballroom dance team, Keenan and Laura only occasionally danced together. They first danced together as partners at a homecoming parade for their university. Now officially long-term partners, they have been dancing together for five years now and have been married for four. Together, they have won dance competition titles across the country.

Outside of dancing, Laura enjoys working out and the outdoors. She’s eager to travel more, especially internationally. Keenan, once a mechanic, still maintains an interest in motorcycles and cars. He also enjoys playing video games in his downtime.

Together, the couple hopes to continue gaining certifications, as well as to one day own a ballroom dance studio of their own. Both Keenan and Laura want to give back as they progress — to help share their love of dance with both students and other staff members, and are excited to join Team AMK.

Arthur Murray Dance Center of Cranford Grand Opening

This past June, the AMK team moved from Kenilworth to the new Cranford location, and celebrated its Grand Opening on the 24th of September. The mayor of Cranford, Andis Kalnins, came to cut the ribbon and mark the occasion.
Arthur Murray Dance Center of CranfordArthur Murray is a name with a lot of history attached to it. With roots tracing back to 1912, Arthur Murray International has since expanded across the globe with well over two hundred studios open in over twenty countries. The famous motto of Arthur Murray, ‘Walk In & Dance Out’, boasts of our confidence in being able to teach any student any ballroom style they’d like. The tried and true curriculum is exactly why, even today, that the Arthur Murray name is a household one when it comes to dance.

Arthur Murray Cranford also has a team with its own impressive legacy. Danila and Nuria Kartashov, the franchisees of this branch, have both been dancing all their lives. Born in Russia, Danila began dancing at the age of five, and has been dancing ever since. Nuria, originally from Spain and with a background in ballet, met Danila in 1999 and they began their partnership soon after. They have won competitions in several countries, including the Arthur Murray International Latin Championship and Manhattan Dancesport Championship. They’ve been finalists in many more. Danila and Nuria eventually married and joined the Arthur Murray team together in 2001, and became franchisees of the Kenilworth Arthur Murray location in January of 2010.

The rest of our team comes from just as varied backgrounds with equally diverse dance histories behind us, including ballet, modern, jazz, and all styles of ballroom dancing. We’ve created a rich learning environment that’s sure to find something to offer for everyone. The curriculum has any and all ballroom dance styles, allowing plenty of room to explore and experiment while learning anything a student would want; all of Arthur Murray’s lessons are tailored to exactly what a student would want to gain from them.