"Arthur was a visionary,” said John Kimmins, President of Arthur Murray International
Coral Gables, Florida (PRWEB) February 02, 2012
2012 marks 100 years since a shy young man named Arthur Murray stepped onto the dance floor and into the history of American pop culture. Known best for the iconic Arthur Murray Dance Studios, Arthur Murray was a brilliant marketer and innovator, starting his dance teaching career in 1912.
“Most people remember Arthur as an older gentleman smiling in grainy dance photo poses from the 1950s, many times accompanied by his wife Kathryn, a television celebrity in her own right. But Arthur was a visionary,” said John Kimmins, President of Arthur Murray International. “Fueled by a passion for sharing his love of dance, Murray created new marketing methods and embraced the latest in technology and media to bring joy to millions.”
As a student in college, Arthur developed and marketed the idea of selling dance lessons one footstep at a time by mail. During the 1920s, he arranged for the first live radio broadcast of dance music, with the help of a group of young engineering students from Georgia Tech, bringing live music to a rooftop party in downtown Atlanta.
Later, after developing his own dance studios, Arthur made sure that every first-class steamship cruise included dance teachers from his studio system. When travelers returned home, they wanted to continue their dance lessons, and relied on the familiar brand name to continue with their dance lessons.
Arthur was a dance impresario, traveling throughout the Caribbean and Latin America to bring Latin dances to America – still the most popular dances today. At his direction, many Arthur Murray Dance events took place in Cuba so that the dance instructors would learn the Latin dances in as authentic a manner as possible.
In the 1950s, Arthur embraced television, still in its infancy, creating the celebrated Arthur Murray’s Dance Party television show. The show was a huge success, and ran for ten years on national television – enormously popular even by contemporary standards. These hugely popular TV shows were the precursor to today’s ABC mega-hit “Dancing with the Stars.” Indeed, many of the Arthur Murray’s Dance Party shows had well known celebrities paired with dance professionals as dance contestants – voted on by judges and the TV viewing audience. The Arthur Murray Dance Party is being updated, re-edited, and will be made public in the early spring of 2012.
In celebration of the 100th anniversary of teaching the world to dance, Arthur Murray Dance Studios world-wide will hold a variety of special events and dance competitions in the dance studios. Larger events scheduled for 2012 include:
- March 21 – 25 -- World Dance-O-Rama - New York City, NY
- April 4 – World-wide 24 hour dance party to celebrate Arthur Murray’s Birthday
- April 11 – 14 -- International Franchise Convention – Miami Beach, FL
- October 31 – November 4 – Superama 2012 – Las Vegas, NV
For dance celebrations in your community, contact your local Arthur Murray Dance Studio, and as Kathryn Murray always said at the close of each TV episode, “Put a little fun in your life. Try Dancing.”
Arthur Murray Dance Studios are located in the USA, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Austria, Latvia, Ukraine, Poland, Italy, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, UAE, Egypt, Turkey, South Africa, United Kingdom, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Australia. For more information about ballroom dance, visit the Arthur Murray International website at http://www.arthurmurray.com.
For history, photographs from the historical archives of Arthur Murray International and more information, visit http://www.100yearsofdance.com.