Finding Your First Pair of Dance Shoes

You know, I guess I had taken for granted the ease of dancing in Dance Shoes, until a couple of years ago when we were asked to teach a group class in Market Square, an outside shopping and dining district in downtown Pittsburgh. Because the event was outside, we were discouraged from wearing our suede-soled dance shoes, and because it was late autumn I decided to wear ankle boots (they were super-cute Jessica Simpson leather boots, but I digress).

After a few short minutes of dancing, my ankles started screaming at me. The boots, although adorable, were heavy. And they did not allow me to rotate on my foot, which is a main part of what we do when we dance. Ever since then, I have tried to encourage every dancer, new or experienced, to invest in a pair (or two) of dance shoes.

With so many options out there, what do you need to look for in your first pair of dance shoes? I will do my best to steer you in the right direction.

Finding Your First Pair of Dance Shoes

Written by: Kristen Perpich

elegant sketched woman's shoe. salsa dance shoes.



Ladies, the first decision to be made is whether to go with a closed-toe shoe or an open-toe shoe. They each have their place, but more on that in a future blog. In your first pair of dance shoes you are looking for a style that will allow you to perform all kinds of dances- smooth, rhythm, country, and more! I recommend an open toe shoe in the beginning, because you will be able to dance all of these styles. If you can find a peep-toe style, all the better.

different heels shoes woman dancing

Heel Height

Next, we talk about the height of the heel. I find it easier to dance in heels than in flats, but that doesn’t mean you have to jump in and get the 4″ stilettos. Dance shoes come in a variety of heel heights from a little over one inch up to three inches or more. I suggest starting with a lower heel, especially if you are not accustomed to wearing heels on a daily basis. One and a half to two inches is a great starting point.


Your third decision is color. Dance shoes are available in tan, black, white, red, leopard print, and almost any other color you can imagine. For your first pair of shoes, you’ll want to go with something neutral: tan or black is best. Tan shoes are great because you can wear them with any outfit. The shoes will blend in with your legs, and the dance floor.

elegant sketched man's shoe. argentine tango dance shoes.


Heel Height

Gentlemen, lucky for you (or maybe not), you do not have nearly the amount of variety when it comes to your shoes as the ladies do. The first of two decisions to be made concerns heel height. There are two options for heel height: 1″ standard, or 2″ Cuban heel. For your first pair of dance shoes, I recommend the 1″ standard heel because you can most easily dance all styles versus a Cuban heel, which is specifically designed for latin and rhythm dancing.


Your second decision is color. By far, the most popular color for a man’s dance shoe is black. Don’t get me wrong, there are other colors out there: brown, white, black & white, etc. Basic black is your best bet, it goes with almost anything.

Where to purchase?

You can often purchase shoes through your dance studio, and your instructors may be able to guide you in your decision. Otherwise, there are tons of online sites that sell dance shoes. Depending on where you live, you might locate a brick and mortar store that keeps dance shoes in stock that you can try on.

Any way that you find them, dance shoes are a worthwhile investment in your dancing. After all, they are the only thing between you and the dance floor!

Frequency: The Key to Getting Off On The Right (or Left) Foot

Q – How important is frequency during your first few lessons???
A – It is at least vitally important, if not critically so!!!

Why, you might ask?

Frequency: The Key to Getting Off On The Right (or Left) Foot

Written by: Barbara Haller

Think about the process of learning any new skill… a language, a sport, really any physical or mental activity that is foreign to you.

If you immerse yourself in it (remember Berlitz language courses -a three week intensive with NO native tongue allowed) you SUCCEED!!

Do we want you to live at the studio for three weeks? Nope! However, we would like to encourage you to take at least two or three lessons per week when you begin your dance journey with us so that you succeed in acquiring a skill that is somewhat intellectual and primarily physical. This requires placing the patterns in your MUSCLE MEMORY. During an interview in our recent newsletter, a new student couple stated that taking two private lessons, a group and practice session per week not only gave them exercise and romance benefits (they are recent empty nesters) but also they said “[taking those extra lessons at first] helped us know we wanted to commit to this for a long time”. They love their new skill!!

Not to belabor the point, but as a teenager I was on scholarship at a prestigious ballet center. The goal was to form a renowned ballet company in as short a number of years as possible, starting with raw talent, relatively (sorry to our first teachers) untrained. This was our schedule after school- a two hour ballet class, a break for homework, another one and a half hour ballet class- five days a week!! Saturdays we had a two hour class and then pas de deux or character classes, after which we had the rest of the weekend to recover!!!!

Did we form that company?? You betcha! I am dating myself but Rudolph Nureyev and Eva Evdokimova were the guest artists on a three month European tour!!!

We are not suggesting this level of time investment by ANY means. However, what follows is a list of the reasons why frequency in your first few weeks is so important:

1). You get the best use of your investment of time and money because each lesson is new information versus a repeat of what your instructor told you a week or two ago!

2). You feel success with a new and awesome skill!

3). You get to develop a mind / body awareness that is actually proven to prevent the onset of dementia and early Alzheimer’s!!

4). You experience a continuing education; as we know, interrupted educations rarely make it to the cap and gown stage! And yes, we do have graduations! No cap and gown but rather tuxes and bling for the ladies!

5). You socialize and party while learning… That only happened once in my college career – thanks Dr. Camara!! (French prof who let us watch a film and party at the end of each semester.)

6). You are quickly incorporated into a family of like-minded , exercise-oriented, healthy and happy friends!!

7). You can forget about that gym membership!! This is the best full body workout next to swimming- scientifically proven. Even athletes like Jerry Rice (San Francisco 49ers) said he was in better shape after competing in DWTS than when he was playing football!!!

Your first few lessons are the most important ones of all, as they set the tone for your success in your new skill. Keep your frequency up and you will be flying around the dance floor in no time!!!

What to Expect When You’re Expecting… Your First Dance Lesson

MAZEL TOV! CONGRATS! HAVE A CIGAR! It’s a… DANCE LESSON!! You noticed that your daily routine has gotten a little dull and could use a little dose of Cha Cha, Rumba, or Waltz. You’ve done the research and found out that your local Arthur Murray was the bees knees of ballroom dance lessons and set up your VERY FIRST DANCE LESSON!! This is a momentous occasion! Pop the champagne, get out your finest cigar, have a party and dance like you have no clue what you’re doing, because after your first lesson, you will begin to :). Now, there can be some nerves going on about your first dance lesson. You’re venturing into uncharted territory, where there’s music, dancing, and some extremely poor singing at times! To help quell some of those nerves and to get you off on the best foot possible, we are here with some first-lesson-shattering advice.

What to Expect When You're Expecting... Your First Dance Lesson

Number 1: Dress for Success
You wouldn’t show up to play a baseball game in full body armor (well I might, but that’s for good reason), or go to a black tie event without a… black tie. So, you might as well come to a dance lesson in the attire that gets you off on the right (or left if you’re the guy) foot. Now what I’m about to say are merely RECOMMENDATIONS to make your first visit to a dance studio the best it can be. These are by no means requirements, but simply suggestions to make you feel as “at home” as possible. Your local Arthur Murray does its very best to provide a warm, welcoming and professional environment. Think of it like Disney Land for adults. Although from time to time you may see people decked out in Onesies, Superhero Costumes, and Elf Costumes, the attire is typically business casual. As stated earlier, your local Arthur Murray does its best to be a professional environment. That’s why you’ll find your instructor to be impeccably dressed (although I make no promises about my ability to speak properly). For the gents, we recommend slacks and at least a polo shirt. As a frame of reference, your male instructors will always be in a shirt and tie (unless there’s a themed party going on that night). You certainly can wear jeans but they tend to get warm (dancing is exercise don’t cha know). For the ladies, anything somewhat dressy will work. This includes, but is not limited to, skirts, slacks, a nice blouse, just so far as you feel comfortable (and why not a little fancy). I mean, this is certainly one place you can dress up and not feel out of place, so go nuts!

In regards to foot wear, dance shoes are certainly not necessary for your first few lessons, but try to wear something with a harder sole. If your shoes are rubbery on the bottom it’ll be a bit harder to move easily from step to step. Ladies, try to wear a heel that secures nicely to your foot. If you have an aversion to high heels, they are certainly not necessary. Comfort comes first! Onto the next round…

What to Expect When You're Expecting... Your First Dance Lesson

Number 2: Nerves are GOOD
You know those butterflies you get in the pit of your stomach before an experience? That means you actually care and want to do well! CONGRATS! YOU CARE! YAY! Now don’t worry, those first lesson jitters will very quickly subside once you’ve dusted off those dancing shoes and taken your first steps. Also, one reason not to feel so debilitated by your nerves is this… every single person who has ever danced has started from scratch. Not one person was ever born while holding a perfect dance frame… as far as I know. That simply means that the longer you wait, the longer those pre-first dance butterflies will be there. And you can’t move on to your first-time-dancing-in-public butterflies or your first-Showcase butterflies if you haven’t moved past your first-dance-lesson butterflies. And those are much better butterflies.

What to Expect When You're Expecting... Your First Dance Lesson

Number 3: Bring Your Calendar
Try to imagine this nightmare. You have your very first lesson. It’s a ROUSING success. I mean, men are weeping, women are swooning, children… are with the babysitter (YAY GROWN UP TIME). You go to arrange your next lesson and you DON’T HAVE YOUR CALENDAR! THE HORROR, THE HORROR! You promise to call when you get back home, but then guess what happens? Life gets in the way. Don’t let this happen to you! As said earlier, chances are that you’ll LOVE your first dance lesson and not want to wait to schedule your next one! Make sure to bring your handy, dandy schedule so that you can put some life into your day as opposed to letting life dictate your day (this actually goes for all future lessons too).

What to Expect When You're Expecting... Your First Dance Lesson

Number 4: Frequency
One of the easiest ways to majorly kill the high that you get from that very first lesson is to wait too long to take the second one! Dancing is like ANY OTHER physical activity where the more frequently you do it, the more progress you’ll make! On that note, your instructor will most likely encourage you to come in as soon as humanly possible. When I “played” basketball in high school, the only thing I was remotely good at was shooting. The reason being is that I practiced shooting more than anything else. Same goes for dancing. If you want this to feel comfortable quickly, put in the hours! Now, we’ll work with whatever your schedule will permit, but it would GREATLY minimize that whole first-awkward-phase if you schedule your first number of visits as close as possible.

What to Expect When You're Expecting... Your First Dance Lesson

Number 5: Accentuate the Positive
Whether it’s thinking that there’s NO POSSIBLE WAY you can fit this into your busy schedule (we have uber flexible hours) or thinking you travel waaaaaaaaaay too much to do this right now (Arthur Murray is AWESOME because there are over 270 schools worldwide). That means when you join one Arthur Murray, it’s like you’re joining all 270 of them. Don’t stop yourself from going to your first dance lesson before you’ve actually, you know, done it. Whatever your hesitation/qualm happens to be, that’s just the little voice in your head trying to get the best of you… DON’T LET THAT HAPPEN!! There is absolutely no reason to delay the awesomeness that is dance any longer than you absolutely have to.

What to Expect When You're Expecting... Your First Dance Lesson

Number 6: For Goodness Sakes, Listen to Your Instructor
Your instructor is going to do their very best to make sure that wherever you plan on dancing, that you’re prepared for it. Going to a wedding? They’ll make sure you’re locked and loaded with some slow, medium, and faster tempo dances! Going on a trip to the Caribbean? Well then they’ll make sure you’re able to Salsa/Bachata the night away! Plan on dancing in a two feet by two feet square in your house with the blinds shut and lights out? They’ll figure out something for that as well.

Top 10 Rules of Ballroom Dance Etiquette


Sometimes the difference between a second dance and “I’m never giving them a second glance” is a matter of etiquette. Ballroom Dancing, like many other activities, comes with an unspoken list of tips, tricks, and courtesies. Unspoken until today, that is.

TOP 10 Rules of Ballroom Dance Etiquette

Written by: Kristen Perpich

1. Breath Issues. Dancing is usually done in close quarters. As such, it is imperative that you pay attention to your breath (fresh breath is always appreciated). Most studios provide mints or mouthwash, which are especially necessary if you have eaten garlic or onion or other potent foods. If you are a smoker, you should always use mouthwash and/or brush your teeth before dancing.

2. Body Smells. If you are prone to perspiration, deodorant goes a long way toward preventing body odor. You should also take care to wear freshly laundered clothing, and possibly bring a backup shirt or blouse, as dancing is great exercise and might create excess perspiration. Be careful when wearing cologne or perfume, especially if you are prone to wearing a lot of it. Some people are very sensitive to scents.

3. The Frame Should be Held in Position at All Times, but with a comfortable hold. Holding the frame does not mean pulling, squeezing, or pressing into your partner’s arm or back. Simply hold your own position and let your partner adjust to you.

4. Be Gracious and Positive to Dancers at Any Level, so they can feel confident and comfortable in your arms.

5. Have Fun and Avoid Criticizing Your Partner. It takes two to tango (and chacha and rumba and foxtrot), so if something isn’t going right, just ask the teacher.

6. Avoid Teaching on the Dance Floor. If your partner for that dance doesn’t get it the first time, move on. This will avoid any embarrassment to him or her.

7. On that note, Leave the Teaching to the Teachers. Critiquing, teaching, or moving students’ frames around during or after class is inappropriate and makes students feel inadequate. Also, it’s important to be supportive; dancing takes time. Patience with ourselves and our dance partner(s) is extremely important.

8. Party Hearty, Don’t Be a Wall-Flower. Dancing with other students in class or at a party is not required and can be a little uncomfortable at first, but the more you dance with students of various levels, the better leader/follower you become. WHY? If everyone can lead or follow you, you know you have it and if they don’t, you know it still needs some time or practice. When asking students to dance, try to dance with someone new every dance. Also, it is just as important for a lady to ask a man to dance as it is for a man to ask a lady.

9. Challenge Yourself to Say Hello and/or Dance with Someone New. We all remember that nervous feeling of coming into the studio for the first time and not knowing anyone or what to expect. Simply smiling and saying hello or asking someone new to dance can really put them at ease.

10. Quality over Quantity. Most Important Tip: always remember it is not how many steps you know, but how well you do them.

An Investment Worth Making: Why Every Parent of the Bride or Groom Should Take Dance Lessons


An Investment Worth Making: Why Every Parent of the Bride or Groom Should Take Dance Lessons

Written by: Barbara Haller

So you are about to throw the biggest party of your life for hundreds of people, right? Or if you have multiple children, one of the biggest parties. On the big day, the service has been planned and rehearsed, the photos, dinner, and cake cutting occur and the bride and groom perform their first dance as man and wife. (By the way, we are awesome at choreographing those, but I digress…)

Then what??? For the next few hours the band or D.J. plays wonderful, danceable music. If you do not dance or only occasionally slow dance those few hours can be the longest of your life.

6156019 - happy groom dancing at his wedding reception

HOWEVER, if you have invested time and tuition holding each other in your arms while taking lessons with your spouse, those same hours will fly by!! We are in the height of wedding season right now and so many parents are learning to dance in order to trip the light fantastic on their kids’ big day!!

Some parents do so as a surprise for the bride and groom. Recently we had two sets of parents do this, both attempting to blow their kids away. A word to the wise – one of these two couples had taken enough private lessons, group classes and party practice sessions that every faculty member and most students knew them. Then Dad decided he wanted to purchase lessons for the father/daughter dance and we were going to attempt to pretend we did not know him. This line of thinking was fraught with potential problems!! Fortunately we decided the truth will set you free and the daughter learned about the parents lessons before she arrived at the studio! She was thrilled and so were we!

Here is the coolest part: Nearly all of the parents who begin classes find they enjoy the lessons so much that they continue on long after the wedding. We currently have a couple who started taking lessons for their son’s wedding, which was fourteen years ago!!!

parent 3

Why? The closeness that good dancing brings to the relationship is sometimes referred to as “marriage insurance!” Additionally, sometimes the nest is empty after the wedding and most of the previous few decades have been devoted to parenting, leaving a void in the parents relationship which dancing fills😃. One of our couples told us recently that their lessons were the most enjoyable thing they had done together since their son was born! Additionally, dancing is an exercise that uses all the muscles in the body, tied with swimming for most effective toning. Speaking of exercise, the pounds tend to disappear as our couples take roughly 3000 steps per 45 minute lesson. We watch people literally metamorphosis before our eyes.

For example, one of our long time student couples brought their adult daughter in as a guest recently and she is now working on her own program. When asked what prompted her to start taking lessons she stated it was watching her mother turn from a mousy, timid lady to an elegant, sophisticated woman, graceful and poised. Need we say more?

Give it a whirl – we promise we will get you ready to dance to any and all music at the wedding. And who knows, maybe fourteen years from now you will still be dancing with us! If not, we expect you will still be using your dancing skills at other weddings, anniversary parties, on cruises and at local clubs !!

5.5 Tips for the Dance Detective

Tonight on the agenda we delve into the world of dance espionage… Ooooooo, aaaaaahhh! We are going to give you all the tricks of the trade you need to help uncover whether or not your friends have been secretly taking dance lessons. It may seem easy, but only a trained detective can pick up on the subtle, but life changing differences that happen once someone begins to ballroom dance.

Trance-Like State When Music Comes On: Let me just take a guess at how things used to be. You and your friend are driving in your car on one of those long road trips that friends do, you know, like Thelma & Louise (please no driving off a cliff), Dumb & Dumber (I’m sure most of you have a collective IQ over 10), or Harold & Kumar (please no White Castle). Your favorite song comes on and what was at one time a two person Rolling Stones-esque performance has now turned into a one man (or woman) solo with the other person rocking a glazed, out of body-type look on their face. There’s two logical explanations. Numero Uno, they finally realized that you are the weak link of the duo and are trying DESPERATELY to tune out the jackal like noises that are emanating from you. Numero Dos: They are frantically trying to figure out what the heck you dance to this song before its untimely ending! You see, once you start dancing you begin to listen to music differently. You can certainly enjoy songs as you once did (horribly singing along as you make surrounding animal life resentful of mankind), but you get the added perk of going through the laundry list of dances that you know to see what dance best matches the song. The process normally goes something like this: Is this fast or slow? Okay it’s slow… Can I dance the Waltz? No *Shakes Head*, it’s not 3/4 timing. Can I dance the Rumba? *Mentally tries to do the box step in head while music is playing (Side Note: Head may actually start moving at this point)*… YES!! YES I CAN!! This may go on for every song that your friend listens to from now on… So sorry.

Their Posture is Immaculate: Is your once even heightened friend now starting to look down on you? Are they over the age of 18 after puberty has hit? If the answer to both of these questions is yes, then there’s a darn good chance your friend has developed a fondness for the ballroom dances! You see, when one dives into the awesome world of ballroom dance, a number of changes are made. You suddenly become aware of muscles you never knew existed and how things like posture and head position make a HUGE impact on everything. On a personal note, I knew I had made a difference in my posture when someone had told me my posture was “dope”… I think that’s a good thing. So if you were once staring eye to eye with a colleague and suddenly you’re eye to chin… there’s a good chance they’re Waltzing their nights away!

The Jones’ Seem Happier: Your once bickering neighbors now, miraculously, seem to be on cloud nine. What once seemed like a marriage destined to live out its days with snarky remarks and eye rolls now consists of random bouts of laughter and more frequent date nights. You see, a lot of couples learn to dance for a multitude of different reasons. One of the MOST COMMON reasons is due to upcoming empty nest syndrome. The kids are soon to be leaving the house and the folks quickly realize that it will just be “the two of us” in a big ole’ house. What better way to reacquaint yourself with the love of your life than holding them in your arms for 45 minutes. Who knows, that 45 minutes may lead to a lifetime filled with random acts of dancing, spontaneous dipping, and many moments of being swept off your feet.

No Gym Time, Slimmer Waist Line: Your one time gym buddy no longer has time for your weekly workouts, but still seems to be fitting into his/her high school clothes. (Please note I’m talking about size of high school clothes, please do not bring back tie-dye or acid wash jeans….please….please no). Are they secretly getting the extra fat sucked out on the weekends? Possibly. Trying out that new “freeze the fat” trend? Perhaps. What also may be just as likely and TONS more fun is that they’re “salsa-ing” their nights away. Dancing burns a whopping amount of calories and is amazingly easy on the joints. If your once gym happy friend is still losing weight but missing gym appointments, there’s a good chance they are burning the midnight oil dancing to their favorite songs.

Your Friend Is Always Inconspicuously Busy on Night/Weekends: Considering the way society is now-a-days, most people prefer to spend their nights at home, curled up with a good book (or binge watching a good Netflix TV show). There are benefits and consequences to this. First and foremost, you always know where your friend is. You can call them up and can pretty much guarantee they’ll answer (unless they’re on the season finale). That once reliant friend has seemingly turned into a ghost overnight. When you call them up now you either get no answer or just loud strange music in the background. They have either been abducted by aliens (HIGHLY unlikely) or started… wait for it… a little longer… a little more… SOCIALIZING!! Wait, what?!?! What’s that?!?! Socializing is a thing where people gather and do things together. Dancing is a great conduit to get together with friends to try something new or just to meet a brand new set of awesome friends. I’m particularly proud of how welcoming and friendly our student body has been. You get to have an amazing time doing incredible things with awesome people; what could be better?

5.5. They Literally Just told you: This is why there’s the whole “.5” thing in here. Not much sleuth work necessary here, just good ole’ fashioned listening. Although with technology the way it is, actually engaging in conversations is quite the accomplishment, so GOOD JOB!! Pat yourself on the back for actually having some sort of human contact. This one usually comes up because the person you’re talking to is just so darn happy to be having a good time, listening to music, and actually talking to real live people that they can’t hold it in any longer and MUST TELL SOMEONE!!

The Best Dance Movies, and Why We Love Them!

As a dance professional, I am often asked, “Do you like to watch dancing shows or movies?” “Uh, yes!” is always my resounding answer. You might be like me, and you have seen every movie that has even the shortest dance scene in it. Or maybe you are unaware of the plethora of great dance movies that are out there. In this article, I will describe some of the best. This is by no means an extensive list, but it might pique your curiosity to seek out others!

The Best Dance Movies, and Why We Love Them!

Written by Kristen Perpich

Swing Kids

This is a story of Peter and Thomas, two young men whose rebellion against the conformity of Nazi Germany took the form of a love of American swing music, British fashion, and Harlem slang. This movie combines a little dance with a little history, and of course, a few plot twists to keep us all on our toes (not unlike a swing dance).

Shall We Dance

John Clark (no, not John Clark the traveling consultant) is a middle aged Chicago estate lawyer. He loves his family, but their combined busy schedules after two decades of marriage have left him feeling unfulfilled. While taking the train home every night, he notices Miss Mitzi’s Dance Studio, which specializes in ballroom. He signs up for beginner dance lessons, and as time progresses, John gets caught up in the lives of those at Miss Mitzi’s.

Shall We Dance is a feel-good movie that reminds us life is not only work and the everyday mundane, but about finding what makes us happy.


Saturday Night Fever

Nineteen-year-old Brooklyn native Tony Manero has a rocky home life. He fights constantly with his father, and has to live up to his family’s idealistic view of his older brother. His refuge is the local disco club, where he spies Stephanie Mangano. He and Stephanie team up to train for the club’s dance competition, and soon Tony starts to feel like the king of the club.

This movie is the reason that Bob Long, Arthur Murray Chairman of the Dance Board, and many others started teaching. Thank you John Travolta!


Center Stage

Who doesn’t enjoy a good love triangle? Add to that a story of a comeback kid, ballet dancing, and a great soundtrack… You’ve got a hit. Center Stage takes a peak into the challenging field of ballet dancing. The final dance is worth the price of admission:



When Ren McCormack (Kevin Bacon) moves to the small town of Bomont, Utah, he is shocked to find out that dancing and rock music have been banned. As this city boy acclimates to life in a farm town, he and his new friends decide to throw a high school prom, complete with music and dancing. He has to go up against the town council, including his new love interest, Ariel’s, father.

This movie is a dance classic that reminds us to live a little.


Cuban Fury

Former teen salsa champion Bruce Garrett is now an engineer. Bruce gave up dancing after he was brutally bullied by older boys. When he finds out that his new boss, Julia, is passionate about salsa dancing, he decides that the only way he can win her over is by re-mastering the art of dance. Bruce is able to recapture his lost “corazón” (heart), not only for the dance but for his life.


Take the Lead

Based on a true story, the movie tells of the struggle of a dance teacher, Pierre Dulain (Antonio Banderas), to give a group of problem kids a second chance by exploring their dance skills. Everyone is skeptical, especially the kids. After a few uneventful sessions, Pierre finally catches the students’ attention with a tango demonstration. The group eventually competes in a dance contest, as happens in a lot of these dance movies!


Dirty Dancing

This timeless summer love story is a classic. I grew up watching this movie over and over and over (ask my parents).

There is something about it that just makes it absolutely perfect. The characters, the chemistry between Swayze and Grey, the movie’s direction, the INCREDIBLE dancing, the warm summery atmosphere; everything about Dirty Dancing is on par.

The movie includes one of the best dance sequences cinema has ever given us, and a phrase heard round the world, “nobody puts Baby in a corner”.

Top 5 Reasons Why All Nerds Need to Take Dance Lessons

Prepare yourselves ladies and gents as I dip one of my supposedly nimble toes into the realm of blog writing. This first attempt will be on a topic with which I have a great deal of familiarity… being a nerd. First, let me list my credentials on the topic so you can be assured you’re dealing with a fellow nerd. I’m a self avowed superhero enthusiast, former video game addict (I just don’t have the time right now or I would be still), and probably the most compelling credential, a former Mathematics major (basically what everyone stereotypically pictures when they think “nerd”. And yes, I was President of my College Math Club. GO MATHLETES!!). Now, there are millions of reasons dance lessons are awesome for “nerds”, but I’ll do my best to limit this to just the top 5.

Top 5 Reasons Why All Nerds Need to Take Dance Lessons

Written by Brandon Perpich


Atten-TION! (Posture)

I have been there. Countless hours in front of the tv with controller in hand, playing a game for 12-16 hours straight… or being up all hours of the night because you just HAVE to figure out the next math proof. Anyway, all those countless hours hunched over a book or computer screen are absolute TORTURE on your back. Have you ever wanted to be six inches shorter? Unless you’re over 6’7″, the answer is probably no. Staying like that all of the time actually makes you shorter, or at least appear a lot shorter. In dancing you get to do things like stand up straight. Standing up straight not only makes you look more confident, it’s great for your overall health. On to Number 2!!


People!?!? (Social Reasons)

Eh… talking to your friends while playing the newest version of Call of Duty only slightly counts as a social activity. Dancing is one of the few activities left where you actually hold someone and possibly talk to them for three minutes straight (THE HORROR!!!!)… without looking at your cell phone (believe me, I tried, it doesn’t work very well). Being a well adjusted member of society unfortunately includes talking to people once in a while. Not to mention that by dancing, you have a kick-butt conversation starter for everyone you meet in the future!

New Person You Just Met: “Why Hello there, what do you do for fun?”
You: “Oh, me?! Nothing much, just a little something called ChaCha”
New Person You Just Met: “WHAT!?!?” *Face melts from shock….”That is so cool!!”

Let’s move it, move it to Number 3!


Cha-CHING!! (Work Reasons)

Okay, I’m kind of piggy backing off of Number 2 here, but it’s still important. Yes… people are becoming more and more secluded because of cell phones, video games, etc. That means that having superior social skills may just set you apart from any other qualified candidate up for a promotion/new job. Imagine you and some other person are up for the same job but you can actually go into a room and look your terrifying boss in the eyes. It’s HARD! I get it. I only just started looking my boss in the eyes last week (it’s really awkward because my boss is my wife). Being able to stand up straight and look your employer in the eyes goes a lot further in the way of impressing them than talking about the newest edition of Captain America (unless your boss is Stan Lee). SPOILER ALERT, apparently Cap has been secretly working for Hydra all this time… WHAT?!?!
Next… Number 4…


Become a Real Life James Bond (Confidence)

One of the defining characteristics of James Bond, other than the tendency to drive way too fast (probably without wearing a seat belt) and drinking waaaaaaay too many shaken not stirred martinis, is his confidence. Now I’m not suggesting you join MI6 (unless you’re actually playing one of the James Bond video games), that is far too much work and far too dangerous. However, an easier route to confidence is feeling comfortable on a dance floor, a place where most people feel uncomfortable. Again, I speak from experience here. In high school and the first few years of college, I was the stereotypical wall flower. Glasses, void of any muscle whatsoever, and clueless as to how to function when the music comes on at a dance party. What made a HUGE difference was having some structure on the dance floor. Once you have even a vague idea of where to put your feet and how to move to the music, the barriers start collapsing immediately.


Marrying Up!

Alright folks, I’m going to be real with you (and considering I’m a guy, I’m going to speak to the guys here for a second). My wife is pretty amazing. She’s one of the kindest people imaginable, wicked smart, and on top of that a total hottie. What she’s doing with me, I have absolutely no idea. I’ve had friends question me about what she’s doing with me and I honestly have no legitimate answer to give them other than she feels extreme pity. However, it would not have been possible without dance. Now keep in mind that we got together while I was President of the Math Club AND Math Honor Society. You see, girls love to dance. Not just one of them but the vast majority of them. Now, I’m not saying that dancing will guarantee you’ll meet the love of your life. However, you might pick up an awesome hobby that gives you exercise, new friends, more confidence, etc.,etc!

6 Reasons Why This NEW Blog Will Be Your NEW Best Friend

Welcome to our NEW blog! Here you will find experiences, observations, opinions, images, and links to helpful websites. So why will this blog benefit you? Read on to find out….

6 Reasons Why This NEW Blog Will Be Your NEW Best Friend

Written by Kristen Perpich

Access to the Most Common Questions that ALL Dancers Have
You can be sure that if you have a question, there have been other people with the exact same question! In this blog, you will find answers to some of the most common dance-related queries.


Hear the Info Straight From the Source
How often have you “googled” something, only to find a plethora of not-so-appealing search results? Or asked someone for their help and received an unexpected and seemingly unrelated answer? How do you know what information to trust?
In addition to answering your questions, rest assured that the information provided on this blog is coming from a dance organization that has been around for over 100 years!

A Way to Pass Along Info to Your Friends & Family that are Curious About Your New Hobby
Do your non-dancing friends often ask you about your new hobby?
This new blog will provide you with ample information to send to your friends and family, and give them a glimpse into the world of ballroom dance. Maybe they’ll even be curious enough to come to a practice party to watch you get your groove on.

For Dancers, From Dancers
What kind of rhinestones should you use on that new dress? Zip-up or tie-it-yourself tie? Why should I learn the Argentine Tango?
Who better to give dance advice than dancers? We understand the dance world has it’s own language. This blog will help you decipher that language and begin to speak it on your own.

Focused Gathering of Dance Related Articles
Why look on multiple websites for related information when you can get it all in 1 place?
This blog is intended to be a focused collection of all things dance. No need to go hunting on the internet. And if there is something that you’re looking for and cannot find it here….. ask!

Gain Insight into Coaches Minds
We love a good interview, especially when we get to pick the mind of one of Arthur Murray’s traveling consultants! We hope to give you the opportunity to get to know these coaches a little better than you can on a coaching lesson.

5 Life-Altering Benefits of Ballroom Dance


5 Life-Altering Benefits of Ballroom Dance

Written by Barbara Haller


1. Marvelous Exercise!
Did you know it is recommended we take 10,000 steps a day?! In a 45 minute lesson you will knock out approximately 25% of your daily minimum. Additionally, dancing, like swimming, engages all the muscles in the body which produces a toned physique! So you get a tremendous endorphin-producing workout, all while you look (and smell) great!!

dancing couple

2. “Marriage Insurance”
Most couples have individual hobbies, rarely shared ones. Dancing can be a great couple’s hobby. Holding your spouse in your arms while dancing is romantic and enjoyable. In fact, many of our clients tell us their lessons are their “date nights”. They meet at the studio after work, dance together and then enjoy dinner and a glass of wine afterwards, catching up on their day!


3. Learning a New Skill Boosts Self Confidence
We have watched ladies, gentlemen, and couples blossom before our very eyes. For example, a female paralegal who was rather shy when she began her lessons. After a few months, clients started asking about the exciting new person answering the phone. Her boss asked what she had been doing differently in her life and she responded “I began taking social ballroom dancing”. Her boss was so impressed he asked her to keep taking classes and he even purchased the next dance course for her!!!


4. A Safe and Friendly Learning Environment
Our weekly practice parties provide an enjoyable social interaction with the nicest people around. A safe and friendly environment makes it comfortable for singles and couples to let their hair down after a long week, enjoy a glass of wine and a snack and dance the night away. Many of our clients continue the party at local clubs afterwards! We are truly a large extended family who immensely enjoy each other’s company!


5. Did We Mention the FUN?!
Our clients say that no matter the day they may have had, they always feel better after dancing because it is so much fun! As one couple puts it: “We used to grocery shop on Friday night. Now we have a wonderful time dancing instead! The camaraderie and fun we experience at the studio is the highlight of our week!!”.