We all know the story of Arthur Murray, who won his first dance contest in 1912, then taught ballroom dancing while studying business administration and working as a draftsman. It wasn’t long before he became a published author and recognized pioneer of social dancing, as well as the originator of the world’s first radio broadcast of live dance music. As frequent performers with popular celebrities of the day, Arthur and his wife Kathryn opened their first Arthur Murray franchise in 1938. When Arthur Murray was incorporated in 1946, there were 72 franchised studios, including the one in Dayton, Ohio.
The first Dayton Arthur Murray Franchisees were Harry and Maggie Spearin in 1946, followed by Jerry and Jean Zadan throughout most of the 60s and 70s, then finally Tim and Barbara Haller since 1984. Nearly 40 years later, Tim and Barbara are proud to confirm that the legacy of the Dayton studio has been assured for generations to come, as they announce their new partnership with Craig Johnston, who will serve as co-Franchisee with Tim and Barbara moving forward.
“After Craig joined the Dayton studio in 2018, and we realized his passion for dancing, as well as his unparalleled commitment to serving his students, we knew then that Craig was destined to become an Arthur Murray Franchisee. We are now excited to share that the endorsement by Arthur Murray International of Craig as co-Franchisee ensures that the Dayton school will continue to serve customers under strong leadership for generations to come,” said Tim.
Barbara remembers that, “After seeing Craig in action both teaching and competing, I told him that he was the ‘heir-apparent’ of the studio. I couldn’t be more excited for Craig, and our students! Craig brings a new level of energy and leadership to the studio. We look forward to working in partnership with Craig, and ask our students to join us in congratulating Craig in his new role as co-Franchisee!”
An award-winning dance professional, Craig was born and raised in Scotland, U.K., where he started his dance training at the young age of 7. As a teenager, he was offered a scholarship to London Studio Centre, a top theatre college in London, where he studied for 2 years. His passion for dance then led him to travel extensively around the world, from stage shows to Dance Captain onboard Celebrity Cruises. In 2012, Craig moved to Nashville, TN to continue his dance career based in the USA.
Since relocating to the Dayton Area in 2018, Craig has received many top teacher designations and was most recently named to the Arthur Murray International Winner’s Circle in both 2021 and 2022, recognizing him as one of the top three instructors in the Arthur Murray organization worldwide.
Craig has been responsible for developing a competitive Dance Team that won 6 Top Studio Awards at Arthur Murray Dance Competitions globally in 2022, while many of the Dayton Students earned the Top Student Award in their respective divisions. Craig was also instrumental in leading the Dayton team of Instructors to win the 2022 International Dance Festival and Grand Championship.
Recipients of the 2021 and 2022 Best Arthur Murray Studio Award, Barbara Haller and her husband Tim are four-time United States Professional Ballroom Theatrical Arts Champions, with an impressive competitive and performance career. Despite their many awards, Barbara Haller states their greatest pleasure is in seeing how the dance experience at Arthur Murray alters people’s lives in such a positive way. While the Arthur Murray Dance Studios have been operating for 100 years, Tim and Barbara Haller are pleased to note that the Dayton Franchise has been operating continuously since 1946.