Four Time United States Theatrical Arts Champions
Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of USDC, Tim and Barbara are four-time United States Professional Theatrical Arts Ballroom Champions. By winning this National Championship Ballroom Dancing Title for the fourth time in 1999, the Hallers made ballroom competition history by becoming only second theatrical arts dance team to win the title four times since the inception of the United States Ballroom Championships in 1971.
Theatrical Arts is one of the most physically demanding styles of dance. Unlike the other competitive ballroom dance styles, it borrows significantly from gymnastics and ballet. Typically danced with one team on the floor at a time, the Cabaret style routines of Theatrical Arts are filled with complicated lifts, drops, splits and other risk figures. Theatrical Arts most closely resembles pairs figure skating.
The Hallers were recipients of the Feather Award, ballroom dancing’s equivalent of the movie industry’s Oscar. In fact, Barbara and Tim received the Feather Award’s highest honor, the Publication Award, recognizing them as the “most accomplished Theatrical Arts dancers” in the United States. Other notable recipients of the Publication Award include Cyd Charisse, Juliet Prowse, and Donald O’Connor (Singin’ in the Rain).
Tim and Barbara have performed numerous times with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra including the Pops production of “Symphantasy VII,” “An American in Paris,” the Pop’s televised Holiday Special “New Year’s Eve Big Band Hit Parade,” “A Grand Viennese Ball,” and “Gotta Dance.” They have also performed in the Cincinnati Ballet’s production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream Dance.”
Other orchestral appearances have included shows with the Naples Philharmonic, the Illinois Philharmonic, the Middletown Symphony, and the Carmon DeLeone Orchestra. Barbara and Tim also performed with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra for the first time in the New Year’s Eve production of “A French Affair to Remember.”
The Hallers have also been featured soloists on PBS’s most popular and nationally televised program, “Championship Ballroom Dancing,” for an unprecedented nine years including PBS’s 20th Anniversary Television Special entitled “Legends of Dance.”
Not many people get one…but I did. I am referring to a second chance at life! Already blessed with more than my fair share of incredible life experiences, highlighted most notably by achieving a 4th US Professional Ballroom championship title with my wife Barbara, I got the diagnostic confirmation. Yes, it was the big “C,” as in Cancer, bladder cancer to be specific. Not a welcomed development, but not necessarily life ending either. With aggressive treatment and radical surgery, life expectancy could be many years. After a deeper look by the experts at MD Anderson Cancer Center, that gloomy outlook became outright dark with an additional diagnosis to include a stage 4 inoperable brain tumor, with the probability that I had only a few months to get my affairs in order.
I thought, why me? Then I thought, why not me? After all, God has been more generous to me with innumerable untold blessings than I deserve, but the dance competitor in me didn’t want to give up. And so the fight began. Word spread throughout my Arthur Murray family, whose strength in numbers and prayers could not possibly be measured. And then a surprising development ensued. The brain tumor was not growing. Perhaps a temporary reprieve? Only time would tell.
In the meantime, I followed the most aggressive treatment protocol my body could take for the bladder cancer, and after 4 months of chemo, a 13-hour surgery was performed to remove my bladder, prostate, appendix, and lymph nodes. During each of my 4 monthly chemo cycles, my brain tumor was checked, and to my oncologist’s surprise, there was no growth…the tumor remained stable.
As of October 2022, I reached a significant milestone, namely, 2 years cancer free and the brain tumor remains stable. You might naturally credit the cancer specialists at MD Anderson, but I also credit my Arthur Murray family for their chorus of prayers, and the resulting miracle of my stable brain tumor, providing me my second dance in life!
Barbara grew up in Western, NY, one of three children. While her older brother took to academia, and her younger sister championed the rights of animals, Barbara fell in love with dance beginning at the tender age of five when she began studying classical ballet. Her father drove her an hour each way to Buffalo for her lessons…her dream was to become a prima ballerina. Working diligently on her dancing, and studying intensely for eight years, she was rewarded with an offer to turn professional at the age of 13.
For nearly ten years, she enjoyed the professional classical ballet lifestyle, where she had the opportunity to tour and perform with many well-known dancers, including Rudolf Nureyev, who was one of the first to defect from the Kirov Ballet. Over her teenage years she performed throughout Europe, including England, France, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, and Portugal. Among her favorite memories, she proudly includes her appearances with Denis Ganio, and Lorenzo Monreal.
After her successful years in the ballet, she sought to expand her dance skills into the ballroom world in her early 20’s. She began as an instructor in Arthur Murray’s, later meeting her husband Tim at the dance studio in Cincinnati. She remembers that they began judging nightclub dance contests together, and soon thereafter, started dating. After marrying in 1981, they opened their first studio together in northern Cincinnati, then in Dayton in 1984.
After building their business over the next five years, Barbara once again, felt the yearning for the stage, and wanted to turn her focus to performing.
In 1989, she and Tim began competing together professionally, and by 1999, they had won four United States titles, two Canadian championships and a world Silver Medal. Among Barbara’s favorite experiences as a professional ballroom dancer, she sites the many dozen times that she and Tim performed on stage with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, at Music Hall and Riverbend Music Center, under the direction of Eric Kunzel and Russell Morris, as well as other venues with the Carmen deLeon Orchestra, the Middletown Symphony, and the Naples Philharmonic.
Looking back on her dual career in dancing, she is truly one of the very few who had been able to enjoy performing at the professional level, on stage, in two uniquely different styles of dance…ballet and ballroom! Barbara is a truly gifted and accomplished performer!
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.
As the studio Supervisor, Craig was responsible for developing a competitive Dance Team that won numerous 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.