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Lifestyle

Arthur Murray Dance Studio

 

So you think you can dance? With Arthur Murray, sure you can! Located in Jumeirah Lake Towers, Downtown Dubai, and in Abu Dhabi, Arthur Murray ensures that absolutely anyone can dance regardless of their age, weight, talent, or experience.

 

Arthur Murry focuses on teaching Ballroom dances, and selects only the best instructors to make anyone and everyone a great hobby dancer, following several dancing levels. Not only is it a great way to relieve stress, overcome shyness, or to obtain a better social life, it is also a great exercise for the body.

 

But perhaps it is best to learn more about that from the source itself…

 

 

Interview with Mr. Fouad Barsoum, the Regional Manager of Arthur Murray:

 

1 – Could you please tell me more about Arthur Murray?

 

Arthur Murray is a franchise school that specializes in teaching a big variety of ballroom dances, including tango, swing, waltz, Latin dances including rumba, cha-cha, salsa, samba, and many others. However, what differentiates it from other dance studios is the fact that it has a scholastic method of teaching that guarantees that anybody could dance regardless of the age, weight, experience, or talent.

 

Our slogan or motto is to add value to people’s lives through dancing. It also has a lot of other benefits; some people are doing it for exercise, to overcome shyness, have a better social life, or even release work stress. Others might be taking it as a real sport, and go all the way to become competitive hobby dancers.

 

 

2 – When was the dance center established and when did it move to the UAE?

 

Arthur Murray is an American franchise dance center that started in 1912. Now, it has expanded to 22 countries, and has around 280 schools. It started in the UAE with two locations – one in JLT, which was 6 years ago, and we then opened another branch in downtown 5 years ago. Just this year we opened another branch in Abu Dhabi.

 

 

3 – Are there any specific levels the students go through? Do they get any certificates after each level completion?

 

Absolutely – since we have a scholastic system of teaching, our syllabus is divided into levels, just like a school. We start at the introductory level, and then we move to a social foundation level where you learn the steps, work on the timing, how to lead and follow, couples should coordinate, and others. After this, we move to 3 different levels – the bronze, silver, and gold level. After this is a gold bar level, which takes years and years to accomplish. Bronze is divided into bronze I, II, III, IV, and silver is also similarly divided.

 

At Arthur Murray, we also make a personalized plan for every student based on what they want with different priorities, and based on that, we adjust the schedule. We also do checkout tests after reaching the end of each level, and once they pass it, they receive a certificate with their name during a medal ball, which is an event where the students get honored.

 

4 – How do you select your instructors?

 

Firstly, we select instructors through personality, as they should be patient, pleasant, and enthusiastic. Secondly, they must be dancers, and as we get them here, they have to go through a training to know the method of teaching at Arthur Murray and how to follow the proper procedures to become great teachers, not just great dancers.

 

 

5 – Do you participate in any international/local competitions? How often?

 

We participate in and promote good competitions – they usually last around 3 to 4 days. When it comes to competitions, there are several divisions and different categories depending on age group and level. You also get to choose your dance, and can participate in several categories, and they are all open to anyone who is interested.

 

 

6 – Have you won in any of those competitions, or have you had any students who did?

 

We had several students participate in competitions, and just recently we had a student who came from a dance competition in Las Vegas, and she dances very well. She went with her teacher for a four-day event and did a fantastic job; and got an award for it as well, so we are very proud of her.

 

 

 

Interview with Dushan Markovic, the dance instructor at Arthur Murray Dubai:

 

1 – How did you get to teach at the Arthur Murray Dance Studios here in Dubai?

 

I have been competing in Dancing in Serbia for about 12 years. My dance partner and me searched online to find opportunities out of Serbia and share out knowledge with others. We came across Arthur Murray, and when we read the references we decided to go here. We applied, got interviewed, and came to Dubai 3 years ago. We also passed a certain training that took 3 months, and then we started teaching.

 

 

2 – How long have you taught dancing at Arthur Murray and how was your experience here so far?

 

Our perspective of teaching in here changed drastically. We focused on making people comfortable and happy with their hobby. We found this initially very challenging, but also very interesting because your approach has to be completely personalized.

 

 

3 – How did you get into dancing?

 

I was always interested in things other kids weren’t interested in, and I always used to like performances, being myself, and presenting myself in front of people – I never get scared. I started with drama lessons, theater, and when I was 13, I applied to a dancing school and passed to auditions, started training, and everything started developing from then on.

 

 

4 – Do you have any specialized educational background in relation to dancing?

 

Not really – in fact, I have my masters in Chemistry and am a Chemistry teacher, which is completely different from dancing; however, my studies in the teaching field have definitely helped me in teaching people dancing, because you have to break down every step and every move, and look at everything from different sides and perspectives to teach students the information.

 

 

5 – What is the hardest part about teaching others how to dance?

 

It really depends on each person, but what I found very difficult is to adjust and change plans to make a student absorb the information depending on their mood. For instance, if a student had a bad day at work, it’s important to change the plan and find the best way to teach the student and make him or her forget about all the other stresses.

 

However, regarding the technical part, many people are having trouble with the balance and realizing the fact that dancing is like walking with music.

 

 

6 – How long does it approximately take for a student to master a dance?

 

This also really depends from person to person, the type of dance, and how many hours a week the student can commit to dancing, but in general it takes around 10 to 15 lessons to master the dance from a certain level.

 

 

 

Interview with Sushma D’silva, a student at Arthur Murray Dubai:

 

1 – How long have you been training for at the Arthur Murray studios?

 

I started in 2011, just about the time the studio in downtown opened, and I graduated full bronze in 2013.

 

 

2 – What made you join? Why dancing?

 

I’ve been dancing since I was a teenager – I’ve been doing contemporary jazz, and when I moved here, there was only salsa. Around the time the studio opened in downtown, I joined the introductory course to see how it all is, and it all grew on me and I didn’t want to leave. After a long day of work, it is simply a great way to relieve stress.

 

 

3 – How was your experience so far since you joined the Arthur Murray dance studios?

 

My experience has been amazing, I not only learnt how to dance, but I also made a lot of friends as well. You get to meet people from different nationalities, places, and you get to socialize as well.

 

 

4 – What is you favorite dance and dancing style and why?

 

I love tango and rumba, which is like a base of all Latin dances; it’s a dance of love. Both these dances are perfect to express yourself.

 

 

5 – What was the hardest dance for you to tackle and why?

 

I would definitely say Samba, because it’s not as easy as it looks. There are a lot of movements that go in one step, but on the other hand, it is a very good workout.

 

 

6 – Have you participated in any dancing competitions?

 

I got the opportunity to go to New York for a competition with the school, and that was an amazing experience. They have bi-annual showcases as well, so it’s perfect for a student to showcase what they have learnt. I would definitely suggest this to every child so they can build their confidence and get it all. It’s an overall lesson in growth.

 

 

7 – Would you consider making dancing your professional career?

 

I would definitely want to make it a profession. I’ve considered joining Arthur Murray; it’s not something I could do full-time, but perhaps sometime in the future I would love to make it a profession.

 

 

 

Interview with Corinna Klose, a student at Arthur Murray Dubai:

 

1 – How long have you been training for at the Arthur Murray studios?

 

I started in 2012, and am a full bronze graduate.

 

 

2 – What made you join? Why dancing?

 

I have been dancing Salsa and Latin dances since 2004. I wanted to do more and learn different styles and build my confidence, and ballroom dancing makes me very happy.

 

 

3 – How was your experience so far since you joined the Arthur Murray dance studios?

 

I really enjoy it – every time I’m on the dance floor, I smile and can’t stop.

 

 

4 – What is you favorite dance and dancing style and why?

 

Both Waltz and the Viennese Waltz are definitely my favorite dances, because I occupy the entire dance floor during the two dances.

 

 

5 – What was the hardest dance for you to tackle and why?

 

To me, Samba was the most difficult, because this dance requires a lot of movement, and the coordination between the hips, legs, knees, and shoulders has to be precise, and I got very confused and it took me a while to coordinate that.

 

 

6 – Would you consider making dancing your professional career?

 

Personally, I take dancing as my hobby, so I wouldn’t consider it as a profession, but it is definitely a hobby that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

 

 

Interview by: Luma Kudsiova