The Arthur Murray Story

Arthur Murray Dance Studio - Coquitlam/Tri-Cities

Our studio originally opened in Port Coquitlam.  Owners Barbara and Brent started with the Arthur Murray Dance Studio in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, then later teaching at the Arthur Murray Dance Studio in Vancouver, BC.  In 2004 they had the opportunity to open a new branch dance studio in the Coquitlam area from scratch.

TriCity News AM studio pic

The Arthur Murray Dance Studio Coquitlam/Tri-Cities original location

From a new dance studio with a just a few initial students we have grown into one of the most successful of the 20+ Arthur Murray Dance Studios in the country.  To see pictures of us building our first dance facility check out the Original Dance Studio Build-out Photos (2004).

We also have an archived version of the photo albums from our original website with dance party photos all the way back to our very beginnings as a dance studio in 2004: Archived Dance Photos December 2004 to November 2014

 

Arthur Murray Coquitlam 2.0

Arthur Murray Dance Coquitlam - Outdoor Sign is In!!

Arthur Murray Dance Studio Coquitlam

DSC_5595Opening

Arthur Murray Dance Coquitlam Ribbon Cutting with mayor Richard Stewart Feb 2015

At our 10-year anniversary we had the opportunity to move to a larger,  modern styled space with a more central location.   In December of 2014 we made the big move to our current address at 212 - 1090 Lougheed Highway in Coquitlam.

With additional parking and more dance floor we are continuing to grow into our new space!

The new location built out quickly over just a few months.  There are pictures of the studio from when it was an empty shell to the finished result we are so happy with.

 

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Arthur Murray Coquitlam - Front Desk 2015

Here are some of our photos from the initial site tour and build-out:

Arthur Murray Dance Studio Coquitlam Build-out Photos (2014)

Of course we also have our current dance photo albums kept up to date with pictures from our theme parties and special events you can browse:

Arthur Murray Dance Coquitlam Photo Albums (December 2014 onward)

Arthur Murray Dance Studios in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia (Greater Vancouver, BC)

Arthur Murray Front Desk in 1959

Arthur Murray Dance Studio, Vancouver, BC - Front Desk in 1959

Locally Arthur Murray Dance Studio has been teaching social and ballroom dancing continuously since 1948 making it by far the longest term and best established dance studio in the Vancouver area.

1958-1963 (5)

Vancouver Arthur Murray Dance Students - early 1960's

It would be impossible to quantify the thousands of successful dance students that have passed through the doors over the nearly 70 past years.

In an industry where so many dance studios have come and gone, where a mere 5 or 10 years' existence can be seen as a promotional opportunity, this tremendous longevity speaks volumes about the efficacy, trustworthiness and stability of the Arthur Murray Studios system.

Although each studio operates on a very personal student by student and local community basis, being part of the world's largest ballroom dancing organization ensures that all Arthur Murray Studios are in touch with the latest trends on a global scale.

For a look at some of the photos from the past years of dancing check out the Arthur Murray Dance Studio Vancouver "The Last 60+ years" Dance Photo Page.

The very beginning:  Arthur Murray, the man...

ArthurwithPartner charlston in 1930s

Arthur with unknown Charleston Partner in the 1930's

The Arthur Murray Dance Studio as a company has a long, storied history.  This history began in 1912 with a man named Moses Teichman, after anglicizing his name to Arthur Murray, who would become an American symbol of systematic teaching, social dancing and entrepreneurial success.  Mr. Murray was among the first to use advertising techniques considered cutting edge at the time.

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Arthur Murray Dance Studio ad 1922

Mr. Murray's creative use of print advertising attracted national American attention as did his business acumen. In March of 1920, using students from Georgia Tech, Mr. Murray arranged to have music transmitted to a group of his dance students a few miles away. This was the world's first radio broadcast of live dance music for dancing. Prior to World War II, Arthur Murray Studio teachers were a regular part of every first-class steamship cruise and during the 1930's the studios introduced such dances to the public as the "Lambeth Walk" and "The Big Apple." In fact, it was "The Big Apple" that launched Mr. Murray's one studio in New York into the largest chain of dance studios in the world today. In 1938 the first official opening of a franchised dance school occurred in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.

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Arthur and Kathryn Murray photo shoot for LIFE Magazine in 1936

In 1942 singer Betty Hutton with the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra recorded the big hit song "Arthur Murray Taught Me Dancing In A Hurry" for the movie "The Fleet's In" and by 1946 there were 72 Arthur Murray Dance Studios across North America.

Arthur&Kathryn mid-1950s

Arthur and Kathryn, mid 1950's

Arthur Murray was the first to realize the growing popularity of the Latin dances in America during the 1950's. Many conventions were held in Cuba during that time to give Arthur Murray dance trainers first-hand knowledge of the hot new Latin styles and moves that were in vogue or becoming popular. In July of 1950, Mr. Murray purchased five fifteen-minute television spots on CBS and persuaded his wife Kathryn to do the teaching.

Before the third show, Arthur bought a half-hour summer series on ABC. The show was called the "Arthur Murray Dance Party." By May 1952, the Murrays had televised almost 100 programs. Their TV ratings climbed and in the summer of 1952 they signed with their first sponsor, General Foods. Millions of viewers all over the United States fell in love with the show and flocked to the Arthur Murray Studios throughout the country.

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TV screen shot from the Arthur Murray Dance Party on US network NBC

This highly popular show ran for twelve years on American national television until the run ended in 1960.  Many years later Mr. Murray's daughter, Jane Murray-Heimlich, would write a book called "Out of Step" describing her perspective of those years growing up in the Murray household.  She describes her father as intensely passionate about his teaching method and its impact on the students his studios touched.  She felt he was less a dance teacher or businessman than he was a "dancing evangelist" - he literally lived and breathed his studio career as his life's mission.  Her father was struck by the power of the benefits his students would inevitably attain through their dancing lessons.  He worked to constantly create syllabus manuals for new evolving dances and training for teams of teachers to pass that knowledge on to students of his studios. (Check out the PBS documentary on the Legacy of Arthur Murray as a youtube link below.)

Arthur Murray record album - The Twist

Arthur Murray Dance record album cover - 1960's

When Arthur and Kathryn Murray retired in 1964, a group of franchisees purchased the company, continuing the great legacy that Arthur and Kathryn had set, and brought a fresh new spirit and leadership to it. Under its new leadership the Arthur Murray Franchised Dance Studios has kept pace with the rapidly changing culture and continues today to flourish as the world's largest dance instruction organization. Arthur Murray dance teachers can be found not only in the studios but on the movie sets in Hollywood, backstage on Broadway and partnering with major entertainers to promote the music that the world dances to. Whenever a movie involves dance, it's a good bet that AMI (Arthur Murray International) has been involved in some way.  Such movies as Dirty Dancing, Dirty Dancing II, Dance With Me, Beautician And The Beast, Flash Dance, An American President, True Lies, Saturday Night Fever, Scent Of A Woman and Shall We Dance are some of the films which have used Arthur Murray instructors to either teach a dance to the stars and/or dance in the film.

 

The Modern Arthur Murray Dance Studio Franchise

DSC_0289Arthur Murray International, Inc. is the second oldest franchise organization in the United States and is known around the world as a prominent entertainment company.  In addition to the 20 plus locations across Canada and, of course, many in the US there are franchises in Mexico, Puerto Rico, England, Italy, Ukraine, Egypt, Japan, South Africa, Taiwan, Israel, Chile and Australia. With the beginning of a new millennium, social dancing is again a significant part of popular culture. The Arthur Murray Franchised Dance Studios continue a tradition of more than 100 years of teaching the world to dance!

The Arthur Murray Franchised Dance Studio's name appears regularly in major magazines that include Vogue, Martha Stuart Wedding, Smithsonian, Sports Illustrated, Woman's Day and more. Wherever advertisers want to reach consumers with a message of romance, intimacy or just plain fun, you'll see dancing, from the Gap's Khaki Swing commercials in the early 2000's to dancing M&M's and gas pumps.

Arthur Murray International's commitment to dance goes even further, with senior management heavily involved in the world of professional and amateur competitive dance, known as Dancesport. Many of Arthur Murray's officials have contributed to bringing the best of competitive ballroom to the forefront as an Olympic sport.

amcalgarydancingAll Arthur Murray Franchised Dance Studios are independently owned and operated by individuals who started as dance instructors and worked their way to the executive level. By the time they are qualified to purchase a franchise, they have experienced every phase of studio operations, from teaching and supervising to marketing and managing. Building from within has kept the studio system strong, with franchisees that are committed to being the best with the Spirit of Excellence, which is the hallmark of the entire Arthur Murray system.

Despite all the glitz and glamour that is possible in the ballroom dancing world, Arthur Murray Studios have remained true to their roots as social dance studios providing the best quality social dance instruction available.  You will always find a community based format, a welcoming feel and an opportunity to become a valued member.

Currently there are 20 plus Arthur Murray Studios across Canada and nearly 300 Arthur Murray Franchised Dance Studios in over 20 countries worldwide. Check it out at... ArthurMurray.com