During a long teaching career, competition and show dance partnership, owners Barbara and Brent saw hundreds of examples of the power of social dancing – the “Arthur Murray Magic” that brings out the best for people. They became inspired to share social ballroom dancing with even more people in a studio of their own. In 2004 they had the opportunity to open a new Arthur Murray Dance Studio in the Coquitlam area from scratch.
From our start as a new dance studio with zero students, we have grown into one of the busiest and most successful of the 20+ Arthur Murray Dance Studios in the country.
At our 10-year anniversary we needed room to grow and 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 1090 Lougheed Highway – Unit 212, in Coquitlam.
With additional parking and more dance floor we are continuing to grow into our new space!
Our great dancing community has dozens of couples and singles who enjoy honing their dance skills and practising together. Our studio growth continues to be fuelled by the passion for social dance shared by our students, staff and management. Nearly all who have been associated with us, past or present, become ambassadors for the power of partner and social dancing.
Here are some photos from the current studio site tour and build-out:
To see some of the fun events, our current dance photo albums are kept up to date. Browse pictures from our theme parties and special events :
Arthur Murray Dance Studios in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia (Greater Vancouver, BC)
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. There are currently three studios in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia – Arthur Murray Dance Studio Vancouver, Arthur Murray Dance Studio White Rock and Arthur Murray Dance Studio Coquitlam.
It would be impossible to quantify the thousands of successful dance students that have passed through the doors over the past 70+ years.
In an industry where literally dozens of other dance studios have come and gone over that time, 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 dance teaching organization ensures that all Arthur Murray Studios are in touch with the latest trends on a global scale.
The very beginning: Arthur Murray, the man…
Arthur Murray Dance Studios as a company has a long, storied history. This Arthur Murray Studios history began in 1912 with a man named Moses Teichman who, after anglicizing his name to Arthur Murray, would become an American symbol of systematic teaching, social dancing and entrepreneurial success. Mr. Murray originally learned to dance, and trained as a teacher, in the renowned ballroom dance school “Castle House” in New York City, operated by famous dance couple of the era Vernon and Irene Castle. His experience learning to dance was life changing for him and he wanted to share it with others. Castle House worked with a very elite, but limited, clientele and he wanted to bring the joy and benefits of dancing to the ‘average man’. An engineering background helped Mr. Murray to develop a component-based, step-by-step teaching system he felt could teach anyone to dance. He was also among the first to use advertising techniques, considered cutting edge at the time, to promote his new programs to the general public.
Mr. Murray’s creative use of print advertising attracted national American attention as did his business acumen. On March 27, 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 and among the first franchises were those owned by women, also a cutting-edge concept for the time (see Doris Eaton Travis on Wikipedia).
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 Murray was the first to realize the growing popularity of the Latin dances in America during the 1950’s. Conventions were held in Cuba during that time to give Arthur Murray dance trainers first-hand knowledge of the hot new Latin styles (such as Rumba, Beguine and Bolero) and moves that were in fashion 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 and beyond.
This highly popular show ran for twelve years on US national television. It featured many up-and-coming acts of the time and, as an interesting side note, contains the only performance video footage of Buddy Holly ever recorded. The show 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 dance lessons. He worked tirelessly to 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 video link below.)
When Arthur and Kathryn Murray retired in 1964, a group of franchisees purchased the company, continuing the great legacy and passion 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.
The Lives and Legacy of Arthur and Kathryn Murray (PBS 2012):
The Modern Arthur Murray Dance Studio Franchise
Arthur 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, 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!
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 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.
All 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