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Live Dance: The Ultimate Inspiration For Any Dance Student

Live Dance: The Ultimate Inspiration For Any Dance Student

If you remember the Friends episode ‘The One with the Fake Monica’, you’ll know the phrase, ‘You don’t observe a dance class, you dance a dance class!’ That passion is true of any form of dance, but contrary to the tyrant teacher’s statement in the sitcom, you can always be inspired through watching dance shows.

Why see live dance?

You may love one of the classic dance movies, such as Dirty Dancing or Strictly Ballroom, or be addicted to the reality TV shows Dancing with the Stars or So You Think You Can Dance, but nothing beats the thrill of a live dance performance. You want to be able to feel the beat of the music vibrating in your bones, hear the panting of the dancer’s breath, see the sweat glisten on their body – that’s when you know how hard they’re working and you can appreciate the beauty and drama of the art.

What shows?

Any form of live dance should be exciting enough to inspire you, whether that’s watching professionals in a ballroom competition, admiring the chorus in a musical, seeing a dance troupe in a street act or even witnessing a flash mob.

Whatever show you see, look for the universal focus of attention, as well as the individual stylising, because no two people will move the same regardless of identical choreography. Spot the differences in the performance, and use it to find your own interpretation of the moves when you dance.

Where to go?

Sydney has more opportunities to watch live dance than there are days of the week, no matter what your budget. Whether you want to see the variety of dance troupes performing regularly at the Sydney Theatre and Seymour Centre, or prefer something a little more surreal with the Bollywood Authentic Indian Dance Sydney Harbour Cruise, there’s something for everyone.

You dance a dance class

Once you’re inspired, take that passion into the classroom – at Arthur Murray Crows Nest our dance instructors feel it too and will help you translate your enthusiasm into interpreting the set steps to carve your own niche as a dancer.

A New Generation Of Dance Instructor Is Born

A New Generation Of Dance Instructor Is Born

Chris Michaels, our Crows Nest Franchisee, has been fortunate enough to be a part of a select few of robotics engineers to become part of one of the biggest robotics companies in the world, Aldebaran Robotics.

Even though these developers are programming ‘Nao’, the robot for all types of applications, Chris Michaels has focused on the applications of dance, and one day will be releasing an application, where you can ‘Learn to Dance, the Arthur Murray Way’, through the tutoring of Nao himself.

This is the beginning of a wonderful new technology, that will have many more implications when introduced to the public.

Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease: Dance!

Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease: Dance!

Alzheimer’s disease effects the brain, our memory, thinking and behavioural functions, just to name a few. It’s certainly something to try and avoid by keeping the brain active.

Research relating Alzheimer’s and ballroom dancing has continuously confirmed that this form of exercise and hobby is a deterrent for this disease, possibly lowering the risk for Alzheimer’s by as much as 76%.

How does dancing do this, you may ask?

When we learn something new, in this case ballroom dancing, we use parts of our brain that are sometimes not being used. This part of the brain helps us remember certain things. Exercising the brain is just like exercising the body – the more you use it, the more healthy it will stay! By using this part of our brain to remember techniques, steps, styles & dances, we increase the chance that we’ll have a healthier brain for a much longer period of time.

Make sure you keep dancing, not only for the excellent physical benefits, but for the added mental effects as well. The brain should be treated as a muscle that needs to be worked out to stay in shape and what better way to do it then dance the night away!

It's Never Too Late To Learn To Dance

It's Never Too Late To Learn To Dance

Rarely do we have the privilege to wish Happy Birthday to someone whose age has three digits! Such is the case with Evlyn Kavanagh a student at our Arthur Murray Studio in Vancouver BC, where she is affectionately called ‘The Queen’.

Evlyn joined Arthur Murrays at the tender age of 90 with a gift certificate given to her by her children. Evlyn is well known & admired amongst the Arthur Murray organisation & has been an avid participant at the Arthur Murray International Dance events for the last 10 years.

Evlyn had a birthday bash of historic proportions on the 29th of July where she received a birthday card from another Queen, Queen Elizabeth II.

We wish Evyln all the best during this momentous occasion and thank her for being such an inspiration to us all, proving dancing is for everyone and that it’s never too late to live your dancing dreams.

Pick Up Good Habits Now!

Pick Up Good Habits Now!

You all have the chance to develop some really good habits right from the start. Group classes are the key to successful… well… success in your dancing!

In the beginning, you hear us say ‘these things will soon become muscle memory…’ However, you also hear us recommend (strongly) at least 1 group class to every private lesson. After your first dance program, these become unlimited for you. You should take advantage of them! You’ll pick up steps, patterns & techniques much faster if you supplement your private lessons with group classes.

We want all of our students to feel like they’re progressing and we also love seeing you guys! So next time you’re in the Studio, check out the group schedule, there are plenty to choose from. Try and schedule a group class around a private lesson or make a date night (if you’re a couple) and grab some dinner before or afterward.

No matter what level you are, there’s always room for more group classes. This way you know you’re learning on a consistent basis.

Tip Of The Month: October

Tip Of The Month: October

Quality over quantity! It’s not about how many steps you know, it’s about how you dance them.

  • Keep patient when learning new steps.

  • Spend time on each step and do them well.

  • Make that Bronze 1 step look like a Bronze 4 or even Silver step!!!

  • No matter what level you are, by going back and doing the basics, you will become a better dancer in the long run.

He Said… She Said…

He Said… She Said…

Learning to dance with your partner should be fun, easy, and stress free. That being said, there are times where, as couples, we tend to lose sight of what’s really important – having fun! There are a few things you should consider when learning with your partner…

First… Make sure you don’t find fault with each other. Try and avoid pointing something out wrong that the other person is doing – remember, they’re learning too.

Second… It’s not how many steps you know – it’s how you execute them! Don’t get impatient and make sure that you’re both executing the original steps well – don’t take on too much too soon. It will make you much better dancers in the long run!

Third… Ease up ladies. In teaching couples, we’ve learned that men typically progress slower because they have more to do and tend to be more analytical or mechanical in their approach. Women, on the other hand, feel movement quicker and therefore it’s critical that ladies don’t get too impatient with their partner.

Fourth… Keep your lessons as close together as possible! Using your lessons in conjunction with group classes and socials is so important to ensure you make speedy progress and gain confidence as quickly as possible.

Fifth… Communicate with your teacher! If something is feeling uncomfortable or you’re not understanding something, ask your teacher FIRST before laying blame to your partner. Nine times out of 10 it isn’t solely our partner’s fault – It takes two to Tango!!!

All in all, we want to make sure our couples have fun learning with each other. Like anything in life, it will take time and dancing is a constant learning process. Dancing is like fine wine – it gets better with age… Just enjoy the journey because when you learn to dance with your partner, it should be fun!

A Gentleman Should Take Care Of… Never Take Advantage Of…

A Gentleman Should Take Care Of… Never Take Advantage Of…

As gentleman, you have a certain job to fulfil on the dance floor – to guide the lady. We’re here to take care of the lady so that she’s free to dance to her full potential. We, as gentleman, are the frame and the lady is the picture. Here are some basic etiquette rules to follow when dancing with your partner to ensure everyone has a good time.

First, and foremost, we always want to make sure that lady is comfortable dancing… So never try to dance her through things you don’t think she knows. Sometimes this is ok, but don’t use your knowledge to show-off in the wrong way. If you go overboard with fancy steps, you may deter the lady from dancing with you in the future.

The second, under no circumstances should you EVER dance an advanced dance with them if you haven’t before or if you know for a fact that they don’t know that dance. For example, Viennese Waltz. A dance like this is dangerous for both the lady and gentleman if they’re not used to dancing it with each other, or dancing it in general. Be smart in choosing your partner for a fast Viennese Waltz. And, likewise, if
you don’t know the dance, don’t attempt it without consulting your teacher.

The third & final rule: Never let the lady sit out! Remember traditionally, it’s up to the man to invite the lady onto the dance floor. So make sure you ask everyone to dance! (But ladies, in these modern times, you can ask a gentlemen to dance as well!)

So there you have it, a few basic etiquette rules to keep everyone enjoying their time on the dance floor. Use your skills wisely and everyone will have fun!

How Do I Pick My First Routine?

How Do I Pick My First Routine?

There are a few things you should consider when trying to pick your first routine to make sure you have a fun journey leading up to your performance!

One way, and possibly the most obvious, is to pick your favourite and most comfortable dance. If you’re a newer student and feel very comfortable with Foxtrot, go with that option. Your first routine should be fun and exciting – we can save the challenging dances for your later routines! Likewise, if you absolutely LOVE the Rumba, but you’re uncomfortable with it, choose that one to lift it to the level of your other dances. There’s no rule to picking your first routine as long as it’s an enjoyable experience.

If you’re unsure, you can always let your teacher pick one for you. Your Arthur Murray Crows Nest teachers know what dances would be spectacular for you for your first time out – trust them. They’re here to help and they’ll never steer you in the wrong direction.

All in all, your first routine is an exciting time for you in the Studio. It’s almost like a rite of passage. Throw caution to the wind and have fun! You might be nervous but you will find that it is so incredibly rewarding!

Why Do We Love to Dance?

Why Do We Love to Dance?

Do you remember the first day you stepped into the Studio? Like many, I’m sure you were feeling mixed emotions – anxiety, excitement, maybe even a little fear… All of those feelings are perfectly normal and developed into your love for that which we call ballroom and latin dancing! The great thing about dancing is that it makes us happy – and scientifically, let’s see how!

Whenever we do any form of exercise, in this case dancing, our body produces chemicals called ‘endorphins’. Endorphins make you happy! This is the same chemical, ironically enough, that’s released when we eat chocolate! That’s why we feel a sense of happiness during and shortly after eating our favourite sweets!

If you’ve ever had a workout in the gym, you notice that for a period after, you feel happy, relieved, excited, etc… This is the same effect that we receive when we dance!

In short, make sure you keep dancing hard to get the ‘happy’ effects!

Dance Away Alzheimer’s

Dance Away Alzheimer’s

There has always been research having to do with preventing Alzheimer’s. This disease effects the brain, memory, thinking, and behavioural functions, to name a few. It’s certainly something to try and avoid through keeping the brain active.

On-going research relating Alzheimer’s and ballroom dancing has continuously confirmed that this form of exercise and hobby is a deterrent for this disease.

How does this hobby do this, you may ask?

When we learn something new, in this case ballroom dancing, we use parts of our brain that sometimes we’re not used to using. We’re using the part of the brain that helps us remember certain things. Exercising the brain is just like exercising the body— the more you use it, the more healthy it will stay! If we keep using that brain to remember our techniques, steps, styles, and dances, we increase the chances that we will have a healthier brain for a much longer period of time.

Make sure you keep dancing, not only for the excellent physical benefits, but for the added mental effects as well. The brain should be treated as a muscle that needs to be worked out to stay in shape and what better way to do it then dance the night away!

Keeping Cool On The Dance Floor

Keeping Cool On The Dance Floor

A little bit of sweat never hurt anyone.

Perspiring is your body’s clever way of cooling down, detoxifying and boosting endorphins. It’s also a pretty good sign that you’ve been dancing up a storm and having a good time. What’s not to like about that?

Having said this, you probably don’t want to be dripping buckets during an intense class or when you’re testing your moves on the dance floor while enjoying a night out with friends. And you definitely want to stay as dry as possible, if you’re competing at an event and all eyes are glued to you.

You shouldn’t feel bad if you sweat during latin dancing, it comes with the territory and fits with the primal mood. All the same, there’s no need to look as though you got caught in a downpour of torrential rain if you can avoid it.

Luckily there are ways to stay cool and keep sweat to a minimum, especially when the mercury rises during searing Australian summers.

How to stay cool on the dance floor


Take a bottle with you and make sure you drink water between dances. It’s also a good idea to snack on fruit and vegetables before class, rather than high-fat and protein-heavy meals (which tend to lift your body temperature as your body digests them).

Suitable clothing

Cotton hold moisture for longer, so breathable and light synthetics (such as polyester) tend to be a better choice since they dry faster. You can pack a few extra shirts with you, for when the one you’re wearing gets a bit ripe.

Wearing a t-shirt under a dressier shirt can also help to absorb most of the moisture, so it won’t show on your dress shirt. A guayabera is a good choice for an outer-shirt since its loose fit keeps your body cooler, and the undershirt contains most of the sweat. They’re mostly advertised for men, but women can wear them too.

Women who sweat a lot should steer clear of tops that expose their back (unless you don’t mind seeing your partner cringe when their hand makes contact with your drenched skin). Blouses and dresses that cover your back are a good option.

Tie your hair up

Don’t forget that hair retains heat, so wearing it off your neck and face will help you feel cooler.

Take a towel

Keep a small towel handy so you can pat yourself dry between songs. You can even make a quick dash to the bathroom and wash your face if you need to. Some dancers like to use a sport chamois to dry off, since this is reusable, lightweight and dries quickly.

Wear a strong anti-perspirant

Wearing an anti-perspirant can keep sweat and odour at bay. If you don’t feel comfortable with wearing chemical deodorants, you can clean under your arms with wipes during your bathroom break. Showering a few hours before your class can also help to keep you fresh for longer.

Some people have a medical condition that causes excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis). If you suspect this is you, it’s a good idea to see a doctor, because there are treatments available.

Never let your sweating stop you from dancing…

If you’ve tried everything, but still sweat too much, don’t sweat it! Although perspiring isn’t pleasant, it’s not the end of the world either. Chances are you won’t be the only one sweating and you’ll be too caught in the moment to notice anyway.

Why not work up a sweat at Arthur Murray?

Feel free to contact us if you want to start learning ballroom, latin, Swing, Waltz, Salsa, Cha Cha, Tango, Merengue, Foxtrot or Rumba!