Tag Archive: Arthur

DANCE- The Man’s Choice


Part 1-  Learn. Friday morning. 7 a.m. Day 2 of Arthur Murray Dance Studios’ fabulous Superama. I’m preparing myself for a great day at work (not sure if you can call dancing for a living work, but it sure is a job that’s a lot of fun).  As I’m going through my daily routine and applying makeup to my lightly tanned face I take a look in the mirror and strike a pose (as most dancers do).  While in my waltz frame, I start to think about the world and dance.  And how the world and dance are both things that I love (as most dancers think about).  A thought strikes my mind, “How did I get so lucky to do this?”  Maybe it was just by chance, or by design.  And then it hit me.  2 things guided me to this industry (like most male instructors).  1-women and 2-men.

#1 Women-  The women got me interested in how dance could fit into my cleverly planned smooth moves and pick up lines at local hang outs.  I saw the movie Swing Kids and got hooked on how all the woman gravitated toward the guys that knew how to dance.  Sure it was the movies, but who hasn’t seen a movie and started to immediately take on that role the moment the movie was over?  Later that day I pretended I was a smooth Lindy Hopper trying to pick up on the ladies that ignored me once before.  Although I had the swagger, I did not however have the cool dance moves down.  That’s where Arthur Murray® fit in.  I immediately called and demanded that women hang all over me like in the movies and although my needs were not met, they were satisfied with the understanding that one day I would wield a power that only few men possessed.

#2 Men-  The men on the other hand were different.  After about 3 months of taking lessons, I gained the courage of entering a local dance competition where I got to showcase my talents, cleverly named “Showcase”.  I had mentioned to my instructor that maybe one day I’d like to be an instructor as well (after all, I was having a blast learning this stuff ) and was introduced to a couple of guys that she thought would be a good influence on me.  They were both latin with their hair slicked back (similar to my cousins, but they had more style).   One said “So you want to be a teacher, huh?”  That’s right!, I said.  “Well, maybe you just might fit in, IF, you have the right moves.  You see, guys like us are high in demand and there are only so many good ones to go around”  Sold!

The man that dances gets his chances

Wanna dance with these hot chicks? Call your local Arthur Murray®

That was all the influence I needed to make my decision.  They quickly left to the dance floor and danced like I’ve never seen before.  I looked around the room while everyone’s eyes were glued to their bodies moving to the rhythm.  “I want to be like that one day”, I said.  “I want to be the guy that all the people look at and admire”.  It was then that I made the decision to be a guy in high demand.  A man that can DANCE!

Over the many years of partner dancing there has been, in general, a shortage of men to dance with the lovely ladies that outnumber the male by at least 3 to 1.  You would think that given the numbers, a smart guy would take his chances at the risk of maybe being a bit embarrassed and take those odds.  A betting man would bet on himself to be the only one in a crowded room that dances with every woman that is either A) looking for someone to hold or B) wishing that the one they came with was more like you.  Hmmm.  Sounds like a Win-Win to me.

Meanwhile, Back at Superama.

Part 2-  F.E.A.R. After applying a light set of foundation (Revlon Spice #45 to be exact), I glue my hair to my head w/ an enormous amount of hair gel/glue and what seems to be hairspray (or maybe a wood lacquer of some sort), thought #2 runs into my mind about men and dance.  I mean, what guy wouldn’t want to do this?  I feel pretty manly right now with my make up and extra hair product.  I feel pretty manly right now as I slip on my latin shirt with the built in leotard that showcases the upper half of my bodacious chest accompanied by my latin pants that grip the bottom half of my torso which allows others to increase the way they see me from behind.  I am reminded that I am in Las Vegas and I could be mistaken for a Chippendale (then again, that wouldn’t be a bad thing).

O.K.  Maybe there’s the whole Perception vs. Reality thing going on (a False Evidence About Reality if you will).  Maybe, what most men are watching is Dancing With the Stars and their sports icons wearing outfits that they would never be caught in public with.  Maybe they’re seeing grown men on TV look like fools with their famous female “Dance Instructors” trying to move like a professional to choreography fit for the pros.  Maybe, just maybe, they’re seeing the wrong image of what dance really is and their reality of dance is not the REALITY of DANCE at all.

Real men dance with women like in this short clip posted here.  Real men rule the dance floor with their cool techniques and abilities to make the lady feel like a Real Woman.  Not sure if the male species has heard, but women love the man that can hold them and sway their bodies like nobody else can.  My wife.  Case in point.  If it wasn’t for my dancing, I would just be another skinny latin guy.

A friend and I once calculated the worth of our stock as potential suiters/boyfriend material before we were married.  Needless to say, it was very low.  In fact Enron has more value.  Our wives would agree that our sexiness rating increases exponentially when we became dancers (the skinniness factors dissipate immediately after the first box step).

Here’s what we know about the DNA of a man (REMEMBER: All facts are derived from my own experience and the experiences of one other friend.   So with that being said, I believe it should prove to you that I am now an expert in all men facts including behavioral patterns and social skills).

Every man wishes to be James Bond.  Why?  Because James Bond is the Ultimate Man (him and that latin guy from those Dos Equis commercials cleverly dubbed “The Most Interesting Man in the World”).  So if that is true, then our job as MAN is to increase our inner Bond-ness by any means possible.  The Ultimate guy, amongst other things, will have 3 main factors to him and one of them is the ability to Dance a lady into submission.  For the other two, you will have to buy my book when it comes out.

Are you as interesting as this guy? If you danced, you'd come close.

It is said that a Women can tell a Man…

by the way walks into a room,

by the way he touches her,

by the way he moves his hips,

by the way he treats a lady,

by the way he holds her,

by the way he Dances.


Part 3-  The Flip Side. I remember the first time I learned to dance.  My cousins and uncles would make fun of me (as most latin families do).  They would constantly sing Tina Turner’s “Private Dance”, dancer for money, do what you want me to do. One day I showed them a photo of who I danced with (my wife) and then the video that accompanied it.  They haven’t bothered me since.  Okay maybe they do, but not about the dancing.

I interviewed the lady clientele at every Arthur Murray I’ve been to and the answer is unanimous.  Women love a man that can dance.  One was even quoted as saying “the man that dances gets his chances.” However much dancing may increase the attractiveness of the female counterpart, Dancing, is not for every man.  It’s not for the man that wants to have coffee down the street by himself having people watch him wondering “Poor guy.  He has no friends.”  It’s not for the man who would rather live the life as an online stud muffin avatar named Joe Biceps.  Dancing is not for the man that prefers a good conversation about a mediocre book he read over an incredible social encounter with the person of his dreams.  Lastly, dancing is not for the man who would rather live through a text field from a phone and social media (like the one you’re reading from now) than meet a real person face to face.

Part 4- Results. I recently met with a Vietnam War veteran that piloted for the 82nd airborne division.  He recounted this story of his trip to China…

“I was on the Great Wall of China when I wanted to take a picture with a group of women I was with.  When the photographer was about to shoot, I lifted one girl up and started Fox Trotting.  We posed for the picture as we danced.  She squealed like a school girl.  I grabbed each one and with each one a different dance.  Cha Cha, Rumba, Waltz.  Each one screamed.  The babes loved it and they loved me.”

If that’s not a man, I don’t know what is.  A Vietnam vet (whom by the way had two lovely ladies on each arm while he told the story) testifying how dancing keeps him happy.

So if this is anything, it’s the role call to bring all the men that want to be THAT guy that the ladies search for.  To be THAT guy that ladies flock to in a distressed situation.  To be THAT guy that ladies dream about.   I wanted to be THAT and it got me THAT girl.

If you know someone that could use this as encouragement or if you’re a man still asking whether or not dancing is right for you, listen to the millions of screaming women who agree how a dancing man please them so, how a dancing man is the way to go.

But then again, it’s all up to you.  Your choice.  However, you know what they say about a man that can Dance…:)

*all studies and stats are pure fiction.  Results may vary depending on the Dancer and the move.  Each move has the ability to make each women feel and act differently.  Please use Dance and Dance affiliated venues with caution as it may cause heart related issues, including broken hearts (if not used properly) and excited partners.

“Guilty Pleasures Week” on DTWS!  Can this be any more perfect for me to talk about?  I am all over this theme!  Yes, I’m guilty of singing in the shower and while driving to work (yes, I’m that girl on 280 Northbound). I have no shame letting it all out and thinking “What student can I get to dance to New Kids on The Block? Britney? *Nsync?” Mmmmm….And the show had the “pre-Jonas Brothers” band Hansen as the house band singing more guilty pleasures songs between commercials.
Chris & Cheryl: TANGO score 22
“Don’t Stop Believing”, can this night get any better?  Bruno and Carrie Ann are on drugs and Len was spot on! (Happy Birthday Len)  I was so impressed with Chris’s toned and relaxed shoulders throughout the routine.  He looked strong but yet was flexible when need be, which is a challenge for most guys that have alot of muscles.  He needed to have a way higher score, give me a paddle board!
Romeo & Chelsie: WALTZ score 28
Who doesn’t love a hopeless romantic? Titanic’s “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion would have been a great routine to pull off, but I felt it fell short. Don’t get me wrong, he totally pulled off the facial expressions and created a feel of the story, but his transitions, once again, is the small detail that would put him above Hines, in my eyes.  But Carrie Ann’s 10? I told you she was on drugs. She claimed that it was a magical night for Romeo, I think not!
Ralph & Karina: PASO DOBLE score 24
Ok, when Karina put in the famous “wax on, wax off” arm styling, I was thinking for the love of God, pleeeeease tell me they are dancing to “You’re the Best Around” from The Karate Kid. Oh but no, an even better song, “Everybody Dance Now” (ps. it’s one of our teachers’ favorite songs.  Don’t tell Dustin I told you America).  Now for the actual performance….. Loved the way it started with the high energy and even I was getting pumped up and wanted to start dancing around my house.  I know you all are wondering my thoughts on Karina’s fall.  The combination of tripping over Ralph’s foot (which was not mentioned) and landing on his coat which made her slip and fall, all I can say is poor thing! Once again kids, the professionals are humans too!  Even as frazzled as she was she knew she had to get back up and get back into it.  Once that was, the routine picked up from where it was left off. For those of you who think knee spins and that last run to dip was not a big deal, it was! Those elements are difficult and great job to Ralph for pulling them off.
Hines & Kym: VIENNESE WALTZ score 27
Oh, Boys II Men songs.  Taking me back to the good old days of high school and all things cheesy. But his routine was far from cheese, I loved everything about it.  The choreography was one of Kym’s best and amazing.  If I’m being super picky, I would say watch for the footwork during the pivots, no spinning on the heel.  Now, any ladies who want to volunteer to take the place of Hines’s pillow?
Now the ladies….
Kendra & Louis: SAMBA score 25
Some may agree, some of you may not, but that was by far her best dance ever!  Finally, we were able to see her shine and have fun and not march around like last week. Her voltas were a little weak, but you have to give it up to her letting loose on the dance floor.
Chelsea & Mark: QUICKSTEP score 28
OK, I love this one. Super cute and fun from beginning to end, I couldn’t help but smile the whole time. Yes, Mark, I have nothing but positive nice things to say tonight. This one was deserving of the score but was hoping for a 29. Go girl!!!

Kirstie & Maksim: SAMBA score 26
Yes, welcome back to the competition Kirstie!  I mean come on, dancing to Britney’s first hit “Baby, Hit Me One More Time”?  Loved it and her dancing. She tends to look down, which shows a lack of confidence from time to time, but when she makes eye contact with Maks or the crowd, it’s hot! I would like to see her hold her feet to show off the “1 a 2″ rhythm better and more twist action during the stationary copas.  As for the famous Shadow Samba Rolls……..not bad.  Usually, I’m against these patterns because they are so hard to do correctly, but I am not hating them on her (Rachel, don’t pass out!).
All in all, I think every week needs to have this theme.  At least I was fully entertained. So who is going home America? I think with the combination of a low score (compared to everyone else) and a feeling that America has been trying to get her off the show.  We’ll send home Kendra.
But, then again…Who knows.  See you in 24 hours with my thoughts about the results.
It’s American Week at DWTS, so bust out your Red, White and Blue!

Chris & Cheryl: VIENNESE WALTZ score 26
Love this one! Great natural turns in closed and shadow position.  I agree with Len on Chris being a little flat footed. But for a guy, he had fluid movement with his arms.  That impressed me. His last run around was frantic and I hated his costume, so unflattering. But once again, watch out for this one, I pick him to remain top ranked for the rest of the season.

Romeo & Chelsie: FOXTROT score 26
Dancing to “New York, New York”, Romeo did not let me down! Wow, see what happens when you get over that attitude about not looking cool? He really got into his character and added his own flavor to it. That’s why I love the Fox Trot!  It’s the perfect blend of elegant ballroom with a splash of sassiness.  Great job Chelsie! Just watch Romeo’s left arm that it does not extend too high in closed position during rotations.  Timing was mostly danced correctly, had to give him credit for that.  It’s challenging for any dancer to really control the “slow”. Overall, I’m a sucker for anything Old Hollywood.
Ralph & Karina: SAMBA score 22
What happened here? Started off weird and I had no idea what was up with his facial expressions? This seemed out of control and looked like he tried too hard. With his scrunched shoulders and bad attempt at a Shadow Samba Roll (as one of our students, Rachel would say, “They’re a priviledge, not a right”).  Sorry to say, Ralph was no Urban Cowboy tonight.
Hines & Kym: RUMBA score 27
Here’s where I like to see the clips of practice.  Dropping partners, head butts and punching them in the ribs are not so romantic.  Thank goodness none of that came out during their performance. Now, I’m not going to lie, I had to rewind my DVR to see the routine again, due to how hot Kym looked in her costume.  I could not take my eyes off of her. Now when I finally paid attention to Hines, I noticed too many heel leads and toe releases on most basic components.  He usually has strong lines and ankles, but seemed weak this week.  His costume and shoulders distracted me and I felt it hindered his movement.  I do disagree with Len.  True it was not his best dance, but for sure not horrible.  As well as Carrie Ann, he had better hip motion in his Samba. I mean come on, he can carry me (or any woman) off the floor anytime he wants to.  Btw, that’s an open invitation should he read this article.
Now the ladies….
Kendra & Louis: FOXTROT score 22
Ok, how more cheesy can you get?  What producer picked that horrible song and purposely gave it to poor Kendra?  I mean, it was cute for a 6 year old to dance to at a Little Miss Beauty Pagent, but really?  I guess you can say that the performance as a whole embraced the theme for the week perfectly.  At least her pivots were spot on. Either America will love it or end her time for sure this week.
Chelsea & Mark: SAMBA score 26
Don’t let booty shaking fool you for correct hip motion. I’m surprised that she is not flexible in twisting her hips more. It was fun and cute, like all things Disney, but she had a little rough spot on the Promenade Runs that were forgivible.
Petra & Dmitry: QUICKSTEP score 22
I love all things Vegas, but not this routine.  All I can remember is her hidious left shoulder popping up like the Hunchback of Notre Dame (harsh, I know).  It made it impossible for poor Dmitry to establish any connection with her to create a true lead and follow.  As a result, his frame was a mess and looked like she was clinging on for dear life. On the flip side, her feet were much better than last week and finally took that much needed heel lead on forward steps!
Kirstie & Maksim: FOXTROT score 23
Well…..um…..where do I begin with this one? After wiping up the drool from my chin due to a shirtless Maks, I had to once again rewind my DVR to take a second look at his bodacious body and then again for the dancing.  Now don’t start hating me, but that girl in that semi 2 piece outfit was not OK!  And if you are going to flip your hair around, commit to it.  Her dancing was lifeless and flat, not to mention she moved her feet as if they weighed 20 pounds each. Her sassy attitude was a great match for the song, but not enough to pull off this dance number.  Carrie Ann and Bruno are way off their rocker with their praises for this last number of the night.
My guess is that Petra or Kendra will get voted off today,  Petra was a gawky mess and Kendra had way too much cheese this week.  Then again, I guess we’ll have to see.
See you in 24 hours with my thoughts about the results.

Whoo hoo! The first Results Show of the season. Let’s talk highlights!

Fun opening dance number from the pros AND new DWTS Troupe to a perfect song “On The Floor”. One of their best ones that I can remember in a long time.

Chris Brown was the guest performer for the evening and he did not disappoint!!! Actually, I was really blown away by all of his background dancers and amazing choreography. His second song “Forever” featured his dancers in super cool light up LED suits that I loved loved loved!!! But then again, I love anything shiny or sparkly. If you didn’t get a chance to see if, for sure YouTube it!

Not really sure why there is a DWTS Troupe for the results show?!? My guess is that the Pros are getting burned out with practicing hours and hours with their star, THEN trying to find time to put together a show number. I know it’s hard to wrangle up 6 dancers with 6 different schedules and then try to dance syncronized with each couple for a whole song. On the flip side, it gives an opportunity to newer dancers, rising in the ballroom world, for a foot in the door as a professional in the future.

Now the “main event”…….

It was a no brianer who were the worst ones. I was hopeful in thinking Mike would stay another week, but yes this Diva can be wrong once in awhile. (Just once in a while people.) Bottom line, I think it was:

1) Mike’s small fan base. Even though Loveline is a popular radio show, the number of fans can not compare to all the other stars’ fan base.

2) As horrible as Wendy Williams is, there is this deep secret I feel in Americans to keep the “train wreck” on the show for as long as possible.

I thought Wendy should of went home. But I feel this will come to reality soon enough.

Next weeks thoughts? These are the people who really need to put in some overtime on their practices to keep up with the front runners: Sugar Ray, Kendra and Petra. But I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Well there you have it!

Diva Christina

The Loss of an Icon

Arthur Murray was an icon in many ways.  He helped revolutionize the way people viewed dance and industrialized the way businesses marketed with his mail order foot prints.  He created the first dance studio to become a franchise.  Second oldest only to A&W.  He gave many people opportunities to help be successful like himself including yours truly.  But as many great icons often do, he created others that were just as iconic.

A beauty to say the least, Ms. Doris dances here for Ziefeld Follies.

On a sunny Saturday in April 2009, Cari and I had the pleasure of visiting the state of Florida at a convention that paralleled no other; Arthur Murray’s Franchisee convention.  The excitement of meeting with your peers is always exciting, but none came close to the special delight of our guest speaker.  Enter Doris Eaton Travis was her name and dancing was her game.  A one on one interview was held and we had the pleasure of being in her presence.

When looking around the room, I could see so much talent and wisdom.  Anything you ever wanted to know about Arthur Murray and about dancing was right at the tip of your fingers.  All it took was one question.  But all of our tongues were silent.  Silent with the spectacle on stage.  Not many of us can say we knew Arthur Murray personally, but we could come close with 6 degrees of separation.  Doris was 1 degree from knowing Arthur Murray, the man, herself.

Let me tell you a little about her accomplishments.  At the age of 14, Doris became a girl for the famed Ziegfeld Follies as the youngest girl ever to be in the show.  From there she never looked back.  She continued to perform on stage and in films throughout the 20’s and 30’s.  It wasn’t until 1936 when she started working for Arthur Murray himself as a tap dance instructor.  According to her, she bugged Arthur to teach her countless times.  Enough so that he decided to put her in an instructor training class just to keep her quiet.

Unfortunately that did just the opposite.  Her hunger for learning and ballroom dancing grew.  She learned step after step.  She did such a great job that Arthur noticed her one day and asked “Why isn’t she teaching?” and made her a teacher right on the spot.  From there she modeled herself after both Arthur and Kathryn as an entrepreneur and helped Arthur accomplish his dream of Franchising his studios so that the world could enjoy dance as much as he.

TIME OUT!  In case you don’t know, here’s a bit of history.  How many woman can you name that owned a legitimate business in 1941?  You could probably name only a few.  In fact Doris was the first woman in U.S. history to own her own business (talk about history maker).  In a time of MAN, she was the only WOMAN.  As if being the first wasn’t enough, it wasn’t for Doris.

TIME IN!  After creating the first business, she went on to own over 30 franchises.  And if the question is “Did she own them all at once?”  The answer is YES!  I would imagine at this point in time she sat down in one of the many offices she had in the midwest studios and asked the question “I think I should start something new with all of this time I have free now that I own over 20 schools?”.  Because what happened next could only come from a self chat such as that.

Arthur Murray was successful in the 50’s for having the Arthur Murray Party on TV.  It was a television show dedicated to teaching people dance and introducing them to new styles of music and dance around the globe.  It was so successful that Doris, having the Broadway Star roots run through her body, decided to have a Television spot of her own.  It was just as successful as it’s predecessor and another star was born.  Although it wasn’t anything like today with hit shows like Dancing With The Stars and So You Think You Can Dance, in my personal opinion it had much more class.  Watching such cool dancers do such cool social dance moves far outweighs the likes of plastered makeup on almost forgotten contestants trying to win a trophy.

Have you ever been dancing and see the old guy in the corner.  He doesn’t look like much, but he has a line of dancers waiting for him because when he busts out a move, it required the combination of no blinking, a video camera, a group of dancers in a half circle watching with their mouths wide open and 70 years experience.  I’ve had that pleasure.  I was the one who was caught in the middle of it all, not knowing what was going on and in a flash I turned around and there he was, challenging me.  Challenging me with the coolest move I’ve ever seen.  So cool that I asked him to show me and he resulted in pushing my hand away, backing up, opening his palms and asked with his body “What do you got?”  He turned away and with his back turned I scratched my head and thought as I looked to my Counterpart Bobby and stated “I think I just got smoked by the Old Guy in the club.”  I laid in the fetal position for the next five minutes.

How does that relate to this story?  It doesn’t.  Just kidding.  That old guy was everywhere on her show in the form of young instructors, men and women that adorned the studios for Ms. Doris in the midwest.  In fact I would imagine, her show was the first to have the phrase cool used to describe it as something other than the refrigerator.  Now that’s cool to be called cool for the first time!

3 of a Kind: Doris, Cari and Juan share in common the joy of a life changed by Arthur Murray

Flashback to the conference room of the famed Fontainebleu in Miami.  There we sat as Ms. Travis finished her interview.  She rose from her chair to a thunderous standing ovation, strutted a couple of dance moves to show us all that she still has it and proceeded to allow us the privilege of taking a photo with her one last time before her exit.  Over the years she accomplished much.  From joining Arthur Murray and owning her many studios to having her television and Broadway career.  From getting her bachelor’s degree at the University of Oklahoma graduating cum laude at age 88 to being presented with an honorary doctorate at 100.  This woman had done it all.

Her final curtain call came on the day of May 11, 2010.  Fresh off the celebration of her 106th birthday.  She will forever be missed and remembered the world over.  This column was created to share with others that which she has shared with us.  Created to share her wonderful life that touched so many.  And as for this person, she couldn’t have made a bigger impression as an icon.

I guess now she gets to bug Arthur once more to figure out how she can get a franchise in the sky.

It was a cold and rainy evening on the eve of Dance O Rama.  Those coming in on wednesday were surprised to see the sight of their fantastic weekend, become so gloomy.  It was what they saw back home on the east coast or a normal April day in England.  Even those from California were wondering if they had arrived in California.  But that’s what’s expected.

On the eve of a Dance O Rama all is grey, even the minds of those who will participate.  Grey with thoughts of performing to the their own expectations or those expectations of others.  It’s expected to fail the eve of any event, just ask any veteran, that’s how you know you’re ready.  And ready we were in San Jose.  So much in fact that we willed the grey to end.  We willed the light to shine and the sun to rise and on the day of Dance O Rama, a bright Thursday appeared with the sun on everyone’s faces and the smiles of everyone around.  It was here.  San Francisco Dance O Rama has arrived.

Love, Chaos and Dinner at the Famous Teatro Zinzanni

We were fortunate enough to spend a fantastic evening at the fabulous Teatro Zinzanni for a glorious evening of Love, Chaos and Dinner (their slogan).  Arthur Murray packed the house with more than 2/3 of the crowd.  Enough so that the actors had to mention us in their act and boy did they receive a thunderous applause every time they did.  Food was enjoyed, dancing was had by all and fools were made fun of as they were picked from their seats and into the jester isle.  A fabulous time indeed.

When Friday morning crept around, it was early, but not early enough to steal the hunger of a dance competitor.  We were hungry for the art of dance at 8 am.  Who does that?  San Jose Arthur Murray does!  From 8 am to 1am we danced.  We left it out all on the floor. The day began with Solo Routines.  We rocked it.  Country Western, did that with a hat!  Smooth freestyles, did that!  Rhythm Freestyles, did that!  Bachata?  Did that too!.  There was no limit to the dances we were capable of.

We even had time to take a break for a little Country Western party where a legendary duo of Arthur Murray antics choreographed an award winning formation where the gentlemen and their lady counterparts entered in a duel of dancing to the death.  It was close, but by unanimous decision the Gentlemen won.  Yes it’s true, even the judges said so and should you question or would like to challenge the decision they can be reached by pager.

Saturday brought much excitement to the table.  Open freestyles allowed the students to do their fantastic routines and Scholarships showed off their  dancing to the next level.  The evening was a huge success.  Talk about dressing to the nines.  I think Arthur Murray Dance Studios invented it.  Everyone was decked out in their best to celebrate a wonderful culmination of dance events and camaraderie.  When asked what they thought about the whole weekend, a San Jose student replied “The weekend?  It was…Sexy.”  I couldn’t have agreed more.  Sexy was San Jose Arthur Murray’s middle name.  Sexy were the jackets we wore all weekend, it was our cheering and demeanor.  Sexy was the way a certain San Jose Franchisee walked when escorting her fellow Franchisee and husband as he received a Top Instructor award.  Sexy?  We were brimming with it.

All in all, San Francisco Dance O Rama was a huge hit.  It was the success that we had all hoped for it to be.  And when Sunday rolled around, we could only reminisce of the great time we had the nights before.  We remembered the laughs we had, the good times (we tried to remember the bad times but there weren’t any) and the hardware we came home with.  We knew the next week was awaiting.  6 a.m was around the corner and our daily routine of shower and a coffee were whispering in our ears.  We knew work was calling and regular life would be exactly where we left it, on the front door step next to the mail we hadn’t collected in 4 days.  But for this one weekend, we all had the experience that can only be matched by another.  Until the next one my friends.  We want to thank everyone for participating and hanging out with us crazy people all weekend long.  We had a blast and would do it again in a heart beat.

But this is something that we will always have in our hearts.  As cliche as this may sound, we truly left our Dancing Hearts in San Francisco.

In the world of Ballroom Dance, there are many professionals that are talented enough to grace the floors of high level competition.  Arthur Murray is proud to boast a good percentage of them.  However there are few that grace the tongue of the Hall of Fame.  And even fewer that etch their name into the history books.  Arthur and Kathryn Murray are two of those people.

I wish I could say I had the pleasure of knowing Arthur and Kathryn personally, but since their passing before Cari and I entered the business, I can only hear stories from those who had.  Being with Arthur Murray for 13 years, I am glad to have met a lot of figure heads that represent our company well.  One of those people is not only a Legend to the company, but a Legend to me.

Ask not what you can do for Jacques, but what can Jacques to for you.

Since you see the photo next to this text, you must know that I’m talking about the one and only Jacques De Beve.  Jacques has been with Arthur Murray for 55 years.  That’s an accomplishment within itself.  What’s more of an accomplishment is being part of helping the company grow for almost 100 years.  Jacques would be the first to tell you one of the many stories from the days of before, but allow me to tell you a story about him.

When I first started in this business, Jacques was one of the first coaches I met.  I remember his white beard and tan skin (nothing has changed).  I’ll never forget his inspirational wisdom that day.  He said “Juan.  You’re going to be great in this business.  You’re ugly, but you’ll be great!”  That was probably the best thing that he could have said to me.  It motivated me to do so much.  And with those little words, he helped shape a person that ultimately became a good dancer, teacher and franchisee (I don’t mind saying so myself).  Not only did he do that with me, but also for the many students in the studio.

We have coaches that teach us how to dance and we have coaches that guide us towards the right path.  He’s the latter.  He’s the guy that can take one look at you, read your mind and figure out what you need within the first 10 seconds of meeting you.  That’s what he does.  He’s Master Planner.  If you’ve ever wanted help in finding out what to do with your dancing, where to go, help with clarifying goals and help motivating yourself to reach those goals, you call Jedi Master Jacques.

One glance and you may think, what can he show me?  The last person that did that now resides in the local insane asylum because Jacques blew his mind away and he couldn’t find it again.  But don’t let his dapper good looks deceive you.  He may not be able to dance like he once could (Which by the way was awesome if you ever got to see it.  We don’t call him the inventor of “Dirty Swing” for nothing), but he can get you to dance in a way to achieve immediate results.  Just ask the students that he’s worked with already.

It’s been four years since Jacques has graced the walls of the Arthur Murray in San Jose and we are so proud to have him in our studio again.  You’ll know exactly who he is upon walking in the studio.  He’ll be the one with all the people around him like a moth to a flame.  He’ll be the one surrounded by laughter and joy.  He’ll be the one working on lessons giving feedback and showing students the path to a better dance life.  He’ll also be the one in a suit with white hair and you’ll find yourself saying “I don’t know who he is, but he sure looks great and one day I’d like to be him when I grow up.”

If you missed yesterday, you can catch him today.  But I’m certain we won’t see the last of this Arthur Murray Legend.

After a day like showcase, you would expect to relax and take a day off.  Not San Jose.  Not our students and staff.  We live in Silicon Valley and with a tough city we have tough people.  Tough people that like to get their hands dirty with the techniques and philosophies of the sport known as ballroom dancing.  A day off is for the procrastinator of dreams and our dreams came true knowing that we had superhero like coaches coming in on Monday and Tuesday.  Superhumans like Ron Christy and Snow.

If you’ve ever had a coaching lesson, then you know what it’s like.  For those that don’t, let me give you an idea.  It’s like Luke Skywalker meeting Yoda.  he got all the training from Obi Wan, but when he needed something more he was introduced to Yoda.  Luke thought he knew what it took to be a Jedi, but Yoda’s training opened his eyes to more than the average Jedi can see.  He made him train harder and gave him things that other Jedi’s could not.  A master coach is the “Yoda” that gives you material and techniques that only a Jedi Master Coach can.  And just when you think you can’t do more, they push you a little further to become the Jedi they know you can be.  A coach gets you to do things in a shorter period of time than it would normally take.  That’s the Magic of a Jedi Coach.

The first Jedi Coach we had after showcase was Ron Christy.  What can we say.  He’s a man made of almost steel with an almost steel head and can almost see through anything.  He can however see what we need to work on.  Students had a blast working with him one on one and in his workshop.  Have you ever witnessed a miracle in your life?  That’s what takes place during a lesson with a coach like Ron.  He not only astonished and amazed our students, but our staff as well.  We had a field day trying to understand the man known as Ron Christy.

The next day, a Snow storm came to town.  Jedi Coach Snow had her first day here in the San Jose studio and it was much anticipated.  Each lesson went by faster and faster.  Time flies when you’re in a blizzard of excitement of dance.  She worked with students of all levels and the feedback was incredible.  We even had a student ask “When are you coming back”, within the first five minutes of the lesson.  We constantly talk about how much you learn and improve when you have a coaching lesson.  Snow was the example.  Students walked away in amazement of how advanced techniques were simplified and applied during the lesson.

Arthur Murray San Jose has Jedi Coaches coming in once sometimes twice per month.  Check the calendar and see when the next coach is coming by and schedule fast because Jedi Masters are high in demand.  Don’t be left out of the opportunity a coach can bring to your dancing life.

A Friend of a Friend…

So I asked a good friend, and fellow blogger, of mine about what the deal is with all of this internet blogging stuff.  He proceeded with lots of analogies on how great it would be to have a blog and how exciting of a life I would lead.  Actually it was a 2 question answer:  “Do you have a blog”, “Yeah”, “Is it cool if I did one?”, “Yeah”.  That was enough to convince me.  And that was that. I started writing and the rest is history.

So recently I had a birthday and Cari decided to get me a Jack Lalane Power Juicer.  It was probably one of the best gifts that I ever got.  So great, that we decided to get every fruit and vegetable in the grocery store that night!  The next morning I awoke to the wonderful sound of fruit mincing their way into a frothy juice to be enjoyed by my taste buds.  The same day upon coming into the studio I told our staff how great the juicer was and how healthy it is for your body.  “You can just feel yourself getting healthier knowing that all the nutrients are going right into your system”, I said to Dustin.  You know what.  He got one the next day.

Showcase day rolled around and we talked about how much fun juicing was and there was a compadre, Ron Christy.  He jumped in without hesitation and told me how excited he was to juice as well.  “I hated drinking any juice from the store, but for some reason, I love the juice I make at home with Jack Lalane’s power juicer”–ting!  That was the sound his mouth made when he smiled really big.  It’s like all of a sudden we were part of a juicing club and I was one the spokesman because I couldn’t stop talking about it.

Then it hit me.  I was excited about a power juicer because of how much fun it was and healthy it was for me.  Out of the excitement and caring for others I shared my story in hopes that they would be happy and healthy like me.  I wanted to help my friends and share with them something that I loved so much.  If a power juicer does that to me, I wonder what dancing does for our students?

Telling a friend how much fun you’re having with your dancing is a wonderful idea to share something good with them.  In a world of bad news, why not share a light at the end of that workday tunnel and help them find something to look forward to.  Too many times do we try to hold things for ourselves and like when we have “our own thing” that nobody else can touch.  But in an effort to make it our own, we exclude or don’t think about the effects that dancing can have for others, especially our friends.  At Arthur Murray we always appreciate when our students let their friends know about what a good time dancing can bring.  In fact it’s the highest form of flattery for our teachers and studio to know that we did a great enough job that you wanted to share your new passion for dance with your friends and family.