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A place to dance: Redwood City’s Arthur Murray Dance Studios creates haven for learning
July 07, 2014, 05:00 AM By Samson So Daily Journal

Samson So/Daily Journal
Teachers Chris Rhett and Brienne Thompson dance the rumba at Arthur Murray Dance Studios in Redwood City.

Off to the side of Broadway in Redwood City sits a small dance studio with an open window and an open door. Inside, Arthur Murray Dance Studio holds one of its many dance parties held every Tuesday and Friday. Tonight’s Tony Awards party is the last of the year and many show up in extravagant dresses and slick suits. Others are simply in their everyday clothes, but it never takes away from their fire to dance. With the music booming in the background, pedestrians outside are drawn to the variety of dances. All eyes are fixated on the diverse group as they glide through tango, salsa, swing and fox-trot.  

Since moving from Burlingame six years ago, Arthur Murray Dance Studio houses dancers of all backgrounds and is just one of 250 studios across the globe. Priding itself through its strong participation of dancers, Redwood City’s Arthur Murray has come a long way. This year they were rated number one out of all 250 of its studio branches, said Director Jenny Lynn, adding that anyone can really take up dancing at their studio.

“Classes are split up into beginners, intermediate and advanced. These classes are based on a structured syllabus and the number of lessons you have determines the group class you get placed in,” said Lynn. “Dancers are instructed in private classes first and then move onto group lessons with other students.”

All Arthur Murray Dance Studios teach the same curriculum allowing easy transitions between studios for students. Redwood City’s studio features 11 certified instructors that go through six months of training before teaching patterns, timing and styling, Lynn said.

Summer brings many opportunities for couples keen on dancing together for their weddings. Arthur Murray creates a comfortable environment for even the newest and shyest of dancers. Couples can bring in their choice of music at their ceremonies and teachers can choreograph steps to a specific dance. Parties like the one tonight provide not just a fun and a social gathering, but a real-world experience that allows dancers to be more comfortable with their surroundings. 

After breaking off into their respective groups to learn their dances, they come back to show off what they’ve learned to everyone else. Dancers and teachers alike provide an enthusiastic sense of motivation to one another. 

Teacher Chris Rhett is a bundle of energy as he bounces to the thunderous music. When teaching classes, he emphasizes his approach to addressing his students. 

“I really want my classes to be fun and easy, because it’s simple; if it’s not like that, students aren’t as likely to come back,” said Rhett. “I love teaching new students because most of the time they’re just so green and it’s exciting to watch them grow. They really come just to enjoy it.” 

Rhett also mentioned that having attainable checkpoints and goals was important as it provides dancers with more confidence and poise. 

 

 

Tags: their, dance, dancers, studio, murray, arthur,


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