Gold Night Out Is Coming…

Blackhawk Museum MW-2Join us for an elegant evening of dinner and dancing at the Blackhawk Automotive Museum on June 12th. This is a night you won’t want to miss! It all begins with a champagne toast, followed by a limo ride where we whisk you away for a night on the town.





A big thanks and congratulations to all our Extravaganza participants. Everyone did an amazing job on their routines!

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Inspirational Dance Quotes

Sometimes taking your first step out onto the dance floor is the hardest step. Here is a little inspiration to get you off the sidelines and onto the dance floor.


“We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.”

Friedrich Nietzsche


“Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance. Great dancers are great because of their passion.”

Martha Graham

“We’re fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance.”

 – Japanese Proverb


“There are short-cuts to happiness, and dancing is one of them. “

-Vicki Baum


“Life is short and there will always be dirty dishes, so let’s dance.”

James Howe


I do not try to dance better than anyone else. I only try to dance better than myself.

Mikhail Baryshnikov


“Dance first. Think later. It’s the natural order.”

– Samuel Beckett


“Stifling an urge to dance is bad for your health — it rusts your spirit and your hips.”

– Terri Guillemets


Dance is bigger than the physical body. When you extend your arm, it doesn’t stop at the end of your fingers, because you’re dancing bigger than that; you’re dancing spirit.

Judith Jamison


“Dance is the hidden language of the soul”

Martha Graham


“To dance is to be out of yourself. Larger, more beautiful, more powerful.. This is power, it is glory on earth and it is yours for the taking”

– Agnes De Mille


Never give a sword to a man who can’t dance.


The dance can reveal everything mysterious that is hidden in music, and it has the additional merit of being human and palpable. Dancing is poetry with arms and legs.

Charles Baudelaire


People dance at any age.

Mikhail Baryshnikov


“The one thing that can solve most of our problems is dancing. Any problem in the world can be solved by dancing.”

 – James Brown


“If you can walk you can dance.”

– Zimbabwe proverb



Planning Your First Dance

weddingYour wedding is one of the most romantic days of your life; make it even more special with a personalized wedding dance. Wedding planning can be incredibly stressful, so we’re here to take the weight off your shoulders when it comes to your first dance. For over 100 years, we have taught couples and helped make their wedding dreams come true.

Music & Dance Selection:

Our teachers are trained to create dances that you and your loved one will remember for the rest of your life. Whether you would like something traditional or modern, we can tailor a dance just for you. If you already have a special song picked out, feel free to bring it to your first lesson. Or, if you have not chosen a song yet, we can give you plenty of recommendations and help you find the song that suits your personality. Would you like something classic like a Waltz, or romantic like a Rumba or Tango? Maybe you want something fun like Salsa or Swing. Or a little mash-up? The possibilities are endless.  Whatever you two decide on; let our professional dance instructors create the dance you have always envisioned.

We can also teach you other dances that are played at weddings so that you will be able to dance all night long! And don’t stop with just your first dance. Learn a few other dances for your honeymoon and beyond. Enjoy a rewarding lifelong activity that the two of you can do together!

Choreography or Basics?

When it comes to your wedding dance, there are a couple different options. If you would like something choreographed, we can put a piece together for you and teach you all the steps. Or if you prefer not to memorize choreography, we can teach you the basics and a few different combinations of moves. Or do a little bit of both. The choice is entirely up to you.color-hustle

How soon should you come in for your lessons?

The sooner the better. Too many couples wait until the last possible moment to learn their wedding dance. We recommend signing up for lessons at least few months before your wedding. That way you have plenty of time to prepare, have some quality time together and get in any extra refresher lessons before the big day.

Your First Lesson Checklist:

There are a few details that our instructors will need to know before we begin your first lesson.

  1. The size of your dance floor
  2. How will your reception music be performed? Band, DJ, IPOD?
  3. Do you have a song picked out?
  4. What style of shoe and dress will you be wearing?
  5. Any Special Requests?
  6. Any additional dances? Father-Daughter, Mother-Son? Wedding Party?

Pre- Wedding Prep

One you have a few lessons under your belt, attend our group classes and practice parties. Think of this as your dress rehearsal and your opportunity to perform in front of a group of people before dancing at the reception. This is a great way to get accustomed to dancing in front of a crowd and feel confident as your take your first steps out on the dance floor as a married couple.

After Your Wedding…

Enjoy a lifetime of romance together!

closeup And don’t forget to send us a picture of your first dance!

Festival Kick Off Parties

Our students showed their school spirit and joined us in our kick off parties for our BACK TO SCHOOL Festival! Don’t miss out on the next five weeks of fun! Coming this week we have both EXTRAVAGANZA and our festival parties!

Hayward- Gym Class

Walnut Creek- Detention

Livermore- Homecoming

Redwood City- 90’s Prom

Hayward's Springtime in Paris Homecoming

Hayward’s “Springtime in Paris” Homecoming. Oh La La!









Walnut Creek learned some dance chemistry at the Science Fair Party

Walnut Creek had mad scientists and robots at their Science Fair party!













Meet the Teachers and Open House in Livermore

Livermore students got a chance to ‘Meet the Teachers’ at their Open House party










Picking The Perfect Ballroom Costume

So you’ve been practicing exciting choreography and you’ve got a performance coming up, now it’s time to adventure into the world of ballroom fashion! Whether you’re interested in a smooth gown or a rhythm dress, we’re here to help you find the perfect costume so you can stand out on the dance floor.

Choosing a ballroom costume can be a daunting task but with the right ensemble every dance is more magical. Before purchasing a costume, there are a couple crucial things to consider that are going to make finding the right dress much easier.

Superama 20121. SMOOTH vs. RHYTHM (Or Both) How do you see yourself on the dance floor? What is the image that you are trying to create? Are you smooth and elegant or do you want to add some spice and sass?

Smooth: The elegant sweep and style of these gowns reflect the grace of the smooth dances like Waltz and Foxtrot. There are plunging necklines, open backs and asymmetrical skirts or tops for added drama. When choosing a smooth dress, keep in mind that you don’t want the skirt to be too long so you can show off all your fancy footwork and so you won’t be tripped up by unnecessary fabric.

Rhythm:The costumes are much shorter and designed for all the twists and turns of the rhythm dances like swing and salsa. They are cut to show off hip movement and are often decorated with fringe, feathers or drapes. If you plan on using this costume for multiple events, choose a versatile dress that will look good for spicy Latin numbers and playful swing dances too.

2. COLOR: One of the hardest choices is deciding on the color of the dress. A big mistake people often make when picking out their first costume is choosing something muted and subtle. The point is to stand out on the dance floor. Think vibrant and flashy colors that catch the eye like bold neons. You can also add some flair with additional contrasting colors that make your costume pop. Or you can even get wild with exotic patterns and animal prints. The choices are endless. But keep in mind, this is something you are going to be performing in and it is better to get something that you will not feel self-conscious in so you can focus on your dancing.

3.STYLE & CUT: When shopping for the right costume, pick something that highlights and accentuates your best features. Play up those features with the right kind of cut. If you have long legs, get a costume with a dramatic slit or if you have a great back, get a backless dress.

On the flip side, if there are some imperfections you would like to cover up, there are plenty of ways to distract the eye. It’s all in the shape and construction of the dress. Fringe is a great way to distract the eye on rhythm costume and a drape of fabric in the right place is also flattering.


Make sure that you can move comfortably in the costume. There’s nothing worse than a wardrobe malfunction out on the dance floor. To prevent this, check to make sure the shoulder straps are secure and the dress fits properly while moving. Is the skirt too long? Have it hemmed so you will not be tripped up. If you have drapes on your arms check that they do not get in the way of dancing with your partner. Before performing in any costume, always rehearse in it a few times to get a feel for the way it moves and to make sure it is part of the image that you are trying to create.


The general consensus on embellishments is the bigger the better. What might look garish from up close will make a splash on the dance floor. You want to go for a stage look that can be seen from far away. No one is going to see tiny little patterns across the dance floor, so pick something that will look dazzling from far away.

There are lots of different options when it comes to embellishments. You can have appliques which are usually large patterns of sequins or you can go with stones like Swarovski crystals or rhinestones. And if you want to look really stylish, add some rhinestones to your dance shoes on the heel or the straps too.

Jenny & CJ


Let’s talk about bling. You have got to throw in some sparkly bits of glitz. To complete your ensemble, you can add arm bands or bracelets and hair clips to match. Pick something that is going to add more sparkle to whatever you are wearing. Crystals are a great way to catch light. If you add earrings or a necklace make sure that it will not get tangled up in your costume or on your hair. If you plan on wearing longer earrings do a few spins with them to make sure they do not smack you in the face or hit your partner.


You don’t need to spend a fortune to look fantastic out on the dance floor. There are a ton of options for any dancer. If jumping straight into getting an over the top costume is not something you are ready for, you can always opt for practice wear or something simpler and less expensive. Just make sure you pick something that you are going to feel great in while dancing.


Even though the costumes for men are not as involved, there are still some really fun options. As with the ladies, make sure whatever you choose will play up your best features and shape. You can never go wrong with a classic look.

For smooth costumes, pick out a tuxedo top paired with a bow tie. You can never go wrong with a vest or a jacket as well. Throw in a dash of color to match your partner. For rhythm costumes, the fashion is a lower V with dynamic cuts and styles. Just make sure whatever you chose, that you will be able to move freely in it. When trying on the shirt and jacket, raise your arms to make sure it will have the proper look while in dance frame.

As for pants for smooth dances, choose either tuxedo pants or dress slacks. In rhythm, the pants are fitted at the waist and flare out towards the bottom. Add a shiny belt to draw attention to your hips during some fancy Cuban motion steps.


If you would like something custom made just for you, you can check out Lenique or Artistry in Motion. Both go to our local events and will measure you and design it on the spot with you.

Or if you would like to save some pennies, ebay and other online stores are always an option. You can usually pick out the color and the type of embellishments to go along with the dress. The downside to buying a dress online is that it might not fit as perfectly as a custom dress would and might be made with cheaper fabrics.

If you purchase a costume online, keep in mind that it will take about a month to make and ship as many of them are made overseas. Shipping fees and customs can be an issue, so make sure you shop around and pick a trusted seller.

Whatever you pick out for your next performance, the most important thing to remember is to be comfortable and to pick something to suit your personality. If you have any questions or would like some advice, ask one of our amazing teachers or ask us in the comments below.

This Mother’s Day, celebrate your mom with the gift of dance. Contact us today to set up a free introductory lesson.

This Mother's Day, celebrate your mom with the gift of dance

The Survival Guide to Your First Performance

On the Dance FloorPerforming can be scary, especially if it is your first performance. We encourage all our students to perform in studio or at our events to help them take their dancing to the next level. It is one of the best ways to help build confidence in your dancing and is a ton of fun! We will be with you every step of the way to banish that pesky stage fright and get you rocking on the dance floor!

What to expect:

It doesn’t matter if you’re a total newbie or a seasoned pro; everyone gets nervous before a performance. Just the thought of everyone watching is enough to cause sweaty palms, elevated heart rate and a fight or flight gut reaction.  But don’t worry; all the students and the teachers are here to support you. All of them have gone through the exact same thing and are going to cheer you on the whole time.

Worst case scenario, you miss a few steps. But here’s a secret, if you keep smiling and dancing, most people won’t suspect a thing. Bust out that poker face and just keep going. And in the end, it’s only a minute and a half and the more often you perform, the better it will feel each time.

This is also a great place for our wedding couple to practice their wedding dance. The more often you perform in front of people, the more confident and the more smooth your first dance will be on your big day.

How to Prepare:

This is your chance to get creative! Bring us your ideas or we’ll help you come up with some. Bring in your favorite song, the one that really makes you want to move and we’ll take care of the choreography. We will help you become the dancer you’ve always envisioned.

Then practice, practice, practice. We can even send you a video of your routine with counts and with music if you would like to practice at home. Whenever you practice, make sure to keep your head up and smile, that will help make it feel more natural when you are actually performing.

Before you perform, get in a few coaching lessons with one of our amazing traveling coaches to polish up you routine or start with some really stellar choreography. The coach will give you lots of feedback on your dancing and give you lots of styling and technique tips!

Where you can perform:Get it, girls!

There are always opportunities to perform here at Arthur Murray’s. It doesn’t matter if you have years and years of experience or zero, everyone can perform. Challenge yourself by participating in our different events. Each one is designed to help you build confidence in your dancing. So you can get your feet wet with a demo or dive right into a showcase or Dance-o-rama.

Level One: In studio Demo– Show off what you have been learning or your choreography at one of our in-studio practice parties.

Level Two: Extravaganza- Twice a year we throw a big bash at each of our studios to showcase our students and their routines. Get inspired watching students of all levels perform. This is a great way to get comfortable dancing in front of people before attending one of our larger events.

Level Three: Showcase/ Medal Ball– Immerse yourself in all day dancing celebrating everything that you have been learning. These events are a great way to see big results in your dancing. During Medal Ball we also have special honor dances for our students that graduate from their bronze, silver and gold programs. Celebrate your progress and get inspired by other students and our special guest performers!

Las Vegas World Dance-O-Rama

Arthur Murray American Rhythm

Level Four: Dance-o-rama- Take your dancing on the road with this “Dance Vacation.” You could be dancing by the ocean in Hawaii or waltzing around the Rivera in Monte Carlo. Students get a chance to compete against Arthur Murray students from around the world and make memories that will last a lifetime.

We Want To Hear From You:

What is your most memorable moment while dancing?

Get Inspired With These Famous Dance Scenes

Get those routines ready, Extravaganza and Solo Showcase are right around the corner! Here are some of our favorite dance scenes to inspire you and get you dancing like a star at your next performance!

Strictly Ballroom:

Two mavericks take the Australian ballroom world by storm when they…gasp!… dance their own steps at a competition in their own version of the Paso Doble. Check out the rest of this movie to see the over the top theatrical world of show ballroom (and you thought those child pageant star reality shows were crazy!)

Dirty Dancing:

Arguably the greatest dance movie ever made with plenty of memorable characters (and there’s even a nod to Arthur Murray) and show stopping numbers including this finale scene where Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey prove that nobody puts baby in a corner.

Swing Time:

Get whisked away in this waltz number with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers and add some flair to your smooth dancing.

White Christmas:

The title says it all: “The Best Things Can Happen  While You’re Dancing” and we couldn’t agree more.

Assassination Tango:

This is just one of many sensual and complex Argentine Tangos performed in this movie. Pick up some fancy footwork with this movie and tango the night away.

Saturday Night Fever:

Hustle and boogie like John Travolta in his famous white suit in your next performance. Now, all we need is one of those disco floors!

Silver Linings Playbook: 

Nervous about performing your new routine? Check out this number. These two amateurs prove that even when you mess up, you can still rock the dance floor.

Swing Kids: 

Add some sensational  and high energy big band swing to your next routine and cut a rug like these dance rebels!

What’s a dance scene that inspires you? Let us know in the comments below!