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What Should You Wear to Dance Lessons?

Congratulations—you’ve decided to take ballroom dancing lessons! You are probably very excited, and maybe even a little nervous or confused. Don’t worry. This is going to be a lot of fun!

What should you wear to your first dance lesson?  The right clothing and footwear will help you feel confident and comfortable so you can fully enjoy your dance lessons.

First of all, do not underestimate the importance of good shoes. Shoes with suede or leather soles are best for the dance floor. You want to glide without sticking!   Check out our blog post on Choosing The Right Pair of Shoes For Ballroom Dancing


Ladies: You will be dancing backward a great deal, so do not wear slip-ons or sling backs. A sturdy 2-3 inch heel works best. Wear shoes that are comfortable and will stay on your feet. You can start with flats if you need to and work your way up to heels. You may want to consider a close-toe shoe at first (your partner may be a beginner too, and you will want some protection for your toes).

Gentlemen: You will need a regular dress shoe with a smooth sole (suede or leather) and a standard heel.


The clothes you wear when you are dancing should allow for maximum freedom of movement. You do not want to have any restrictions when you are practicing your new moves on the dance floor. Think stretchy and relaxed (spandex and chiffon), not baggy. Baggy clothes will get in your way and make it difficult for your instructor to watch your movements.


Ladies: A comfortable, below-the-knee practice skirt will give you the room you need to move (no tight or straight skirts). Your top may be close-fitting, but must allow you […]

Learn the Mambo and Shake Things Up

The Mambo is a passionate, flirtatious, and sexy Latin dance. Mambo means “shake it”—and that’s just what Mambo dancers do. An exaggerated hip movement defines this dance, along with long, flowing forward and backward movements, sharp quick steps, rock steps and side steps, points, kicks, and flicks of the feet.

Originating from Havana, Cuba in the 1930s, the Mambo became a popular dance in the U.S. in the 1940s – 1950s, when Cuban music merged with American Jazz and Swing. The Mambo was instrumental in the development of several other popular Latin dances, including the Salsa and the Cha Cha.

There are a variety of Mambo rhythms, all based on the clave rhythm used in Afro-Cuban music. The rhythms are set by a variety of percussion instruments, including bongo and conga drums, timbales, maracas, and cowbells. Piano, bass, strings (guitar and violin), and winds (trumpets, saxophones, and trombones) are also common in Mambo music. The Mambo uses a 4/4 beat and its tempo covers a wide range—from 32 beats per minute to 56 beats per minute. It is a high-energy dance that is performed both socially and competitively.

Are you ready to shake it? Schedule a Mambo lesson today at the Arthur Murray Dance Studios in Charlotte and Lake Norman, NC.




The Secret to a Better Life–Dancing

A happier, healthier, and longer life—is there anything we want more? The hard part for most of us is figuring out how to achieve this goal. There are some simple things that you can do today to get started. Fortunately, most of these are not as difficult as you may expect. In fact, some of these are actually fun!

In his article, “Church, Chocolate, Sex and 3 Other Keys to Living Longer,” Steve Vernon lists activities that may help you to live a longer and healthier life:

1.      Floss your teeth.

2.      Go to church.

3.      Have sex often.

4.      DANCE.

5.      Eat chocolate and drink red wine.

“Many studies link dancing with improved health and longevity, and the causation effect might seem obvious,” writes Vernon. “Dancing is good exercise; it’s particularly good for aerobic exercise and balance, which is important in your later years. I’ve heard Dr. Gene Cohen, an expert on brain health, talk about the beneficial effects of ballroom dancing on preventing Alzheimer’s and dementia, because you’re constantly making decisions and using parts of your brain that normally don’t get exercised. Plus, dancing should be fun and give you beneficial social contacts. And husbands—it’s great for spicing up your romantic life, thereby helping with Step 3!”

While there is no foolproof way to guarantee yourself a longer and healthier life, the list above will certainly help you with the happier part. Schedule a dance lesson today at the Arthur Murray Dance Studios in Charlotte and Lake Norman, NC.

“8 Reasons Why Dancing Benefits You” Diane Hanson



Two New Movies Opening April 11th

                           See Why Real Men Dance!!
Check out these films celebrating our love of ballroom dancing. Both will open April 11, 2014.
Dancing in Jaffa is a documentary of Pierre Dulaine’s efforts to bring dance to the children of Jaffa, Israel. Over ten weeks, Dulaine prepares a group of 11-year-old Palestinian children for a ballroom dancing competition. The film explores the lives of these children as they struggle with politics, race, and religion. The film will make a limited release on April 11 in New York and Los Angeles, and then a wider release in the following weeks.
The comedy Cuban Fury stars Nick Frost (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Paul) and Rashida Jones (The Office, Parks and Recreation). As a young teen, Frost’s character has a promising career as a Latin dancer, but it is cut short. As an adult, his interest in dancing is reborn when he discovers that his new coworker and love interest (Rashida Jones) has a passion for Salsa. Cuban Fury has been released overseas and will make its American debut in wide release on April 11. 2014
These films, along with long time staples like TV series Dancing with the Stars help to demonstrate the popularity of couples dancing in the United States. Thanks to shows like these, dances that were once largely unknown to most Americans, like Rumba, Bachata, and Samba, are now household terms. Moreover, these dances are once again finding a niche in a growing number of clubs and other social gatherings, thanks both to these shows and movies and to the growing Hispanic community. Whatever the cause, it is clear that ballroom is making a revival and there is no better […]

Take Your Date Night to the Dance Floor

When was the last time you went on a date with your spouse? If you think dating is only for singles, think again. Dating is an integral part of a healthy marriage. After all, dating was how you fell in love with your spouse in the first place.

Why not enjoy your date night with us at the Arthur Murray Dance Studios in Charlotte or Lake Norman, NC?

For couples with children at home, life is extremely busy. Jobs and kids keep couples so occupied that dating often falls to the bottom of the family’s priorities. But your marriage is what holds your family together and needs to be nurtured to stay healthy. In Date Your Husband, Laura Young examines the importance of dating your spouse.

“The bottom line is that people are just not prioritizing,” says relationship expert and marriage counselor Michele Weiner-Davis. “As a culture, we have become very child-focused and parents feel like they need to spend all their free time with their kids,” she explains, “but parents should spend time with one another for their kids. If they don’t spend time with one another, they’re not bonding or building on their friendship.”

For empty nesters, this is the perfect time to focus on each other. Dancing is a great way to reconnect with your spouse, have some fun, and learn something new together. No phones, no kids–just the two of you, at last. It is also a great way to relieve stress. When you are dancing, you don’t have time to worry about your everyday problems. Instead, you are focused on the music, the dance steps, and, most importantly, your partner. Lots of eye contact and touching are great for intimacy too.

It’s time to remember how fun dating can be! Rev […]

How to Ask a Woman to Dance and Hear Her Say “YES!”

“May I have this dance?”

Gentlemen, if ever there was a sure way to sweep a woman off her feet, this is it.

Hey, guys, Dancing is a great way to connect with a woman. There’s romantic music, lots of eye contact, and you get to hold a beautiful lady in your arms.

Don’t know how to dance? Take lessons at the Arthur Murray Dance Studios in Charlotte and Lake Norman.

Dancing is a great conversation starter. A woman is often pleasantly surprised to learn a man knows how to dance. Men who dance exude self confidence, poise, and strength. Women are attracted to men who have great moves, both on and off the dance floor. Need we say more?

Dancing is not just a great way to meet new women. You may not think a man who dances is sexy, but trust us, women do! Just ask the men who dance at the Arthur Murray Dance Studios in Charlotte and Lake Norman!

Dancing helps you look and feel young, no matter what your age. It’s an incredibly fun way to:

reduce stress
increase confidence
improve flexibility, balance, and posture
tone your body without over-stressing joints
enjoy an entertaining and romantic evening with a woman

Asking a woman to dance is easy, once you are well-prepared. Just follow these steps:

Take the time to be well-groomed. Appearance does matter, especially to women. Shower, shave, brush your hair and teeth, trim your nails, wear clean clothes, and make sure you smell good (but don’t go overboard on the cologne or aftershave). Women pay attention to all these details. They will want to spend more time with a man who looks and smells good.
Be confident (but not obnoxious). Women are attracted to confident men. And men who are confident and […]

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    Shag Dance Lessons Charlotte, NC ! Learn the history and how to Shag!

Shag Dance Lessons Charlotte, NC ! Learn the history and how to Shag!

Smooth and easy—that’s what the Shag is all about. The pride of the Carolinas, the Shag (or the Carolina Shag) became popular during the big band era of the late 1930s. Born on the shores of North Myrtle Beach, the Shag is South Carolina’s official state dance. This easy-going dance is a slower version of the jitterbug (also called swing). If you love moving to beach music, old Motown, R&B, oldies, country, top 40, and disco, then the Shag may be just the dance for you.

The Shag is a great dance for beginners. There are no bouncing steps; it is very smooth and graceful. This is a couple’s dance, and partners reflect each other’s moves (called mirror steps). A dancer’s forward and backward movements are like a swinging pendulum. Since the lower body does most of the work, it is often said that the Shag is danced from the waist down. The weight is on the balls of the feet, instead of the heels. Because they shuffle their feet across the floor, Shag dancers need to wear leather-bottomed shoes (flats are preferred for women).  If this video doesn’t make you want to get up and dance, we don’t know what will!


You can learn Shag dancing at the Arthur Murray Dance Studios in Charlotte and Lake Norman, NC. Schedule a lesson today with one of their professional instructors and find out why the Shag is so loved in the Carolinas.

Find out what dance is the official dance of your home town state!



Ways for Shy People to Meet New Friends in Charlotte

Making friends comes naturally for many of us, but for someone who is shy, it can be very difficult. According to the American Psychological Association, shyness is the tendency to feel awkward, worried, or tense during social encounters, especially with unfamiliar people. Shy people often want to interact with others, but don’t know how or are overcome with anxiety why they do try. People who are extremely shy are often lonely and miss out on opportunities that they would like to experience.

If you are shy and want to have fun with other people, try taking a dance class. In a beginner dance class, everyone is there to learn and have fun, just like you. Don’t worry about making mistakes—you will not be the only one! Everyone makes mistakes when they are learning a new skill, and dancing is no exception. And don’t worry about everyone watching you—they will be too busy trying to learn the dance steps themselves. Instead, focus on the instructor and the music.  Check out our article on “Three questions You may Want To Ask During Your First Dance Lessons”

Here are some tips to help shy people get involved in social activities.


Exercise—Join a dance class. It will help you feel better about yourself. It also gives you the opportunity to be around others without a lot of pressure.

Volunteer—Direct your focus on the valuable work you are doing. Helping others will give you a sense of purpose.

Join a hobby group or class—It is easier to be around people who share a common interest.

Make and accept invitations—You can ease into this slowly (coffee, lunch, or shopping with a friend).

Practice talking to people—Learning to engage in small-talk is a skill. Like anything else, the […]

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    Improve Your Posture by Taking Ballroom Dance Lessons in Charlotte NC!

Improve Your Posture by Taking Ballroom Dance Lessons in Charlotte NC!

How is your posture? How is your dance posture? Are you satisfied with the way you carry yourself, or do you think you could do better? Good posture, just like poor posture, is a habit. Good posture keeps your spine strong and makes you look strong and confident. Poor posture leads to fatigue in your muscles and ligaments, and pain in your back, neck, and head. It also makes you appear unsure of yourself.  Having good posture while dancing also makes your dance moves much better as well!
Posture is your body’s alignment and positioning with respect to gravity. When you stand, sit, or lie down, gravity exerts force on your joints, ligaments, and muscles. Good posture helps distribute the force of gravity throughout your body so no one structure is overstressed. According to the American Chiropractic Association, good posture helps keep bones and joints in correct alignment, reduces the stress on the ligaments holding the spinal joints together, allows muscles to work efficiently, and helps prevent muscle strain, fatigue, and pain.
Here are some tips from the Mayo Clinic to help you make good posture a part of your daily life.

Hold chest high.
Keep shoulders straight and relaxed
Pull in abdomen and buttocks
Keep feet parallel and balance weight evenly on both feet
Keep knees relaxed, not locked

Keep shoulders straight and relaxed
Rest both feet flat on the floor, keeping your knees level with your hips
Sit with back firmly against chair (use a pillow for your lower back)
Stretch top of head toward the ceiling, tuck chin in slightly
Keep upper back and neck comfortably straight

Did you know that dancing is great for your posture! It strengthens the core muscles in your abdomen and back, as well as those around your spine, […]

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    Learn to Dance the Fox Trot- Put a Whole New Spin On Date Night!

Learn to Dance the Fox Trot- Put a Whole New Spin On Date Night!

Looking for a dance that is brimming with romance? The Foxtrot may be exactly what you need. This popular ballroom dance–characterized by long, continuous flowing movements across the dance floor–is the essence of elegance, sophistication, and, above all else, romance.

As you hold your partner close, the graceful forward, backward, and side steps of the Fox Trot create a rise-and-fall action similar to the waltz. It is easy to see why this intimate dancing experience is a popular choice for weddings.

A walking dance suitable for slow to medium tempo music, the Fox Trot is typically accompanied by big band and swing music. Pop, rock, country-western, R&B, and jazz may be used as well.

The slow Fox Trot is a favorite among many ballroom dancers…think about the smooth dancing of Arthur and Kathryn Murray. Because of its smoothness, it is often referred to as the Rolls Royce of the standard dances. Once you learn the Fox Trot, you really feel like a dancer.

“Distinctive to the Fox Trot,” writes Treva Bedinghaus, “dancers take long steps during the slower counts, and short steps during the faster counts. In order to maintain the “trot” of this dance, dancers should shorten their steps as the tempo of the music increases.”

You can learn the Fox Trot, as well as other ballroom dances, at the Arthur Murray Dance Studios in Charlotte and Lake Norman, NC. Schedule an appointment today and put some romance in your life.



“Slow Fox Trot” Treva Bedinghaus


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