Beginner Dance Lessons at Arthur Murray Dance Studio In Nashville
Brentwood Arthur Murray Studio co-owner and master instructor Juan Castillo speaks to Doug, a relative newcomer to ballroom dancing, about taking the first big step and the keys to learning to dance.
Juan: You’re 48 years old. I have to ask, what took you so long to give dancing a try?
Doug: What’s funny is, this is probably my fifth try at it. I went to an informal dance class in grad school. I’ve tried local functions where they offer a quick class before the actual dancing starts. I even went to one other studio. Nothing took…until now.
Juan: What do you think the problem was?
Doug: The dance class I went to had maybe 50 people. Too big. Also, everybody else seemed to know the basic steps, whereas I was just trying to keep up. That was really, really intimidating.
The hour-long classes you can attend before dances are useful for learning basic steps. But what they don’t really address are fundamentals. This is why beginner dance lessons at Arthur Murray are so great. The private approach teaches you the fundamentals and help to enforce the basics so it feels right when you start advancing to more difficult steps. How to lead. How to hold a frame. Correct posture. So the whole time I’m dancing after the class, I’m thinking, ‘This doesn’t feel right, but I have no idea what’s wrong.’
Juan: What brought you to Arthur Murray?
Doug: My wife, for one. Also, advice from my sister. She’s been dancing for about 2 years now, and she went through a similar journey as I did: trying this place, that place, but not really liking anything. And – don’t tell her I said this – she’s cheap. (Juan laughs.) No, like, really cheap. She’d go to five-dollar events. She’d look up videos on YouTube. Basically, she was trying to learn on her own.
After about six months, she realized she wasn’t really improving. She was learning steps but lacked a good foundation. So finally, she took a couple of lessons at her local Arthur Murray. Within five minutes, her instructor corrected some flaws that she might never have figured out on her own. And she was hooked.
Juan: Okay, a little devil’s advocate here. What’s wrong with learning those same basics from, say, a video?
Doug: Thanks to YouTube, our upstairs toilet doesn’t run anymore, okay?
Juan: (Laughs.) That’s good.
Doug: Definitely. But dancing is totally different. There are so many moving parts. I guess a video can teach the various elements of dance, but it can’t watch you and your partner.
A good instructor can monitor five, six, maybe ten elements simultaneously and help you to make adjustments in real-time. That’s key. And because you’re practicing correctly from the beginning, you’re building proper muscle memory, which eventually allows you to not think about the technical details. Or so everybody tells me; I’m still not there yet.
Juan: You’re definitely coming along, though. So what are your and your wife’s goals with Arthur Murray?
Doug: To master the fundamentals and to expand our repertoire. That may take a year or more, which is fine for us. A year goes by so fast. Much better to start now instead of in another year or two. Best question ever: ‘If not now, when?’
Juan: I love it. You mentioned being intimidated in a different venue. Is Arthur Murray intimidating?
Doug: You and Natalya (Juan’s wife and fellow instructor) are very intimidating, Juan. (Juan laughs.) No, seriously, I’ve been shocked at how supportive everyone is, even the more advanced dancers. They’re incredibly patient about my mistakes.
Juan: Do you think you’ll keep with it this time?
Doug: I hate to break it to you, but you and Natalya are stuck with us.
Juan: That’s a good thing.
Doug and his wife Van began taking beginner dance lessons and are now in their second month of dance lessons at the Brentwood, TN Arthur Murray studio. Their favorite dance is the Argentine tango.
To start your beginner dance lessons with Arthur Murray in Nashville & Brentwood contact us today!