In the Spotlight...

Annie Wichman
Everyone needs a balance in their life.  Aware that mine was missing, I responded to an Arthur Murray ad on a whim, dialed the number and spoke to Rowland Dutcher, who at that time was the only male teacher.  Due to the studio being in its infancy I was most fortunate to have Rowland Dutcher and Sherry Harris, both managers of the Gaithersburg Studio, as my first instructors.  
    
In Arthur Murray, I found a way to have fun and at the same time learn some basic steps to different dances of choice.  I now had added a fourth dimension to my life: work; volunteering; housewife and a bit of spice.
    
Going through Arthur Murray’s door, you leave your every day world outside and exit in a lighter frame of mind.  Joining Arthur Murray was one of my best decisions, the fit was like a good dancing shoe.

Many years have passed and the challenges still exist in learning new steps and improving my technique.  At this juncture in my life I need dancing to insure good health, flexibility and balance.  A dash of laughter now and then with my teacher Michael and Jonathan is a bonus.  Two teachers pour moi!  What can I say?

We have a bit of fantasy here at Arthur Murray events where everyone dresses in their sparkles; have dinner, special floor shows by our teachers and for the finale dance the night away in a beautiful ambience of a hotel ballroom.

The fact that I have been an ongoing member of Arthur Murray for years speaks highly of Rowland and Sherry who are very amiable and make it fun for everyone.

Hope to see you there!  Annie Wichman    7/20/2010
Rena Marie Johnson, MD
Though dance has been a part of my life for many years, becoming an Arthur Murray student has added several other dimensions to my dance experience. Over the past two years, I have been introduced to several different styles of dance and have found ballroom dancing a wonderful outlet for artistic and cultural expression. To my surprise and my delight, my fitness level has been enhanced. I have noticed an increase in balance, flexibility and stamina not only physically, but emotionally and mentally. The  atmosphere among students at the Gaithersburg studio whether during a group lesson or at a competition, is one of encouragement and joy. The Gaithersburg studio is particularly lively and no matter if you are a new student or have been dancing for many years, a deep sense of belonging is extended to everyone. It is very inspiring to work with the dance professionals at our studio. They do a fantastic job of guiding us to grow and flourish in the beautiful world of ballroom dancing.
John ZebeleanRet. Air Force Colonel

I grew up with ballroom dancing in an era when Baltimore mothers believed it was part of the civilizing process for children entering their teen years. Women still wore shortie white gloves when they attended midday luncheons and they typically wore hats too…and not baseball caps!

By the time I slipped the bonds of home and went off to college, the local cotillion had made me reasonably proficient at waltz, foxtrot, cha-cha, rumba, tango, samba, merengue, and swing dancing. This experience was more than sufficient to carry me through the rest of my life. After completing a 25-year Air Force career where ballroom dancing remained typically part of officers’ club socializing, I moved on to the world of profit and loss. One of my office associates turned out to be a former Arthur Murray instructor. He and his wife, still a dance instructor, invited me to a dance event in Baltimore, which was filled with dancing aficionados. These folks were experienced dancers who knew their stuff and everyone eagerly took to the dance floor. I danced continuously for hours and what a fun evening it was!

A couple of weeks later while working a project and thumbing through the office yellow pages, I came across the Gaithersburg Arthur Murray Dance Studio ad. Interestingly, the studio was only a couple of miles from the office on the way home so I stopped in one afternoon and met the delightful and irrepressible Sherry Harris. I related my story about growing up with ballroom dancing and how I was interested in “brushing up” and adding some additional steps. Sherry assured me that the studio could meet my requirements. I signed up for six weeks worth of private and group lessons at the bronze two level. Thoroughly enjoying the next several weeks, I met several others who, although they did not have previous ballroom dance experience, were nonetheless now enthusiastically pursuing what they had not encountered in their teen years. “Wow, what did these people do in high school?” I wondered to myself. Whatever it was, it wasn’t ballroom dancing.

Dancing is one of those activities that can be enjoyed at any age and at any level of ability though there is a tendency to want to increase ones competence, especially at the Gaithersburg Arthur Murray Dance Center which has more than its share of long time students. (I’ve been there for nearly 20 years and I’m not the longest attending student!) At the same time, dancing provides healthful exercise without the monotony of the treadmill or the knee-pounding of distance running. Many find dance music to be infectious and it energizes movement to rhythmic tempos that dissolves end-of-the-day fatigue. Hence dances like cha-cha, merengue, and swing can really get you moving while Viennese waltz or foxtrot accomplishes the same thing with the addition of graceful elegance.

With its fun-filled and superb teaching staff, the Gaithersburg Dance Center has been an unforgettable experience and a pure joy.

Bill & Kathleen Hurley

 

“How did we get started with Arthur Murray? A cruise to the Bahamas, a lucky phone call, and someone else’s poor planning.

 

“We had been on our 25th anniversary cruise to the Bahamas, and had a wonderful time dancing on the deck at midnight after our salsa lessons on board.  We enjoyed this so much that we decided to try dance lessons here at home, and found a Groupon for local classes…but not an Arthur Murray groupon. So, we went to the Other Place (which we discovered was in a converted warehouse) and tried to get scheduled for the advertised ballroom classes. And tried. And tried again. And we gave up on the Other Place.

 

“We then googled local alternatives and found Arthur Murray. We called the studio, introduced ourselves to Sherry over the phone, and told her our sad story. Her response: “Can you come tonight for a group class?”  Sixteen months later…we’re still here, having an amazing amount of fun, with so many new friends.  At the beginning, we were apprehensive since we knew so little, but our instructors got us over the jitters, other students encouraged us, and we realized that Arthur Murray could teach anybody, even us, to look terrific on the dance floor.”

 

 

Trong & Ha DoRetired.

Many years into our otherwise wonderful marriage, my wife asked me to learn ballroom dancing.  Apparently, the occasional tennis game was no longer good enough to preserve marital bliss.  Knowing what's good for me, I dutifully studied the dance tapes she brought home from the local library, and attended the dance classes she had signed up for us at the local community center.  This went on and off for more than a decade, and we still could not dance well enough for my lovely spouse not to feel embarrassed when we danced in public.  I was simply a Neanderthal that could not be taught how to dance gracefully.

One day, she told me she had purchased a Groupon for two private lessons at the Arthur Murray Gaithersburg dance studio, and she suggested we give ballroom dancing another try--there is no quitting in this woman!  By this point, I had given up on dancing, and glumly predicted that this attempt was going to be as futile as the ones preceding it.  The first lesson with David, our assigned teacher, changed our outlook completely.  I told people afterwards that in 45 minutes with David, I learned more about dancing than in the ten years prior.  It was not how much he taught, but rather how well.  He thrilled us with his ability to explain which body movements looked good and which ones did not, and most importantly, why.  Additionally, his enthusiasm for ballroom dancing was contagious, something none of our previous teachers successfully shared.

Despite the initial positive experience, I concurred with my wife that ten lessons at Arthur Murray would be the most we'd ever need to be decent at social dancing.  True enough, after the two Groupon classes and the ten lessons that followed, we had become proficient at all the newcomer dances, but to our surprise, we wanted to continue.  Thus, we have been coming to the dance studio for a year and a half now.  Beside lessons with David, we have also taken private classes with other teachers of Arthur Murray Gaithersburg, and these classes have invariably been inspirational and provided us with the motivation to continue to become better.

Ballroom dancing, like any high-skill activity, requires a personal commitment to repetitive practice that facilitates proper evolution and improvement with the guidance of proficient teachers.  Arthur Murray Gaithersburg provides us with such an environment.  After our graduation from the Bronze 1 program, I remarked to Elena, our student counselor, that it had taken an entire village (all the teachers at A M G, including Rowland and Sherry) to teach us how to dance; and Elena replied simply "that's how it should be."  I am happy we found our village.

Annie Wichman
Everyone needs a balance in their life.  Aware that mine was missing, I responded to an Arthur Murray ad on a whim, dialed the number and spoke to Rowland Dutcher, who at that time was the only male teacher.  Due to the studio being in its infancy I was most fortunate to have Rowland Dutcher and Sherry Harris, both managers of the Gaithersburg Studio, as my first instructors.  
    
In Arthur Murray, I found a way to have fun and at the same time learn some basic steps to different dances of choice.  I now had added a fourth dimension to my life: work; volunteering; housewife and a bit of spice.
    
Going through Arthur Murray’s door, you leave your every day world outside and exit in a lighter frame of mind.  Joining Arthur Murray was one of my best decisions, the fit was like a good dancing shoe.

Many years have passed and the challenges still exist in learning new steps and improving my technique.  At this juncture in my life I need dancing to insure good health, flexibility and balance.  A dash of laughter now and then with my teacher Michael and Jonathan is a bonus.  Two teachers pour moi!  What can I say?

We have a bit of fantasy here at Arthur Murray events where everyone dresses in their sparkles; have dinner, special floor shows by our teachers and for the finale dance the night away in a beautiful ambience of a hotel ballroom.

The fact that I have been an ongoing member of Arthur Murray for years speaks highly of Rowland and Sherry who are very amiable and make it fun for everyone.

Hope to see you there!  Annie Wichman    7/20/2010