Did You Know…? Part 4

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Here are some more dance facts that may surprise you…

Guess which controversial Radio/TV personality took lessons at Arthur Murray? In the current season of America’s got Talent, Howard Stern mentioned that he had taken lessons at an Arthur Murray Dance Center! And for those ‘Psych’ fans out there, in Season 5 when Gus took tap dancing lessons, if you were paying attention you could see that those scenes were actually shot at an Arthur Murray studio! Although the show is set in Santa Barbara, it was shot at the White Rock, BC Dance Center. Cool huh?

Bruce Lee

Think ballroom dancing is girly? Think again! Renowned martial artist Bruce Lee was a Cha Cha champion at the age of 18. He started studying dance when he was 13, the same age I did! Winning the 1958 Hong Kong Cha Cha Championship, this multi-talented star can kick your butt on the street AND on the dance floor!





When you think of the word “elegance,” what dance comes to mind? Of course it’s the Waltz. But did you know the now Elegant Waltz was once considered a dance only fit for adulteresses and prostitutes? Originating in Austria, Waltz was the first dance to incorporate a closed dance position. This means the man and lady actually touch each other when they dance. Scandalous! Before the Waltz, men and women would dance around each other or maybe hold one hand (as long as it was gloved!).

Swing Lindy Hop

What the Swing is that all about? The Arthur Murray Lindy Hop syllabus actually includes several different types of social Swing dancing. These include Charleston, Balboa, Shag, and of course, Lindy Hop. Lindy Hoppers can easily transition between the various styles of Swing or just stick with one style for the whole song. True Swing enthusiasts will even mix in a little East Coast, and West Coast Swing.



Dance Card

Have you ever seen an old movie where everyone’s at a dance and the ladies all have dance cards? What the heck are those things and why did they have them? Dance cards originated in the 19th Century and continued to be used throughout about half of the 20th Century. In higher classes, they were often made of strange materials such as wood, leather, or metal and would even be decorated with precious stones! These elaborate cards were used at formal dances and listed the sponsors of the dance and each song in order that was to be played. Men would ask a lady to dance to a specific song and “pencil it in.” Proper etiquette dictates that a woman cannot refuse to dance with a man when asked, but a man cannot ask her more than four times. 


Want to learn more interesting facts? Check out some of my prior “Did You Know…” Blogs




Christy Melgoza

Arthur Murray Dance Studio Owner,

Certified Adjudicator, and Mother of Two

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