Arthur Murray began teaching the world to dance in 1912. Fast forward to present day and you’ll find that Arthur Murray Dance Studios are the largest, most experienced dance organization world wide. In our more than 100 years of instruction, we’ve managed to rack up quite a few fun facts. Check them out below!
- In 1920, Arthur Murray arranged to have music transmitted by radio to a group of dancers. This was the first ever radio broadcast of live dance music.
- Arthur Murray began franchising in the mid-30’s. One of his earliest licenses was granted to former Ziegfeld Follie dancer, Doris Eaton Travis. Doris was a pioneer as a female business owner and continued dancing throughout her entire life. Arthur Murray Dance studios are the second oldest franchised business in the United States. (Only A&W has us beat!)
- The little dance footprints are an Arthur Murray trademark. In the early 20’s Arthur started a mail order business. He would send out just one side of the footprints and purchasers would mail in a check to get the other half of the set. To this day, those little footprints are recognized worldwide.
- In 1950 Arthur Murray and his wife Kathryn started The Arthur Murray Party television show. Originally, Arthur couldn’t secure a sponsor, so he paid out of pocket for 5 15-minute segments on CBS. Once the show aired, he quickly secured sponsors by being one of the first to utilize in-show advertising. The Arthur Murray Party ran for for 12 years, going off the air in 1962.
- In the company’s history, we have had only 3 company presidents: Arthur Murray, George B. Theiss, and John Kimmons. Mr. Theiss’ family is still very active in the company, with studios along the east coast. George’s brother, Nick, was the original owner of the Davenport, IA school.
- The Davenport, IA school opened in the 40’s and moved to its current location in the 1950’s. As far as we can tell, our location is the oldest continuously operating ballroom studio in America.
- Currently, Arthur Murray Franchises operate in 22 countries with over 260 locations. Arthur Murray students traveling away from their home school are invited to visit other locations through our teaching time exchange program.