Arthur Murray History

Since 1912

Celebrating 100 Years of Dance

Early Life

Early 1900s

Young Arthur Murray circa 1905

Young Arthur Murray circa 1905 Arthur Murray started teaching dance in 1912 at the Grand Palace in NYC.

1915 Dancing at the Castle House At Castle House, Arthur learned the famous Castle Walk and Tango.

1915 Dancing at the Castle House

Social Dancing

Pioneer

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Below: 1925-1929 A pioneer of social dancing, Arthur's early success was due in part to his involvement in the American social dance scene.

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Fullscreen Image 3D Effect with CSS3 and jQuery
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Ballroom Dancing by Arthur Murray Beyond radio and personal dance lessons, Arthur Murray wrote several books and brochures to promote the social aspects of dance.

Stepping Forward

1914-1920s

Summer, 1914 The Baroness De Kuttleston, whom Mr. Murray had met at Castle House, asked if he would be her teaching partner.

1919 By 1919, Arthur Murray was teaching dance in his spare time.

He soon had over a thousand children of different age groups enrolled in his classes.

The Murray dance classes soon attracted adults

The Murray dance classes soon attracted many adults.

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March 27, 1920 He arranged to have music transmitted to a group of his students, which was the world's first radio broadcast of live dance music.

Footprints The famous footprints that became an Arthur Murray trademark.

the famous footprints
1919 Arthur with movie star Anita Stewart The”Hesitation Waltz”

1919 Arthur with movie star Anita Stewart performing the "Hesitation Waltz."

A Lifetime

Kathryn & Arthur

Early 1920s Kathryn and Arthur met in a radio station in New Jersey during one of his broadcast dance lessons where she was an audience member.

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April 24, 1925 Arthur and Kathryn were married on April 24, 1925, and opened a dance school together.

Arthur's family Family Portrait: The Murrays and Mrs. Lenore Kohnfelder, Kathryn's mother.

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1930s

Stepping forward

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1930s revolution During the 1930s, the studio introduced such dances to the public as the Lambeth Walk and the Big Apple.

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1930s revolution It was the Big Apple that turned Mr. Murray’s one studio into the largest chain of dance studios in the world today.

1937 Arthur with movie star Jan Wyman performing the Lambeth Walk.

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Creating an Empire

Early 1940s

1938 In 1938, the first official opening of a franchised school occurred.

By 1946 When Arthur incorporated, there were 72 franchised studios grossing nearly twenty million dollars a year.

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Original Studio The original studio in Miami Beach, Florida.

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1950-1962

The Arthur Murray Party

July of 1950 Arthur bought five fifteen-minute television spots on CBS and persuaded Kathryn to teach on TV.

Arthur Murray's vast history of dance
Arthur Murray's vast history of dance

Dancing onto TV The Arthur Murray Party was a TV show that ran from 1950-1962, hosted by Arthur and Kathryn Murray.

Arthur Murray's vast history of dance
Arthur Murray's vast history of dance
Arthur Murray's vast history of dance

Groucho Marx Groucho Marx with Kathryn at the Arthur Murray Party.

Bob Hope Poster for "A Toast to Bob Hope" on the Arthur Murray Party.

Arthur Murray's vast history of dance

Taking a Bow

1964

1964 Two years after the TV show ended, Arthur and Kathryn retired and sold the company to a group of business associates and a new era began.

Arthur Murray's vast history of dance

Passing of a star Arthur passed away on March 3rd, 1991.

Arthur Murray's vast history of dance

Passing of the Baton

1960s-1970s

Renewed in 1964 A renewed Arthur Murray system took shape in 1964 when a group of Arthur Murray associates and franchisees took the helm.

Under the leadership of Philip S. Masters, George B. Theiss and Samuel A. Costello, the company began to re-invent itself.

New leadership Chairman Phil Masters with Jerry Lewis at the MDA Telethon.

Arthur Murray's vast history of dance
Arthur Murray's vast history of dance

Disco The advent of disco helped make dance contests and Arthur Murray Studios popular all over again.

Arthur Murray International

Dancing Overseas

1970s-Present Over the past 20 years, Arthur Murray has become a truly global enterprise.

Arthur Murray's vast history of dance
Arthur Murray's vast history of dance
Arthur Murray's vast history of dance

Present Day

HAPPY 100 YEARS!

2012: 100 years of dance As we celebrate 100 years of teaching the world to dance, today there are over 260 Arthur Murray Dance Studios in 21 countries across the globe.

Our longevity is a result of excellent customer service, unparalleled social dance instruction techniques and experienced corporate management that carries on the tradition of excellence started by Arthur himself in 1912.

Arthur Murray's vast history of dance