Ballroom Dance > Taking classes at Arthur Murray

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by Donchik, Apr 25, 2006.

  1. tendancer

    tendancer Member

    American Samba is part of the AM syllabus (incidentally, as is Peabody). I've seen AM people trying to add Samba and Peabody to the Rhythm and Smooth sections, respectively, of Wikipedia. They teach it at all their franchises in their bronze group classes with bastardized new names for the steps, e.g. IIRC samba basic = American caixo, side samba whisk = balancete, corta jaca = maxixe, etc. It's humorous though not as humorous as some of their invented smooth steps such as "The Kathyrn Murray Turn". They won't allow you to learn it until you're at least "Bronze II", in other words unless you've already sunk ~10K into the studio since you have to pay for Newcomer and Bronze I first.

    You would to have be an AM graduate and having attended one of their Superamas to appreciate the humor intrinsic in watching AM bronze students dance American Samba. I had the misfortune of being one of those bronze students for a year until I switched to a "real" coach who just came over from Russia, who promptly told me I don't know any samba and forced me to relearn the samba bounce from scratch, though thankfully I had the good sense to not tell her e.g. "oh I already know 'American caixo"".

  2. Merrylegs

    Merrylegs Well-Known Member

    Chris, it has NOTHING to do with Rhythm. Neither did your comment about what I should or should not require of my teacher. I have no idea what you have done in the way of competitions but I can certainly confirm the existence of American Samba as a competitive event at Pro-Am competitions. You, apparently, have never been to a competition where this event takes place. You also seem to be pushing a Hell of a lot of aspersions onto my earlier statement.

    American Samba is taught all over the place--and therefore it would be assumed that someone teaching at a studio where American Samba is taught ought to know the GD steps.

    Go take your bad day out on someone else and leave the snarky attitude off of here.

  3. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I can't see a reason for ANYONE to have a snarky attitude here and would find it reasonable to suggest a slight turn away from the irritability...thanks all
  4. Porfirio Landeros

    Porfirio Landeros New Member

    There are/were American style versions of ALL the Latin dances (including Paso Doble) because they were danced here before the English had formalized the Latin program. International style is based on analysis of the dances as they were being danced socially, mainly in America, and the technique was documented and the steps were given non-trademark names. Peabody is just one of those smooth dances that never made it onto the shortlist (like Bossa Nova, and Hustle), but it doesn't mean that they can't be enjoyed by those that want to learn them... there are plenty of step lists around.
  5. Laura

    Laura New Member

    I saw Eddie Simon and Michelle Officer do a Peabody showdance at the Sapphire Ball one year. It was fun -- very flapper-ish and ragtime-y.
  6. Merrylegs

    Merrylegs Well-Known Member

    That must have been a great show to watch. I've always loved their theatrical style.

  7. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    I would suspect amercian samba is pretty much ignored by mainstream american style competitors. Is it included in any of the multi-dance events or championships?

    Which leaves only two reasons someone would know american samba: either they have an international style background, or they have a background in a chain studio.

    Given the wealth of material in chain syllabi, and if tendancer is right that they reserve this american samba for the more advanced levels, there's little reason that an instructor trained in-house to work with the beginners should know anything about it at all - they won't be teaching it, and they have enough that they will be teaching to worry about memorizing.

    There are enough legitimate things to worry about with trainee teachers, that there's no need to confuse those real issues with unimportant ones.
  8. mamboqueen

    mamboqueen Well-Known Member

    Actually, I took lessons in the way beginning of my dance "career" with a couple who taught samba that were not part of a chain. They did not teach it well at all, and luckily I didn't do it enough with them to develop really bad habits.
  9. Merrylegs

    Merrylegs Well-Known Member

    Mambo Queen,

    That must mean you danced it at the beginner level then?

  10. mamboqueen

    mamboqueen Well-Known Member

    Unless there is something even below that!
  11. ChaChaMama

    ChaChaMama Well-Known Member

    I would suggest there are more than two possible reasons for people to know the American style of samba, regardless of whether you take lessons at a chain or an independent studio.

    Sambas are played at many social dance parties. People who do international latin usually do international samba to these songs; people who do American style can dance at the same time if they know American style samba. (Yeah, it's a little bit of a traffic issue since American samba doesn't move around the floor the same way, but it works.)

    My guess is that the majority of people who take lessons--whether at a chain or an independent studio--never compete. My guess is that for a lot of people, dancing is just a fun couple thing to do. (Shocking, I know!)

    :) ChaChaMama
  12. Laura

    Laura New Member

    Oh, lord forbid anyone should ever dance just for the sheer pleasure of having something interesting to do with your sweetie, or for plain simple fun. Oh no, we must all WORK REALLY H - A - R - R - R - D to learn to dance with perfect technique at all times so as to not offend anyone. Or something :)

    I wish people would get this anal-retentive about driving instructors and motoring technique. At least you can't kill anyone on the dance floor.
  13. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    Bob Bondurant. Skip Barber.
  14. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    funny how it all goes full circle...dh and I began lessons as a couple, something we both wanted...then ahem, someone got addicted and nuerotic and intense, and now it is that very intensity that has to be modified lest it become a stumbling stone...and so it is time to have a bit of fun (while staying forward and balanced and pushing from the standing leg and not using my arms and collecting ....and FOLLOWING).
  15. redhead

    redhead New Member

    oh yes you caaaaaaan! Ever got smacked in your ear by someone doing new york on the crowded floor and not looking around? lemme tell ya... no fun
  16. Katarzyna

    Katarzyna Well-Known Member

    Last night I watched Arthur Murray teacher training video, have to say it's entertaining. They really do have different names for all the steps.. Magic step is COOl ;)
  17. redhead

    redhead New Member

    I wonder how you got your hands on that one?
  18. Katarzyna

    Katarzyna Well-Known Member

    :raisebro: Its the whole syllabus for all the dances:raisebro: Didn't get to samba yet, dying to see that tendancer described
  19. redhead

    redhead New Member

    what I meant - how come you got the video? I thought it's top secret?
  20. Katarzyna

    Katarzyna Well-Known Member

    I don't actually have it, someone got it years ago when Arthur Murry franchise was closing... made copy quickly before the tapes got sent back to AM.. (as I hear they have to be once a Franchise closes).. Kept the tapes for entertainment value...

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