Taking classes at Arthur Murray

Welcome to DF Elaina!

I don't know much about the studios in the DC/Baltimore area, but I know there are some very good top level pros there outside of the AM system. I am sure there are experts here who can point you in the right direction.

In the meantime, if you're happy at AM then don't let the negative comments get to you. I have never been part of the chain system and have no intention to do so, but I do know there are some very good pros and amazing dancers who work through that system, so it isn't all bad.
I also am a student at AM and fairly new to the AM scene. I live in the Washington DC metro area and there are a lot of dance studios. With my work schedule, I wanted something close to home and I wanted opportunities to expand my dancing; this is why I chose AM, the studio is close to me and is open late (I commute 45 minutes each way to work and I don't get home until 6:00PM), and they teach latin dancing. I wanted to improve my salsa dancing and I didn't want to have to rely on friends to go out dancing with me.

I really like my teacher. He's a great dancer, great teacher, friendly, and funny. He understands my sarcastic sense of humor.

Now, I will say, I don't necessarily agree with the fact that you have to other dances. I didn't want to learn any of the smooth dances, but I added waltz and foxtrot to my curriculum. I don't regret it because now I'm a more diverse dancer, but I'd prefer to focus on the latin dances first, which we do mostly. I think about the students who only want to learn one or two dances, but I guess if they are focused on doing that, they can go elsewhere.

After reading other posts about AM, it definitely opened my eyes. Yes, it is expensive. And dancing is a business, I realize that. I haven't felt any pressure to do anything that I don't want to do, and I can stop taking lessons at any time and have the money that I have already paid refunded. I've decided that once if this becomes stressful, I will look elsewhere; I have enough stress in my life already and dancing is a stress relief for me. But for now I feel like I'm getting what I'm paying for.

I'm sad for some of the negative experiences with AM, so far, my experience has been positive. I have noticed that my instructor has tried to get me to come in for more private lessons since I've signed up for Freestyles, I declined because I don't have the time, and it's not in my budget. If it continues, I will speak up, but so far, no pressure. I signed up for Freestyles because I wanted to try it out, it was a personal goal, no pressure from my instructor.

I'm also thankful to have met others with the same interests. Some of the other students started a dancing group and we go out dancing together; I love this. The AM studio that I attend has a wide age range, we have a few teens, I'm in my late 20s, and up to the 60s. I'd say the average age is 35-40. Everyone is nice so I don't care about age at all. I never feel like an outsider.

Thank you all for your comments! I am definitely more informed. I'm new to the dancing community and I appreciate everyone's wisdom.

Any recommendations for awesome dance studios in the Baltimore/DC Metro area are welcomed! I'm especially interested in latin dances.

Elaina, I too welcome you to Dance Forums. I hope that you will find it as helpful as I have. There are some real experts who post here. I also just sent you a private message regarding your question concerning dance studios in the DC area. :D
I am 45, at least 50lbs overweight, have a knee and ankle issue and I have almost matched via six 1 hr group lessons the level of dance of folks ages 25-70 have done in 1-2 yrs of group lessons. I would be careful with your gross generalizations about us middle aged folks. Talent and capacity to be a quick learner isn't as agist as you think. Unfortunately you must have been with a slower to grasp group and/or lousy instructor.[/QUOTE]
realize that you are responding to a thread that is 3 years old
....and welcome to df
Thank you. Yes traipsing thru the archives for topics of pertinent interest aka tall partners, evaluating tall instructors, elusive big shoes, plus sized dancers, dancing with pre-existing knee injuries, am/am and group lessons vs private...the least of my worries is clothing at the moment. Oh and then there are questions about the actual dancing;)

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