Who’s Arthur Murray?
Arthur Murray was born in NY to Jewish immigrant parents from Hungary as Moses Teichman 1895-1991
He was a shy, tall and lanky child and believed social dancing was key to improved self image. At age 14 he learned his first dance steps. To practice he would attend weddings to dance with partners of all ages and sizes. At 17 he taught dance at night while working as a draftsman. He started teaching in Boston then moved to Asheville NC. After outbreak of WW1 he changed his name to a less German sounding name, Arthur Murray.
He devised the idea of teaching dance steps with footprint diagrams supplied by mail. Within a few years sold over 500,000 dance courses. In 1925 started selling branded dance lessons through franchising. He trained instructors for the Statler hotel chain then went to various hotels and gave lessons.
In 1938 the first studio opened in Minneapolis MN. His slogan was “if you can walk, we can teach you how to dance” By the 1970’s with the outbreak of disco fever there were 3,560 studios bearing his name. In 2007 there were 220.
Arthur Murray Studios claims to be the second oldest franchised company after A&W restaurants. His students included, Eleanor Roosevelt, the Duke of Windsor, and John Rockefeller Jr