Specialty Dances at Arthur Murray Dance Studios
What makes specialty dances so special? It could simply be an aversion to rigid structures and patterns. Maybe specialty dances are so attractive because they offer ample room for individuality as well as companionship. Dancers might simply prefer dances that are medleys of many different styles, old and new, that can be performed in modern settings to contemporary music. It could be all of the above. At Arthur Murray Studios, we have been teaching students specialty dances for a long time, because we value what they offer people who don’t want to dance in a box. In fact, it’s our specialty.
What are Specialty Dances?
Celebrating everything dancing and music have to offer, specialty dances are patchworks of different times, cultures, and styles. Being rooted in well-established disciplines, specialty dances are known for their effervescence because they also consistently evolve, following current trends. Conformity has no place here.
Specialty dances are fusions of African beats, Latino passion, tropical energy, and old-school ballroom dancing. They stand out to people who really want to dance – people that grab their partner and hit the dance floor as soon as they hear a good beat. There is no need to make arrangements, as long as there is room, a crowd, and the right music.
Because specialty dances offer more than traditional dancing, they require more of students. There can be many steps to learn, and reaching a point where a dancer can improvise freely takes effort. But once students become fully confident in their own abilities, they will be able to perform anywhere – the club, the house, the street, or on stage. When it comes to specialty dances, dancers set their own limits.
Arthur Murray Studios’ Specialty Dances
Even within our specialty dances there is room for variation. Each has its own unique characteristics; some are partner-based, while others are more focused on personal interpretations. Some are casual, others are intense. Some have very few steps to learn, others have many. With diversity like this, any student is able to find a specialty dance that suits them.
Originating in the slums of late 19th-century Buenos Aires, the Argentine Tango has become synonymous with Latin passion. Mixing grace with warm-blooded temper, this style offers dancers a way to express emotion, impulses, and spontaneity in intriguing ways. The Argentine Tango is especially well-suited for dancers who appreciate the Tango form but want more room to improvise.
Argentine Tango is taught in phases, with the beginner stage focusing on the basic steps. As students progress, they will be increasingly encouraged to use the simple fundamentals as a basis for their own creations. The Argentine Tango is dynamic, and recommended for students who wish to explore a form that allows for multifarious artistic expression.
A California classic from the 60’s, the Nightclub Two-Step is a popular dance in places ranging from high schools to the club scene. Known for its lazy and luscious style, this dance is a perfect match for dancers looking for casual, simple, and smooth dancing in ballroom-type settings.
The Nightclub Two-Step is based on one simple movement – the quick-quick-slow. Once dancers master this, they can venture into more elaborate moves. In the Nightclub Two-Step, dancers never leave their partner, which makes it ideal for couples who want to take their dancing a step further.
This dance is the least challenging specialty dance available at Arthur Murray Studios, but nonetheless satisfying. Once the basics are in place, there is nothing left to do but go dancing with a partner. As long as there is music with a slow beat and a floor, dancers will be able to dance the night away in style.
The Caribbean is well-known for its lively culture. Having survived being branded as cheap entertainment for the lower classes under repression by a dictatorial regime, the Bachata has experienced a surge in popularity over the last few decades. Heavily based on music, the Bachata has incorporated steps from manifold dances like Tango, Funk, Salsa, Hip Hop and Bolero.
Bachata has a mixture of classic and modern moves, with easy and complex steps. With its fast and slow rhythms, the Bachata is probably the specialty dance that offers students the most freedom for self-expression. It can be danced with or without a partner, and it syncs with most kinds of popular music.
Because the Bachata incorporates moves from so many different styles, students of this dance are required to work hard. But once students master the dance, they will find themselves able to let loose anytime, anywhere. Bachata embodies a sensual love for life, and it helps its students to embrace life more fully.
Zouk means ‘party’ in Creole. However, it is Brazilian. Considering its origins in the forbidden dance (a.k.a. the Lambada), it isn’t hard to understand why more and more people are attracted to it. It is hot. And, because it is grounded in a slow steady beat, it can be danced to modern music like R&B, Funk, and Soul.
It is also a couple dance. Joined at the hip, partners use their entire body in smooth intimate movements. The Zouk offers less when it comes to free improvisation, but it makes up for it with its energetic and sensual style.
Studying the Zouk is challenging, as it includes many steps that are physically demanding. Classes begin with practicing moving the body in fluid movements using the Zouk two-step. As students improve, they rehearse more advanced moves until mastered, such as the dip, or dancing with a partner hip-to-hip. Once advanced, students will be able to discover what forbidden dancing is all about.
Why Arthur Murray Studios for Specialty Dancing?
Arthur Murray Dance Studios is very successful at teaching specialty dances to students. This is due to our instructors, who are as passionate about teaching as they are about dancing. Their love for dancing has allowed them turn it into a way of life, and they share their appreciation for dancing in a way that benefits their students.
Specialty dances require more from students, both on a personal and technical level. However, instructors at Arthur Murray Studios excel at making sure students feel comfortable enough to take risks and unlock their hidden potential. Being expert dancers themselves, our instructors guide students through the entire process, and coach them individually whenever needed.
We have no special requirements to get started, only the motivation to learn a new dance and explore everything it has to offer. At Arthur Murray Studios, your initial lesson is only $20, and we use that opportunity to prepare a plan for you to help you meet your goals. We take care of the rest, and through our Comparative Teaching method, you will take your dancing many steps further.
Specialty Dances are Especially for You
Because of their free-spirited nature, specialty dances appeal to both beginners and advanced dancers, who want more than codified dancing. Students of specialty dances want to dance in their own way, to their own music, wherever they feel like it. Specialty dances follow the times without forgetting the past. At Arthur Murray Dance Studios, we teach students of specialty dances how to become one with the music, and provide them with enough moves to clean the floor. Schedule a lesson for the specialty dance of your choice, and we will lead you from there.
For more information on each individual dance, please visit its homepage on this menu.