Swing Discussion Boards > Videos > Arthur Murray Party - Name That Dance Contest

Discussion in 'Videos' started by Steve Pastor, Sep 15, 2011.

  1. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    This is from the 1950s show of the same name.
    Whaddaya think of the dancing?


    That's Arthur Murray's wife there in the contest, and as the announcer. Dean Collins gave her and Arthur lessons in 1940? 1941? When Kenney Wetzel asked Dean in the 80s? how their dancing was, Dean said something like 'well, they're waltzers'.
  2. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    Actually Steve, Kathryn was very competant at much higher levels in several dances. Her teacher , in later yrs( Terry Leone at the 5th ave studio ) was someone I managed for, and he would go to NY on a regular basis to visit . He continued visiting them on a fairly regular basis ( from Dallas ) after they moved to Hawaii . Terry became her TV dance partner later on .

    She took lessons on a fairly regular basis; Arthur , on the other hand, was all about business .

    The Swing routine was typical of the period .
  3. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    I'm sure you know that in many circles the Murrays aren't held in high regard. So, to see this level of dancing "jitterbug" is something of a revelation. And the women are all dancing in heels, and look at those dresses!

    I'm doing a frame by frame to get a better idea if we can call this "Western Swing". I think the going around in a circle while stepping was refered to as "wheeling?" along with the woman doing "Sugar foot"? Both are listed in Haile's DanceBook, and Heaton's books.
    Will also be looking at walking forward right left for the woman.
    I know you've told us that Western Swing was pretty much limited to the West Coast in the 50s. Wonder where they filmed these? (will have to pick up "My Husband, Arthur Murray again.)
  4. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    You are correct, Kathryn, as I said ,was quite accomplished . The " dress code " was not unusal in that time period, even in studios .I did a similar gig in Philly in 1960 ,at a local station , and again, the dress code was more " Cocktail " style than formal .

    The circular action , I believe , is a modification of a Lindy turn which was taught in the Bronze level.

    And, even tho WCS was more Calif. style, to remember, the " Dance Board" would have known both styles of Swing being taught, and I'm sure one of them choreo'ed that routine, shot in a NYC TV studio .
  5. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    One thing I forgot to mention.. in those times, all A/M studios had 1 hr everyday, devoted to dance training, and, of course, NYC had some of the best trainers in Amer. style. Also , N.Y. attracted high quality teachers. Certain standards had to be met .

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