Arthur Murray History

The Arthur Murray Dance Studios

As America’s second oldest franchise, Arthur Murray International, Inc. is known as the world's largest and prestigious ballroom dance company. With over 270 studios in 22 countries, Arthur Murray has made its home throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, South America, Europe, the Middle East, Japan, Africa and Australia. Social dancing has and continues to be a significant part of popular culture for all generations. Today, the Arthur Murray Franchised Dance Studios continue a tradition of more than 100 years in teaching the world to dance.

Arthur Murray Dancing at castle house - 1915

Arthur Murray learning the Castle Walk and Tango


This history of the Arthur Murray Franchised Dance Studios began when a man named Arthur Murray started teaching dance in 1912 at the Grand Palace in NYC.


By 1919, Arthur Murray was teaching dancing in his spare time. Famous for his direct-mail “foot prints,” Arthur Murray’s concept of selling dance lessons by mail, one step at a time, took the use of advertising to a whole new level.

Arthur Murray Footprints

The Famous Arthur Murray Footprints

Arthur and Kathryn Murray

Arthur and Kathryn Murray


Arthur and Kathryn met in a radio station in New Jersey during one of his broadcast dance lessons where she was an audience member. The two of them were married on April 24, 1925, and soon after opened a dance school together.


During the 1930s, the Arthur Murray studio introduced dances to the public such as the Lambeth Walk and the Big Apple. It was the Big Apple that turned Mr. Murray’s single studio into the largest chain of dance studios in the world today.

Arthur Murray with Jan Wyman

Arthur Murray and Jan Wyman doing the Lambeth Walk

Arthur Murray Original Miami Studio

The Original Studio, Miami Beach, FL


In 1938, the first official franchised school was opened. By 1946 when Arthur finally incorporated, there were 72 franchised studios worldwide.


Mr. Murray bought five fifteen-minute television spots on CBS and persuaded Kathryn to teach on TV. From this came the Arthur Murray Party, a TV show hosted by the Murrays themselves that ran from 1950-1962. During its run, the Show featured celebrities such as Graucho Marx and Bob Hope.

The Arthur Murray Party

Arthur and Katheryn Retire

Arthur and Kathryn Murray


Two years after the TV show ended, Arthur and Kathryn retired and sold the company to a group of business associates and franchisees and a renewed Arthur Murray system took shape.


Arthur passed away on March 3rd, 1991.

Arthur Murray - The Passing of a Star

The Passing of a Star

Arthur Murray Around the World

1970s - Present

Over the past 50 years, Arthur Murray has become a truly global enterprise. As we celebrate 108 years of teaching the world to dance, today there are over 270 Arthur Murray Dance Studios in 22 countries across the globe.

Arthur Murray Celebrated 100 Years!

All Arthur Murray Franchised Dance Studios are independently owned and operated by individuals who started as dance instructors and worked their way up to the executive level. By the time they are qualified to purchase a franchise, they have experienced every phase of studio operations, from teaching and supervising to marketing and managing.  Building from within has kept the studio system strong, with franchisees that are committed to the Spirit of Excellence;  the hallmark of the entire Arthur Murray system.

Arthur Murray 100 Years Seal

Over 100 Years of Dance

Why take dance lessons?

Create a Healthy Lifestyle

Get the exercise you've always wanted without going to the gym. Dancing not only burns calories in a fun, exciting way, but is healthy for your brain too. It's even recommended by doctors as it helps prevent diseases like Alzheimer's and Dementia.

Connect with a Community

Meet people, make new friends, and learn to dance along the way.  Our community brings people together in a warm and welcoming environment.  Whether you're new to town or ready to make new connections, it's always a party at Arthur Murray.

Rekindle the Romance

They say that couples that dance together stay together. Whether you're looking for a new hobby or a fun date night, dancing together can take everyday moments and turn them into special memories.  Get to know each other in a whole new way and learn a skill you'll enjoy for years to come.

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