JULY 30, 2016- When Nigel Lythgoe and friends decided to create National Dance Day, they didn't anticipate how much the world would embrace it. Dance at that time was just beginning to become a big thing and having shows like So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing With The Stars helped bring it to mainstream audiences. Fast forward several years of success on air and POOF, you have a National phenomenon. On a day like this, the world is showing exactly that. Dance is here to stay! And National Dance Day is the forum to celebrate it.
It proved to be no different at the Arthur Murray Dance Centers in famed Silicon Valley, Northern California. The Arthur Murray studios in San Jose and Los Gatos pulled their resources together to create a day that would emulate what the founding fathers envisioned. A full day of dancing to everyone who wanted to join. A members only club turned to an open Day of Dance to many with a plethora of dances to choose from. The day started with a fast paced Swing class taught by the professionals at Arthur Murray and students from all over the bay area flocked. From there, each class expanded hourly. From joining Waltz and Wedding classes to Tango, Bachata, West Coast, Country and the spicy hot Salsa! Only to have it all capped off with a pumping party that was sure to make every foot tap. And if that wasn't enough, local Los Gatos burger eatery Super Duper Burgers catered with fantastic mini burgers and shakes.
There were a variety of students around. some as young as 17 and others as old as 80 joined in on the fun. When asked about why she decided to take part, a young lady said "I've always loved dance. I'm not a dancer. My friend is, but I really wanted to try it out. It seemed like so much fun. And after being here, the people are so nice. I can really see myself getting into this. I'm so going to do it". Throughout the day, more joined. some even stayed until the very end. For those, some National Dance Day swag Arthur Murray style was in order. Tish Smith, local student at Arthur Murray Dance Center San Jose said "My favorite part of NDD was spending the entire day with all of you! (And getting a t-shirt! Haha). But all the group classes were amazing and it was so great to see so many people there! You are all some of my favorite people!"
"I love the concept of a day dedicated to dance, for those who like it and those that want to learn." says Denise McKevitt of Arthur Murray Dance Center Los Gatos. "My favorite part was getting all the teachers in one studio and the enthusiasm shown in the line dance portion of the Country Western class. Also, there was a lady who won a t-shirt for taking the most classes and she still kept dancing after the party. I wish I could remember her name." That lady was Bertha. She arrived at 11AM and didn't go home until after 7PM. "I would have been here at 10AM but there was traffic on HWY 17. I absolutely love that I got to dance all day long!", she says.
"Time flew by fast!" says Ashlyn Smith, instructor at Arthur Murray Los Gatos. "Before you knew it, half the day was gone and we were looking forward to starting the party". Oscar David, instructor at Arthur Murray Los Gatos, was left speechless. Mainly because he had been teaching classes all day long. "I could hardly talk afterwards. It was so loud. I never had to teach like that." In fact he and fellow Arthur Murray San Jose instructor Zach Howery, taught the last Salsa class of the day. "All I knew is I had to be louder than Oscar" Zach says. "I think I ended up winning". It's debateable who won the faux decibel competition, but one thing is for sure, the energy they and the rest of the Arthur Murray staff brought created an environment that made everyone who joined a winner that day.
And at the end of the day, one by one, each person left. The staff were the last to leave with ice cream shakes in hand, happy about a successful event and tired from a hard days work. Anybody who puts that much work into one event certainly has my vote to be a teammate of mine. Afterall, they are. And I'm proud to call them Arthur Murray-ans.