Getting Your Dance Moves Down
Gisella West and Tonnedda Washington, owners of Arthur Murray Movement Studio in Kailua, are putting their skills to the test and taking their moves to the dance floor as they carry on the tradition of the late, acclaimed dance instructor Arthur Murray, a former Honolulu resident. Located in the former home of Kailua Movement Studio, Arthur Murray Movement Studio is the sister studio to the Arthur Murray Waikiki location.
“Because we are using the movement studio concept, our class formats will incorporate different forms of dance and fitness classes,” says Washington, who has a diverse background in modern, hiphop and contemporary dance. “Along with the existing staff, we also are offering private and group ballroom lessons.”
With 15 professional dance instructors on staff, Arthur Murray Movement Studio offers a variety of classes to the public, including Zumba, PiYo, Nia, yoga, breakdancing, hiphop, ballet and jazz, along with more unique concepts such as “alive and kicking,” soul motion inspired, and ballroom and Latin dancing.
“We want people to get in touch with their artistic side,” explains West, who has been with the Arthur Murray organization for more than 10 years, instructing students and teachers alike. She also competed professionally for eight years in both American smooth and American rhythm.
“Whether they (students) want to focus on a cardio workout, relaxation, or bonding with their partner, we have a class to fit every style in a beautiful, air conditioned studio with mirrors and a cushioned bamboo dance floor,” she adds. “Our studio is unique in concept and promotes well-being for all ages you won’t feel out of place in any of our classes.”
West and Washington say class sizes vary from two to 25 students per class, with private lessons available as well, although they both admit that it won’t be long before they outgrow the Windward space and are in need of a larger studio.
“When it comes to owning your own business, it all falls on you to make it successful,” West states, adding that she has hopes of expanding Arthur Murray studios to Ewa Beach and Kapolei areas as well.
“There’s also the desire to develop a relationship with the DOE on the Neighbor Islands, and to establish a dance and fitness studio within their communities,” Washington says.
The Arthur Murray Dance Centre Honolulu is located at 1860 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 407, directly above Wailana Coffee House. The Kailua studio is at 776 Kailua Road, Suite 202, above Kimo’s Surf Hut.
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