When we watch the great artistry of past and current dancers such as Mikhail Baryshnikov, Rudolf Nureyev, Gene Kelly, Martha Graham, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Gregory Hines, and Savion Glover, we should take a moment to thank dance instructors, the unsung heroes who spent hours in dance studios helping them on their paths to greatness. Of course, for centuries, dance instructors have also helped regular people of all ages develop their dance skills for pleasure or competition.
In the United States, dancing became extremely popular in the first few decades of the 20th century, and dance schools emerged to help people learn the Texas tommy, foxtrot, lindy hop, shimmy, turkey trot, bunny hug, and a myriad of other dances. The Arthur Murray Dance Studios was the first dance school of its kind, incorporating in 1925. As of 2019, there were more than 260 Arthur Murray dance studios in 22 countries. The Fred Astaire Dance Studios began operating later, in 1947. There were more than 150 Fred Astaire Studios in United States, the Middle East, Europe, and Africa in 2019.
The continuing popularity of television shows such as So You Think You Can Dance, America’s Ballroom Challenge, and Dancing with the Stars and the increasing public interest in dance competitions suggest that opportunities will remain strong for dance instructors during the next decade.