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Dance School Owners and Managers


In Colonial America, religious and societal constraints limited the popularity of dance, especially between men and women, although dance was incorporated into worship by some religious sects (such as the Shakers).

European touring companies brought theatrical dance to the colonies in the mid-1700s. There were no formal dance schools in the colonies, and most dancers were trained in European and Russian dance schools.

“Social dancing was widely popular at the dawn of the nineteenth century,” according to the Encyclopedia of American Studies. “Most religious objections had been put aside, and in the larger cities instructors were available to offer classes in what increasingly was seen as a requirement for social training and mobility.”

Dancing became extremely popular in the first half of the 20th century, and well-known dancers began to found schools to teach the art of dancing. These included: 

  • The Arthur Murray Dance Studios (which was founded in 1925)
  • Martha Graham Studio (1926)
  • Dayton Ballet School (1927)
  • The Fred Astaire Dance Studios (1947)

Today, there are more than 6,000 private dance schools in the United States, according to the National Directory of Dance Schools. They teach everything from hip-hop and salsa, to tap, ballet, and ballroom dancing.