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Arthur Murray (Dance) Party, The

1 9 5 0 – 1 9 6 0 (USA)

For 10 years as it moved from time slot to time slot and station to station, The Arthur Murray Dance Party (sometimes called The Arthur Murray Show and The Arthur Murray Party) continued to generate a loyal viewing audience who remained faithful to the show the entire time.

Hosted by dance school owners Arthur Murray and his wife, Kathryn, the show centred on social dancing and encouraged people to learn to dance.

In the early years, each show featured a mystery dance segment when viewers could win free dance instruction at an Arthur Murray Studio by sending in a postcard correctly identifying the dance steps being shown.

The show’s setting was a dance party, and in between dancing, Kathryn would chat with the Arthur Murray Dancers, who were instructors at the Murrays’ school, and sometimes a special guest star appeared on the show.

Arthur – who always looked as if he thought he was somewhere else – usually remained silent and just smiled. When he did say something, it was usually short and sweet.

Kathryn was the show’s real star and did most of the talking on the show. Arthur did, however, occasionally dance with Kathryn and other dancers, and displayed remarkable dexterity and grace considering his age (he was in his late 50s and early 60s at the time of the shows).

At the end of each show, Kathryn always said; “See you next time. Till then, put a little fun in your life. Try dancing!”.

For many of the years it was televised, The Arthur Murray Dance Party was a summer replacement series. It ran on the Dumont network from 15 October 1950 to 18 March 1951. After the Dumont run, the show made a succession of network switches between ABC, NBC and CBS.