The Dance Instructor


Ty Robinson supervises the Arthur Murray Dance Studio in Beverly Hills. A former actor and model with a few dance competition awards under his belt , he became an instructor at the Arthur Murray franchise in his hometown of Alexandria, Virginia, in 2000. At the second-story studio on Beverly Drive where he now works, he teaches ballroom dancing to an average of 15 students a week.

» How long would it take to get good at, say, swing dancing? Someone who has never done swing dancing would need to take two private lessons each week and also go to weekly group practice sessions. Within six weeks they would have the basic moves down and be in the “survival dancing” phase. If you want to really stand out, you would need to invest that same time over six to nine months.

» It’s common for engaged couples to come to you to learn their wedding dance. Any tips? I love teaching wedding couples. They’re already more at ease. But they need to come in earlier. They come in saying “I have three weeks before my wedding to learn the dance,” and that’s not a lot of time.

» How do you get clumsy people to move like pros? I start with the basic fox-trot, walking forward and backward and from side to side. It’s true that if you can walk, you can dance; it’s just glorifi ed walking. Later we can add more fl exing of the knees, which is how your body naturally moves.

» How do you loosen up those who simply freeze? I get them moving as quickly as I can. Once they start moving to the music, it goes away. I’m interested in human behavior and in being able to adapt to different personalities. I’m an undercover nerd about it. I fi gure out the best way to deliver the message. Dancing is like a language: Once you learn a few simple verbs like how to shift your weight from foot to foot, you can start speaking fluently. » 262 N. Beverly Dr. , Beverly Hills , 310-274-8867 or