By Brigitt Mayer. Excerpts from Ballroom Icons©
Vernon and Iren Castle were the first big international exponents of “modern dancing.” The Castle Walk is named after them and they helped to popularize the Foxtrot, Hesitation Waltz, Maxixe and the Tango. At Castle House they taught New York society the latest dance steps by day, and greeted guests and performed at their clubs by night. They were instrumental in launching the ballroom dance “craze” of the 1920s, taught private lessons and appeared at fashionable parties. They were just “IT”!
“… and Vernon and Irene Castle were far more famous and influential in their day than Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers were later, though they are less remembered now …”
Arthur Murray expands on their foundation
“…but although his mentors, Vernon and Irene Castle, were primarily responsible for launching the ballroom dance craze in the 1920s, Arthur and Kathryn Murray were instrumental in keeping it going through the Great Depression, the Second World War and the disco era…”
“…and of particular historical interest is Arthur’s innovative approach to “this dance business” and how to advertise dance lessons. He was first to do many groundbreaking things like broadcasting live music, creating infomercials, franchising, and starting mail-order dance lessons. Chances are, if you conducted a poll today, most people would know the name Arthur Murray…”
Brigitt Mayer, Canada, author of Ballroom Icons©
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