2111 S. Alma School Rd.
Suite 7, Mesa, AZ 85210

Call Today: 480-568-0606

Arthur Murray Mesa Reviewed by John Cook - student on Aug 13 . My advice to single me. Do it!! Women definitely like it when you actually know how to handle yourself. Women can tell and it doesn’t hurt. There tends to be a lot of very attractive women at these things. You get to meet a different set of women. Wherever you go to hang out, there will be a particular kind of women there and dancing there tends to be a whole new different set. So it is a nice change. Rating: 4.5

John Cook - Student   

Occupation: Quality Assurance Manager and Executive Liaison

Age (or age range): Six decaders

Arthur Murray Students since: November 2005

Why is dancing important in your life?

Dancing is a fantastic expression of love that doesn’t lose its impact over time. Randi is my partner in life as well as in dance. I know that the man is the leader on the floor, but the woman is the driver of his actions. My sole purpose is to make my partner in crime the most desirable woman on the floor.

When did you know, you wanted more than just a couple of lessons?

We both wanted to look and feel better dancing together. John needed to be a better lead and Randi needed to be a better follower. When we first started here in Arizona, Randi had won a 4 lesson dance instruction package in a United Way Drawing at work. The package was donated to her employers by the Scottsdale Studio. After our first several lessons, I thought my legs were going to give out especially as you had to climb several flights of stairs to even get in. John and Lisa Almeida put up with us and after the introductory lessons with our specialist, Janelle Call, we were assigned to our Polish Task Master Anka Williams, who always told me “Don’t worry, if you’re broken, we fix you.”

Tell us about the most fun you have had at a dance lesson or dance event?

John – The most fun I have had personally was when we performed a Waltz Routine to the Gladiator wearing Chain Maille. That was the first time we met Bob Powers, who was adjudicating the event and I think he was astounded to say the least. The reason behind picking the Chain Maille was that we ran into our Instructor at the time (Janelle) at the Chain Maille booth at the local Renaissance Faire. After seeing our costumes, she kept pestering us until we agreed to perform a routine in Maille.

Randi – Solo Routines are the best because you have the whole dance floor to yourselves! The most fun is hard to pick because there have been many moments ; Salsa and Cha-Cha solos with Brian Lavelle, the Paso Doble formation with students and teachers and of course, our Viennese Waltz formation with Carolyn and Donovan Dominguez.

What is your favorite dance and why?

John – I am torn between the following; Rumba, Waltz, Foxtrot, Tango, Bolero. Picking older music to dance these dances to is very powerful. I enjoy the lead and follow interaction of these dances the most.

Randi – I have always loved Swing, Cha-Cha, Salsa and Samba (club dancing). Since we started private lessons, I would have to say my favorites with John are the ones he listed above, especially Waltz, Rumba, and add Argentine Tango. We learned the best lead/follow techniques with the Argentine and waltzing is like floating (or flying if doing Viennese!) across the floor when we get it right and Rumba is the essence of desire!

Who inspires you and why?

Our inspiration has come from many sources, especially watching other amateur couples dancing (David and Nancy Hendrickson, Jim and Kim McMahon, Walt and Judy Bailey). Of course, all the different professional coaches who have challenged us with choreography that matches our style and preferences over the years and our studio instructors who have graciously allowed us to choose the music for our routines. (Thank you, Lowell.) Let me think, it’s just not one person, it’s a combination of people like Urs Geisenhainer, Thomas Lewandowski, Jason Daly, Peter and Alexandra Perzhu, Nick and Lena Kosovich, Quinton McAdams, Jill DeMarlo, Emmanuel Pierre-Antoine…… Oh and we can’t leave out Bob and Julia, Ha Ha Ha. Shall I go on?

Your message to others who are still “thinking” about taking lessons?

Romance! Dancing is an activity that can last for many, many date nights. It is something that you can both do together as a couple and it definitely can keep you young in body as well as in spirit. It’s a great way to meet other people who like to have fun (ever meet an unhappy dancer?) and to stay connected with your partner (spouse, lover, friend, etc.). Besides, the younger guys who work with John really get the talk from their significant others at the Christmas parties when the “old folks” are out on the dance floor and don’t come back to the table.

Any other fun facts or little known tidbits about who you are?

I think that some of the pictures below would answer the “tidbit” question.

John & Randi Phillips   

"Ballroom dancing is actually a very athletic activity. It really helps give you confidence in your agility and it really helps to make life fun!"

Jim Johnson - Student   

"Dancing has made me feel wonderful. It has a chance to use your whole body and rhythm in unison with a partner."

Nancy Johnson-Student   

"Dancing has made me feel very energetic & very positive."

Phyllis Vanderveer - Student