• Arthur Murray Explains It All For You

    This weekend in conjunction with the annual Cherry Blossom Festival, the Macon Friends of the Library held their annual Old Book Sale.  They sell donated books and library books that have been taken out of circulation at fantastic prices.  I never have any luck going to the sale with a specific agenda, but it is one of the world’s great opportunities to cruise around, see what you can see, and then feel good about buying it because it’s only $1.  Last time I went, I stacked up so many books that I required a box to haul them to my car.  This time, I only bought 3 things.  Two are irrelevant to the present topic but the third one is a total gem.  You see, I was inspired by Adult Beginner‘s recent forays into ballet-book-buying and ballet-book-borrowing to ransack the “Dance and Theatre” section.  Of course, the section was 95% theatre stuff–mostly plays, a few books on set design, lighting, the inevitable 100 Best Monologues for Teens or similar, and one volume titled Now Hiring: Theatre.  I didn’t open that one but I imagine that all the pages simply said “BWAH hahahahahahaha just kidding!”

    However, mixed in with the odd No Fear Shakespeare and Four Plays by Ibsen and so on, I found this gem:

    How to Become a Good Dancer

    How to Become a Good Dancer

    Yes, that’s How to Become a Good Dancer by Arthur Murray, with Dance Secrets by Kathryn Murray (Mrs. Arthur), and delicious midcentury illustrations by Lealand Gustavson, may his name be praised. Click through for more photos!

    Click each image to enlarge. The book promises a coupon for 2 free Arthur Murray lessons, which is still intact on the back page, and a set of paper footprints for laying out step patterns. Those, sadly, are missing. But this book is a gem.

    Title page

    Title page

    "Dancing is conversation to music!"

    "Dancing is conversation to music!"

    "The First Step"

    "The First Step"

    "This position is WRONG."

    "This position is WRONG."

    So many ways to go wrong...

    So many ways to go wrong...

    1954: when men were men and women were "girls."

    1954: when men were men and women were "girls."

    'Nuff said.

    'Nuff said.

    Mrs. Murray's section features special exercises for the ladies--er, "girls."

    Mrs. Murray's section features special exercises for the ladies--er, "girls."

    "Dance Etiquette"

    "Dance Etiquette"

    Cures bashfulness!

    Cures bashfulness!

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