Dance Lessons And A New Lease on Life

Free Dance Lesson: Arthur Murray New Jersey

It was the phone call that helped to usher in a new and joyful phase in Pat Tolkoff’s life. In March 1994, about six months after her husband Leonard passed away, Pat received a call from the Arthur Murray dance studio in Chatham, N.J.

“A lovely woman named Rachel asked me if I was interested in taking a few free dance lessons,” recalls Pat. “I always loved to dance, but my husband didn’t so we never really went.” But this time, Pat decided to say yes. Soon after she lost her husband, she retired from her job and found herself looking for ways to fill her day. “I would go to lectures and concerts or out to lunch with friends, but I still felt like I was floundering,” Pat says. “You can only play bridge so many times before you get bored.”

That changed when she arrived at the Chatham studio. Pat noticed an older woman on the dance floor with one of the male instructors. “I said to the gentleman who was showing me around, ‘Can you make me dance like her?’” Pat says with a laugh. “When he said yes, I said ‘Sign me up.’”

That was 20 years ago and Pat says that, at 94, she still considers herself a devoted Arthur Murray student. Her weekly lessons with Chatham instructor Marcio—whom she describes as tough, but always enthusiastic and encouraging—are a chance to learn something new or refine the many dances she’s already learned. “And he’s quite handsome, too,” she’s quick to add.

But beyond the ballroom dance skills she’s acquired, Pat says Arthur Murray gave her back the joy and enthusiasm she thought was lost after her husband’s passing. “I had no sparkle in my life before Arthur Murray,” she says. Being a student and participating in numerous competitions over the years, “gave me a social life, good friends, a chance to travel, and the ability to learn to dance from some wonderful teachers. I can’t believe how lucky I’ve been to have had this in my life all these years.”{{cta(‘fc453cef-e0e6-4320-9338-f51417e326cb’)}} 







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