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5 Lessons from the Bob Long interview

If you didn't know already, Bob Long is the President of the Arthur Murray dance board, the chairman of the judging panel at all major Arthur Murray competitions, and, in short, a legend in our company.


When he's not doing big shot, legendary things, Bob is traveling the globe giving coaching lessons, workshops, and dance camps to any student or teacher lucky enough to get some time with him.


Our friends at Arthur Murray San Francisco caught up with Bob to get his take on his career, his insight, and some great dance wisdom.


1. Talent Vs. Hard Work

Often times, we can fall victim to thinking that everyone that's ever been good at dancing must be born with it. Bob's story highlights the fact that there are plenty of talented dancers, but with enough hard work, talent can be sculpted and built piece by piece.


2. Unlikely Inspiration

Not many people actively set out to become accomplished ballroom dancers. In many cases, it was a chance encounter, an invitation from a friend, or, in Bob's case, inspiration from a movie like Saturday Night Fever.


3. Coaching with an Expert

A coaching lesson is one of the best ways to boost your dance progress and accumulate consistent breakthroughs in your learning. For Bob Long, a consultant that travels the globe, put it simply: "you're working with an expert."


With a nod to Malcolm Gladwell's incredible book, The Outliers, Bob shares that every dance coach has logged more than 10,000 hours refining their craft. Thereby achieving, according to Gladwell, expert level mastery.


If you've had a lesson with Bob Long, or any other Arthur Murray consultant lately, that would be hard to argue.


4. Major Breakthroughs Can Come From Minor Adjustments

How something feels to you is one of the most elusive ways to make progress. With that in mind, Bob's take on coaching students fits perfectly. "I'm not teaching them how to do the double flip with the half twist... I'm teaching them how to get their feet over the diving board."

But like any physical skill, improvement can be a game of inches, where minor adjustments can be the difference between a gold medal and not qualifying, or having a Bronze Tango pattern feel like it's Silver.


5. Community > Technology

In Bob's final question, he addressed some of the issues with the pandemic, how it has changed our company, and the increasing reliance on technology.


"Businesses that are high tech and businesses that are high touch. We are not high tech."


The common denominator Bob emphasized was that we are social creatures and Arthur Murray Dance Studios isn't just a place to learn dance steps in isolation, it's a community of likeminded individuals. Bob stressed that human interaction, even though it may be limited now, is the driving force behind the magic of Arthur Murray.





Final Thought

We hope you enjoyed this recap. Which part of the interview did you enjoy the most?

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