Jay Bluhm Advances to the 2017 Arthur Murray All Star Championships
Ladies and gentlemen, Jay is back.
Yes, the guy with the non-stop engine that powers his supercomputer of fun, is back as Top Specialist from Area 6 for the second time in two years.
In 2016, he and his team won it all, now he returns with a new team, but with the same objective. Naturally, he's competitive, wants to win it all, and make the entire process an energetic thrill ride that makes anyone within a conference room radius of him leave with their cheeks hurting from laughter.
That's so Jay.
What is the AM All Star Competition?
The Arthur Murray All Stars is a skills competition for every level of professional within each location around the world. The goal is to grow, develop, and reveal the professionals that demonstrate the best customer service, communication, problem solving, critical thinking, and teamwork skills. The competition begins in each studio and winners advance to small region, or District, competitions. From there the District winners advance to the large region, or Area, competition. Finally, the Area winners advance to the World Championships in Las Vegas where each Area team tests and one team is pronounced the winner.
More importantly, the real winners are the students of the Arthur Murray Dance Studios as these tests, and accompanying training, help to deliver better communication, teamwork, problem solving, and confidence from every member of the staff.
AML: First off, congratulations on moving into the finals in Last Vegas. How did you react when the announcement was made?
JB: I was relieved I had made it again! There was a lot of great competition this year and I knew it wouldn't be easy.
AML: How did you feel going into the Semi-Finals?
JB: I felt like I was well prepared for any of the situations that the judges may throw my way.
AML: What kind of last minute things did you do to prepare?
JB: My last minute prep is to quietly center myself and then, when I feel centered, to try and joke around with the other teachers waiting around. I try to keep things light and loose.
AML: How has this process made you a better professional?
JB: All Star is a fun part of Arthur Murray's continuing education that allows us to hone our communication through a different lens and it brings us together as an organization to raise our teaching standard.
AML: What's you All Star backstory? If you can give a little synopsis of the highs and lows of this competition over the years.
JB: I've been with Arthur Murray for 7 years but, for one reason or another, I had missed the All Star competition until last year. In 2016, I made a goal to make it to the Finals in Las Vegas and win, and I am happy to say that I was part of an amazing team that kept the title in Area 6 for two years in a row. The goal was make it again this year, and I couldn't be happier for a chance to defend our title!
AML: What will it mean to you if the team wins it all this year?
JB: This year would mean everything to be the first area to 3-peat in the All-Star competition. Also, I'm pretty excited that our Area Chairperson and my boss, Russ Clark, promised the All Star team ice cream sundaes with sprinkles when we win. I love sprinkles.
AML: Who are some people that helped you get to this point?
JB: So many people helped me get to this point, but two major groups of people come to mind. I have the privilege of working with the best teachers in Arthur Murray every day at the Bellevue Arthur Murray Studio and I couldn't do it without all of them pushing me to be the best I can be on a daily basis. I also would like to thank all of the amazing students I've had the privilege of working with over the years. I wouldn't be there if it weren't for all of you!
AML: What does this mean to you? What makes it special?
I love Arthur Murray and I love my Area 6 family. Being a representative on the All Star team is a great honor and I feel an obligation to my peers and students to give my all for all of them. The best part about All Star is that the friendly competition pushes the entire company to raise our standards for teaching and service. If we all become better educators, communicators and dancers then everyone wins, and that is truly special.
That being said... I want some sprinkles!
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